Alasdair MacLullich




Professor Alasdair MJ MacLullich



· Professor of Geriatric Medicine

· Honorary Consultant in General and Geriatric Medicine, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh
· President of the European Delirium Association
· Secretary of the Scottish Delirium Association
· Secretary of the Dementia and Delirium Special Interest Group, British Geriatrics Society


BSc(Hons), MB ChB, MRCP(UK), PhD



+44 131 242 6481


Room F1424, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, 51 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4SA


Following undergraduate medical training, including an intercalated BSc in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh, Alasdair MacLullich completed general medical training and went on to do a PhD on glucocorticoids and cognitive ageing. He was Clinical Lecturer in Geriatric Medicine from 2000-2005 and an MRC Clinician Scientist Fellow from 2005-2009. He was appointed Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Edinburgh in 2008. He co-founded the European Delirium Association in 2006 and is its current President.

He is active clinically, working in acute geriatric medicine and acute orthogeriatrics. He has a keen interest in improving the detection and management of delirium and dementia in acute hospital patients and leads the regional 'Delirium and Dementia Implementation Group'.


Professional Membership

· British Geriatrics Society

· European Delirium Association

· Scottish Delirium Association

· American Delirium Society


Broad Areas of interest:






· Pathophysiology of delirium, particularly the role of aberrant stress responses and the assessment of brain injury in patients with delirium

· Neuropsychology of delirium: systematic studies of neuropsychological deficits in delirium, including the development of novel computerised objective measures of attentional deficits

· Neuroimaging of delirium, and of the ageing brain in general

· The role of variations in glucocorticoids in chronic cognitive ageing



· Acute geriatric medicine, delirium, dementia in acute hospital patients



Medical students, doctors, several Honours courses



Methodological Skills

Neuropsychological assessment of delirium, cerebrospinal fluid analyses in delirium, neuroimaging of delirium and of cognitive impairment in general


Highlights of previous reseach





Hobbied & interests

Ongoing research projects

· Developed the first computerised objective instrument for assessment of attentional deficits in delirium
· Developed the use of cerebrospinal fluid collection in hip fracture patients as a method of studying alteration in cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers in delirium
· Several studies linking neuroimaging parameters with cognition


Family, playing guitar, reading


1. Cerebrospinal fluid studies of delirium
Multiple studies examining potential cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers of delirium. Collaborations with the Universities of Oslo and Amsterdam

2. Neuropsychology of delirium
Studies examining the nature of neuropsychological deficits in delirium, using objective measures of attention, visual perception, and other cognitive domains. Much of the work has involved the Edinburgh Delirium Test Box (versions 1 and 2), a purpose-built computerised device which allows testing of attentional deficits.

3. Neuroimaging of delirium
Longitudinal studies of neuroimaging predictors and consequences of delirium

4. Development of new tests of delirium for clinical use
The 4 A’s Test or 4AT (see was developed (with Dr Tracy Ryan and Dr Helen Cash) to provide a brief and robust screening test for delirium and cognitive impairment.



Publications:  MacLullich Pubmed search