Welcome to the Christchurch Dementia Prevention Research Clinic (Christchurch Clinic)

The Christchurch Clinic is based at the New Zealand Brain Research Institute.

Led by Professors John Dalrymple-Alford and Tim Anderson, the Christchurch Clinic is run collaboratively between researchers from Brain Research New Zealand, the New Zealand Brain Research Institute, the University of Otago and health professionals at the Canterbury District Health Board.

John and Tim lead a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, psychologists, research nurses, blood technicians and brain imaging experts. The Christchurch clinical team evaluates research volunteers with mild cognitive problems and follows them at least annually to document the brain changes that occur with ageing.

Research volunteers who join the study, will undergo a series of assessments over time, allowing our researchers to look for early indicators of Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and to develop innovative ways to detect these diseases at a very early stage.

How to Find Us
The Christchurch clinic is located at the New Zealand Brain Research Institute, 66 Stewart Street, Christchurch central. Click here for our full contact details, or find us using the map below.


Professor Tim Anderson
Professor Tim Anderson, BSc (Hons), MBChB, MD, FRACP
University of Otago, Christchurch
Professor Tim Anderson is the Co-Director of the Christchurch Dementia Prevention Clinic. He is also Clinical Director at the New Zealand Brain Research Institute and holds the Van der Veer Chair in Parkinson’s disease and Movement Disorders at the University of Otago, Christchurch. As a neurologist with the Canterbury District Health Board, Tim has extensive experience in the neurology, differential diagnosis and treatment of movement disorders. He also has considerable experience establishing biomarkers of cognitive decline to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia, particularly advanced MRI markers in Parkinson’s disease but also other dementias. Tim regularly conducts clinical pharmaceutical trials in Parkinson’s and other neurological disorders, enabling patients not only to have early access to new treatments but also regular clinical review and oversight.
Professor John Dalrymple-Alford
Professor John Dalrymple-Alford, BSc, PhD
University of Canterbury
John Dalrymple-Alford is the Co-Director of the Christchurch Dementia Prevention Clinic. He is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Canterbury and the New Zealand Brain Research Institute in Christchurch. John’s research interests cover both behavioural neuroscience, where his main focus concerns recovery of function in thalamic lesion models of diencephalic amnesia, and human neuropsychology, particularly cognitive and MRI changes in patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Dr John Elliot
Dr John Elliot, BMedSc, MBChB(Otago), PhD(Flin), FRACP
Canterbury District Health Board
Dr Tracy Melzer
Dr Tracy Melzer, BA, BSc(Hons), PhD
University of Otago, Christchurch
Tracy is a medical physicist with expertise in brain imaging. He oversees the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) associated with the Dementia Prevention Research Clinic in Christchurch. Tracy is particularly interested in how brain imaging can help us investigate a number of different diseases and conditions, including cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. He has spent the past decade as part of a multidisciplinary team at the NZ Brain Research Institute and University of Otago, Christchurch, working with a great group of participants with Parkinson’s disease.
Marie Goulden
Marie Goulden, RGON BN
New Zealand Brain Research Institute
Marie Goulden is the Research Coordinator for the Christchurch Dementia Prevention Research Clinic, making her the first point of contact for participants coming into the study, and responsible for coordinating the various appointments. Marie comes from a nursing background and trained at Dunedin Hospital, completing her nursing degree in 1995. Since moving to Christchurch in 2006, Marie has spent ten years working as a Research Coordinator for the Canterbury Child Development Research Group, based in the Psychology Department at the University of Canterbury. She joined the New Zealand Brain Research Institute (NZBRI) as a Research Coordinator two and a half years ago, coordinating a randomised controlled trial investigating whether a combined programme of cognitive and physical activity would improve outcomes for patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Dr Toni Pitcher
Dr Toni Pitcher, BSc (Hons), PhD
University of Otago, Christchurch
Toni Pitcher is a neuroscientist based at the New Zealand Brain Research Institute, where her research has primarily been focused on Parkinson’s disease. Toni’s research team uses a range of methods to help increase our understanding of the progression of Parkinson’s with a particular focus on the development of cognitive (thinking) deficits. She has been directly involved in the assessment of the movement symptoms of Parkinson’s, brain imaging, and the collection of biological samples (blood and urine) for the identification of disease markers. She also leads a Parkinson’s epidemiology research programme.

In her role with the Christchurch Clinic, Toni will be drawing on her experiences with co-ordinating the collection of biological samples from Parkinson’s research participants to help establish a blood biobank for the Christchurch clinic.

Karelia Levin
Karelia Levin, DipClinPsyc
Karelia Levin is clinical neuropsychologist with over twenty five years’ experience. In her role in the Christchurch Clinic, Karelia provides full, expert neuropsychological assessments to study participants, and meets with participants and their families to fully explain their testing results.