PIA Executive Committee:

Nonpharmacological Interventions


Chair: Sietske A.M. Sikkes, PhD

Dr. Sietske Sikkes is an assistant professor at the Alzheimer Center Amsterdam and the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics of the Amsterdam University Medical Centers.  With a background in clinical neuropsychology and epidemiology, her research focuses on the psychometrics of everyday functioning and cognition, and the development of new measurement techniques for the detection of clinical meaningful changes in the early stages of AD. Dr. Sikkes performed a post-doc fellowship at the Salpetriere Hopital in Paris, and just finished a year of visiting professorship at the department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. Within the ISTAART professional interest areas, she currently serves on the ISTAART advisory board and also as the chair elect of the subjective cognitive decline PIA.   

Vice Chair: Benjamin M. Hampstead, PhD, ABPP/CN

Dr. Hampstead is a board-certified Clinical Neuropsychologist who earned his PhD in Clinical Psychology (Neuropsychology emphasis) from Drexel University. He is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan, Staff Neuropsychologist in the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, and Clinical Core Leader of the NIA funded Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Dr. Hampstead’s research focuses on non-pharmacologic approaches to maximize cognitive functioning in older adults across the dementia spectrum. Specifically, he uses cognitively oriented treatments and non-invasive brain stimulation to enhance cognition, typically within the context of a randomized controlled trial format. Dr. Hampstead integrates these techniques with functional and structural neuroimaging in order to predict treatment response, identify the neuroplastic changes following treatment, and plan/develop new interventions. Ongoing work integrates amyloid and tau positron emission tomography (PET) in order to better characterize participant characteristics associated with treatment response. He has maintained continuous federal funding for his work since earning his doctorate (13+ years), with most support from the Department of Veterans Affairs and National Institute on Aging. 


Programs Chair: Patricia C. Heyn, PhD

Dr. Patricia C. Heyn has been involved in applied clinical aging research for over 20 years.  Her investigations related to (1) promoting healthy lifestyle behavior; (2) preventing or delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease with exercise and/or cognitive training; (3) evaluating protective/risk factors associated to cognitive decline; (4) early detection of cognitive decline including mobility impairments; and (5) evaluating emerging technologies usability for individuals with cognitive impairments has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living, Coleman Institute, and the J.T. Tai Foundation.  She has distinctive knowledge in evidence-based methodologies and clinical guideline practices. Her meta-analysis study on the effects of exercise training for individuals with dementia is recognized as one of the most cited articles from the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and is highly scored in Altmetric.  She is well-known for developing effective mentored evidence-based clinical scientist training programs (i.e. PMID: 26472583, PMID: 24569702 and PMID: 30605502, PMID: 29568518 ) and she received several awards and honorable mentions for her mentoring. 


 Communications Chair: Terrianne Reynolds, MPH
Terrianne Reynolds, MPH completed her bachelor of science in exercise physiology/cardiac rehabilitation at Winona State University and attended the University of Wisconsin School of Public Health. After completing an administrative fellowship at Gundersen Lutheran Health System in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, she received further experience in medical school administration at the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, where she served as Director of Operations, Assistant Dean of Planning and Clinical Instructor of Medicine for 10 years; five years as Course Director for Clinical Epidemiology. She holds certificates in Healthcare Management, Strategic Planning and Physician Leadership. 

Ms. Reynolds career interest is in the design and implementation of continuing medical education and health system quality improvement strategies to enhance early diagnosis, care and support for Alzheimer’s patients, families and caregivers. She has specific interest in clinical trials designed to implement exercise, nutrition and lifestyle behaviors to delay the onset of mild cognitive impairment.

She currently serves as the Director of Medical and Research Activities for the Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter. She is on the Association Health Systems workgroup, on volunteer faculty as Clinical Instructor of Neurology and Rehabilitation at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and serves on multiple health system dementia workgroups and committees. She leads the chapter’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee, and oversees physician outreach, education and research engagement, especially in communities under-represented in aging research.

General Member: R.J. (Roos) Jutten, MSc
Roos Jutten is a neuropsychologist and current PhD Student at the Alzheimer Center Amsterdam (Amsterdam UMC, The Netherlands). In 2014, she obtained her master’s degree in Clinical Neuropsychology and after that she started her PhD project. She has a special interest in the measurement of clinically relevant changes in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, and the development and validation of clinical outcome measures. Most of her research relates to the ‘Capturing Changes in Cognition’ (Catch-Cog) project, which is an international, longitudinal cohort study on the measurement of changes in cognition and everyday functioning in early dementia stages. In 2017, Roos obtained a fellowship grant from the Dutch Alzheimer’s Association to perform an off-site research fellowship in the United States of America. During this fellowship, she collaborated with researchers from the University of Rhode Island (Providence, RI) and Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA). In 2017, she joined the Non-pharmacological Interventions PIA Executive Committee as a Student Member, and she is currently has the role of General Member. Next to this, Roos is also a board member of the Dutch Neuropsychological Association, in which she represents Dutch PhD students who work in the field of neuropsychology.

General Member: Linda Wesselman, MSc
Linda Wesselman, MSc., is a neuropsychologist and PhD-student at the Alzheimer Center Amsterdam. She holds a Bachelor degree in Life Science & Technology, and a Master degree in both Cognitive Neuropsychology and Clinical Neuropsychology.

Her research focuses on individuals with subjective cognitive decline and she has a special interest in prevention, lifestyle and eHealth. In the international EuroSCD project, Linda and colleagues focus on the criteria for subjective cognitive decline and the implementation of these criteria within different clinical and research settings. In addition, they develop and pilot an online lifestyle program for brain health, for individuals fulfilling the SCD criteria. Recently, Linda and colleagues conducted a review (in submission) on online multi domain lifestyle programs for brain health. She is also active as a researcher and neuropsychologist on the SCIENCE-project, a cohort study on individuals with subjective cognitive decline. Within this cohort, Linda focuses on cognition, cognitive complaints and lifestyle. She joined the non-pharmacological interventions(NPI)-PIA Executive Committee in 2017. Linda is also a member of the Committee for Quality of the Alzheimercenter Amsterdam, that aims to maintain and improve quality and integrity of the research that is conducted at the memory clinic research center.

Student Representative: Ismael Calandri, MD
Dr. Ismael L. Calandri has a medical doctor degree (Catholic University of Córdoba, Argentina) and a background as a Neurologist from FLENI, Buenos Aires. In 2017 he obtained a Master Degree on Statistics for Health Science. He is currently finishing his Behavioural neurology fellowship at Memory and Ageing center, FLENI, Buenos Aires and working on a Masters degree on Data Mining.

His research focuses on novel technology adaptation on everyday clinical practice. His main interests are environmental interventions on  dementia, primary progressive aphasia and other neurodegenerative disease. He is particularly interested on the social and economic impact of  dementia in Latin America and how to apply new technologies as a tool to improve early diagnosis and intervention in low income population.

Student Representative: Christine Dileone, MSN, RN

Christine Dileone MSN, RN is an Assistant Clinical Professor and PhD student at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing. She utilizes the resources of the Alzheimer's Association in her teaching, specifically on communication techniques with dementia patients to maintain dignity and improve care.   Christine serves her faith community as a Parish nurse, by assisting pastors in the care of the mind, body and soul of the congregation members. She coordinates a monthly Alzheimer's support group and is actively involved in yearly walks to end Alzheimer’s, a committee member of both the Advocacy & Policy and Education committees at the Association, as well as a Women's Champions in the Fight Against Alzheimer's Women's Campaign. Christine cared for her mom with Alzheimer's both in her home and as a long distance caregiver for almost twelve years before her passing in April 2018.

Immediate Past Chair: Alex Bahar-Fuchs, PhD
I am a researcher and clinician specializing in the field of cognitive ageing. My early work furthered our understanding of olfactory cognitive processes and their relevance to the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. More recently, my research interests have broadened and include the development of non-pharmacological interventions aimed at primary and secondary prevention of cognitive decline and dementia. I obtained my BA in Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology from Ben-Gurion University in Israel, and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology here at the University of Melbourne. I then completed a PhD in clinical neuropsychology at Monash University along with all requirements of an MA in clinical neuropsychology. I completed postdoctoral training at the Centre for Research on Ageing, Health, and Wellbeing at the Australian National University. Between July 2014 and December 2016, I was based at the Joseph Sagol Centre for Neuroscience at Sheba Medical Centre, Israel, as part of an NHMRC Overseas-Based Clinical Early Career Fellowship. I am a founding member and Chair of CIDER - an International Working Group, focused on the advancement of methodological quality of cognition-focused intervention trials for people at risk of dementia. I am also the Chair (2016-2018) of the Non-Pharmacological Interventions Professional Interest Area (PIA) of the International Society for the Advancement of Alzheimer's Research and Treatment (ISTAART).