Professor Tsuyoshi Nishimura (1931–2009)

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Personal history of the late Professor Tsuyoshi Nishimura

  1. Professor Nishimura served as the board member for many academic societies and his contribution is acknowledged as an Honorary Member of the Japanese Geriatric Society, the Japanese Society of Dementia Research, the Japanese Society of Psychogeriatrics, and the Japanese Society of Dementia Care.

  2. Professor Nishimura was recognized by an Award for Distinguished Service from the International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders (24 July 1996), and an Award for Host Country Service by International Psychogeriatric Association (14 October 2007).

30 August 1931Born as the eldest son of a medical doctor's family
March 1957Graduated from Osaka University Medical School
April 1957Internship at Osaka University Hospital
March 1962Completed Graduate School of Osaka University, PhD course
April 1962Assistant, Department of Neuropsychiatry, Osaka University Medical School
May 1963– August 1965Researcher at Central Institute, Dickemark Hospital, Oslo (with Professor Gjessing)
August 1973Assistant Professor, Osaka University Medical School
August 1978Professor of Neuropsychiatry, Osaka University Medical School
March 1996Professor Emeritus, Osaka University
April 1996Professor, Koshien University
April 1999Dean, Faculty of Juamn Culture and Science, Koshien University
April 2000Director, Institute of Human Development and Clinical Psychology, Koshien University
April 2005Rector, Koshien Junior College
29 May 2009Deceased

The Second President of the Japanese Society of Psychogeriatrics, Professor Tsuyoshi Nishimura, passed away on 29 May 2009 after battling colon cancer for 4 years. His funeral ceremony, attended by approximately 800 mourners, was conducted by his son, Mr Naosumi Nishimura, and Professor Masatoshi Takeda at Senri Kaikan in Suita City on 6 June 2009.

Professor Nishimura was born on 30 August 1931 as the eldest son of a military medical doctor's family at a military base in Ranan in North Korea. After spending his boyhood years in Manchuria, Professor Nishimura came back to Japan and studied at Himeji-nishi Senior High School and Osaka University Medical School. He graduated from Osaka University Medical School in 1957, finished his graduate course in 1962, and was awarded his PhD for his thesis Anti-epileptic Action of Carbonic Anhydrase in 1963. Professor Nishimura then went to Norway to work at the Dickemark Institute of Mental Health Science with Professor Gjessing, where he was involved in research on periodic psychosis. Professor Nishimura published a paper in Nature reporting that the so-called pink spot in the urine of schizophrenics is due to artifacts and is not a pathogenic substance related to periodic psychosis.

In 1965, Professor Nishimura returned to Osaka and started his research in dementia in the Neuropsychiatry Department, Osaka University Medical School, which was then led by Professor Ziro Kaneko, who was regarded as one of the pioneers of psychogeriatrics in Japan (Fig. 1). Professor Nishimura integrated neuropathological and neurochemical methods to elucidate the pathological process of senile dementia. He proposed the hypothesis that soluble protein is insolubilized in dementia brains of the elderly and published data supporting this hypothesis.

Figure 1.

Professor Ziro Kaneko and Professor Tsuyoshi Nishimura at the Alumni Meeting of the Department of Neuropsychiatry, Osaka University (1996).

Professor Nishimura was promoted to the 6th Chairman Professor of the Department of Neuropsychiatry, Osaka University, in August 1978 and then developed his department into one of the leading centers of psychogeriatrics in Japan. After the promotion of one of the Associate Professors in the Department, Yasuo Hishikawa (EEG, sleep research), to Professor at Akita University Medical School, Professor Nishimura was helped by Dr Shiro Hariguchi (neurochemistry, dementia research; deceased), Dr Akira Shimizu (MEG, psychophysiology; Rector of Kansai Welfare Science University), Dr Masayuki Shimizu (psychophathology; past Director of Asunaro Institute) and developed high-standard research in various fields of psychiatry, including cell biology, psychophysiology, and psycho- and neuropsychology.

Of particular importance, Professor Nishimura promoted research into dementia and Alzheimer's disease. He studied several abnormalities of cytoskeletal proteins in brains of Alzheimer patients and developed the N-dementia evaluation system, composed of cognitive evaluation (N-Dementia Scale), observations of mental function (N-Mental Function), and evaluation of activities of daily living (N-ADL). Professor Nishimura was involved in the clinical trials of many nootropics, cerebral metabolic enhancers, and various drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

Professor Nishimura organized the 5th International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders in July 1996, and was awarded a prize for his dedication to research in this field (Fig. 2). Professor Nishimura was the founding member of the Japanese Society of Psychogeriatrics and the Japanese Society of Dementia Research.

Figure 2.

International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders in August 1996.

Professor Nishimura moved to Koshien University in 1999 after retiring from Osaka University, where he served as Professor of Clinical Psychology, Director of the Institute of Mental Development and Clinical Psychology, and Dean of Koshien Junior College until March 2008. He devoted himself to the education of clinical psychologists for 10 years and many young people gathered around him because of his warm and passionate personality. Professor Nishimura was recognized by the International Psychogeriatric Association Award for host country at the 13th International Congress of IPA (IPA2007 Osaka Silver) in September 2007 (Fig. 3).

Figure 3.

Professor Nishimura (left), together with Professor Kazuo Hasegawa (middle), was awarded the Prize for the Service for the Host Country, praised by Professor Joel Sadavoy (right), the President of the International Psychogeriatric Association (2007).

Professor Nishimura was beloved and admired by many of his students, who gathered together on the occasion of the 10th year anniversary of his retirement from Osaka University (Fig. 4). Professor Nishimura's contribution and dedication to research, education, and clinical work in psychiatry will be remembered by many colleagues and researchers in this field.

Figure 4.

Professor Nishimura and his students (2006). From left to right: Manabu Ikeda (Kumamoto University), Masatoshi Takeda (Osaka University), Yoichi Inoue (Osaka University), Yoshiro Sugita (Osaka University), Professor Tsuyoshi Nishimura, Tetsuo Shimizu (Akita University), Kazuhiro Shinosaki (Wakayama Medical College), and Yu Nakamura (Kagawa University).

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