Dr. Cunningham’s research interests are in the areas of dementia, vascular disease, falls prevention and stroke. He is currently a co-investigator in the TUDA Cohort Phenotype/Genotype database study, which it is hoped will lead to identification of those genetic subtypes most likely to be affected by risk factors for cognitive impairment, brittle bone and hypertension and consequently allow for more targeted treatments. Dr. Cunningham leads a research team examining a range of issues in medicine for the elderly including cardio-cerebral disease, malnutrition in dementia, vascular risk factors in cognitive impairment, management of orthostatic hypotension, health services effects of syncope and falls and gait dysfunctions and falls.
Dr. Cunningham was the lead clinician involved in setting up the Falls and Blackout Unit in St. James’s Hospital and his research in the field has provided the first Irish data on both falls and blackouts presenting to the emergency department of an Irish teaching hospital and external hip protector pad compliance. Dr. Cunningham’s research has also examined the links between hospital lengths of stay and falls and has shown that accelerometry is an efficient, quantitative alternative in the measurement of balance in older people. CCunningham[AT]STJAMES.IE