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older person playing computer solitaire on a tablet
Project
Project Type - Pilot Projects

A Two-Tiered Cost-Efficient Computerized Cognitive Screening Protocol

Southern Europe

Overview

We will evaluate new computerized methods to detect cognitive problems in Greek older adults, including a shopping game and brief clinical tests. Many older adults enjoy playing computerized brain games, but avoid getting their memory examined in clinic. Providers are often not alerted to a patient’s cognitive decline until it is severe enough to impact their daily life, and by that time treatment options may be limited. Furthermore, most health systems are not adequately resourced to evaluate all older adults.

This proposal will test new computerized methods to evaluate cognition: a brain game that can be self-administered at home, and a brief tablet-based cognitive assessment administered in a clinic.

Project Details

We will evaluate how well each of these new methods detect cognitive impairment. We will also evaluate a cost-efficient two-tiered assessment, wherein only adults who screen positive with the at-home brain game are evaluated in clinic.

In this study 50 healthy older adults and 50 older adults diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment will complete the assessments. This study will assess the accuracy of the new methods for detecting cognitive impairment, and how performance relates to performance in routinely used tests. If the study is successful the end result will be a game that older adults can use on their own to test their memory in an enjoyable way, a test that health professionals can use to examine them further, and an examination method that combines the strengths of both tests.

Hopefully this new method will reduce costs and motivate more people to examine their memory regularly before they notice any symptoms.