Current Research

ARMADA: Advancing Reliable Measurement in Alzheimer’s Disease and cognitive Aging

PIs: Gershon / Weintraub
Source of Support: National Institute on Aging
Start and End Date: 09/2017 – 04/2023

Cognitive decline and dementia due to Alzheimer’s Disease, both associated with advancing age over 65, are increasing in the US due to the reduction of other illnesses that, in the past, limited life expectancy. This project will provide a brief, comprehensive assessment tool (in English and Spanish versions), applicable to diverse populations, to screen for a decline in cognitive health and associated neurological functions. The burden of age-related cognitive decline and dementia on older adults and the health care system make their early identification a critical public health goal in order to pave the way for prevention trials.

The MobileToolbox for Monitoring Cognitive Function

PIs: Gershon / Kaat / Rentz / Kellen / Weiner
Source of Support: National Institutes of Health / National Institute on Aging
Start and End Date: 09/2018 – 05/2023

This project will develop a set of app-based validated cognitive assessment tools, the MobileToolbox, to help identify normal from abnormal cognitive change in adults aged 20 to 85. The MobileToolbox will be appropriate for remote smartphone administration. Having such a resource will further our understanding of risk factors for and precursors of pathological cognitive decline and facilitate the development of effective prevention and treatment strategies.

Validation of the ICAR for the NIH Mobile Toolbox

PIs: Young
Source of Support: Texas Woman’s University Woodcock Institute Research Grant
Start and End Date: 01/2023 – 12/2023

The International Cognitive Ability Resource (ICAR) is the first well-validated nonproprietary cognitive assessment battery that freely distributes items to researchers and has been used in over 80 research studies since its publication. Four of the ICAR subtests have been developed for smartphone administration as part of the Mobile Toolbox project, including the Progressive Matrices, Three-Dimensional Rotation, Verbal Reasoning, and Letter-and-Number Series. This study aims to examine the validity of these ICAR item sets in their updated Mobile Toolbox format against “gold standard” assessments.

NIH Infant and Toddler Toolbox

PIs: Gershon
Source of Support: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Start and End Date: 09/2019 – 09/2024

While there are several well-known assessment batteries for use by children under the age of 4, there is no standardized direct developmental assessments of infants and young children that is inexpensive, easy to administer within a relatively brief time frame, and able to capture multiple domains of neurodevelopment across this age range. We will develop, validate and norm the NIH Infant and Toddler Toolbox (aka the “NIH Baby Toolbox”) for tablet administration as an efficient, comprehensive neurodevelopmental battery of measures. It will be specific for use by researchers and clinicians in the neuropsychological, cognitive and social assessment of infants and toddlers ages 1 – 42 months.

Development and Validation of a Telehealth Strategy for Routine Detection of Cognitive Impairment in Primary Care: The MyCog Mobile Assessment

PIs: Nowinski / Wolf
Source of Support: National Institutes of Health / National Institute on Aging
Start and End Date: 08/2021 – 04/2026

Cognitive deficits and impairment, including Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD), are highly prevalent among older adults and have devastating consequences to families and entire communities. Responding to increasing calls for early detection of cognitive impairment, this project will offer primary care providers affordable, scalable means to conduct remote, smartphone-based assessment of cognitive function during telemedicine visits.