Dr. Rod Swenson at Neuropsychology Associates, in collaboration with other researchers across the country, will be part of an Innovation grant to further develop digital technology that will be used in the early identification of patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
MCI is often, but not always, a precurser of a more serious state of dementia.
By utilizing iPad devices equipped with software, the research team has developed ways to detect key behaviors that differentiate MCI patients from normal controls. This technology is important for the accurate identification and classification of early markers of cognitive decline and dementia.
The hope is to be able to identify patients with MCI much earlier so they can be treated earlier. This technology also holds promise improving research designs that look at response to pharmaceutical interventions. A barrier in current medication trials for treatment of MCI and dementia is the ability to properly identify different clinical groups (MCI that doesn't progress, MCI that does progress, Alzheimer's vs. vascular dementia). This technology holds promise for improving our abilty to study the effeciveness of different treatments on different groups/conditions.