Aged Psychiatry Academic Unit

The Aged Psychiatry Academic Unit's research focuses on care and improvement of the mental health of the ageing, including those with dementia, behaviour disorders, or in aged care, as well as those who care for them.

Head of Unit

Dr Chris PlakiotisDr Chris Plakiotis

  • Appointments: Head, Aged Psychiatry Academic Unit; Head, Aged Persons Mental Health Service, Monash Health
  • Qualifications: Graduate Certificate in Health Professional Education (Monash University, 2017); Doctor of Medicine (Monash University, 2016); Master of Clinical Research (The University of Melbourne, 2012); Master of Psychological Medicine (Monash University, 2005); Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS, Monash University, 1997)
  • Research interests: Brain stimulation therapies; Depression
  • Email:

Dr Nader Yakoub

Dr Ian Presnell

  • Appointment: Senior Lecturer
  • Qualifications: Graduate Certificate Health Professional Education (Monash University, 2008); Master of Psychological Medicine (Monash University, 1995); Fellow of RANZCP (1993); Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS, Monash University, 1984)
  • Research interests: Psychogeriatrics; Medical education; Assessment and primary care psychiatry
  • Email:

Rhoda Lai

  • Appointment: Research Assistant
  • Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts (Hons) (The University of Melbourne, 2014)
  • Email:

Toni Withiel

  • Appointment: Research Assistant

Current research projects

The RAPID and RAPID-Plus studies

The Monash Health Aged Psychiatry Academic Unit is looking for volunteers to join two studies testing a new approach to treating depressive symptoms in people with Alzheimer’s Disease and their carers. The intervention is called 'cognitive bias modification' or CBM. CBM is an easy to use computer-based intervention that aims to break the vicious cycle of negative thoughts contributing to negative feelings.

If you or someone you know would be interested in participating, or for more information, please contact Rhoda Lai on + 61 3 9265 7610 or

Can relatives of aged care facility residents facilitate psychotropic deprescribing?

It is difficult for nurses and GPs in residential aged care facilities to cease new residents’ psychotropic (ie. psychiatric) medications when they often have no information about why residents were started on the treatment, when and by whom, and with what result. This project will help determine if family members can contribute information that will prove useful to health professionals and thereby overcome one of the barriers to deprescribing (i.e. reducing and/or ceasing) medications whose harmful effects often outweigh their benefits.

This project is funded by the Lions John Cockayne Memorial Fellowship Trust Fund.