The Applicant: Noll Campbell, PharmD, FASCP, BCPP began his career by pursuing specialty training in geriatric pharmacotherapy through two residencies and has over 10 years of clinical experience. His interests in clinical research influenced him to establish a relationship with the geriatric clinical researchers at Indiana University. This relationship resulted in several activities and experiences that have provided the foundation for Dr. Campbell's future career in geriatric clinical research. In an effort to protect time for research activity and pursue his career goals, he transitioned to a research appointment with the Purdue University College of Pharmacy. With the support of this career development award he will develop skills in clinical trial design, pharmacoepidemiology, and biostatistics through didactic and experiential training exercises. Upon completion of the mentored career development award, Dr. Campbell will compete for extramural funding with future projects minimizing the adverse cognitive effects of medications among older adults. The Research Career Development Plan: This application proposes course work, a research strategy, and mentored activities provided by a panel of mentors. The mentoring team includes an expert in aging brain health services research (Dr. Malaz Boustani);a leader in pharmacoepidemiology (Dr. Mick Murray);an expert in biostatistics and epidemiology (Dr. Sujuan Gao);and an expert in neuropsychology (Dr. Fred Unverzagt). The career development plan intends to achieve the candidate's long-term career goals of: (1) developing skills in clinical trial design, pharmacoepidemiology, and biostatistics to support a research career improving the health of the aging brain;and (2) obtaining information technology skills necessary to use this valuable resource in future research. The Research Project: Previous literature describing the impact of medications on cognitive impairment has been limited by inaccurate measurements of medication exposure and cognitive impairment. This project proposes to address these limitations by using continuous and accurate measures of medication exposure and neuropsychological assessments. The population included in this analysis consists of older adults with cognitive impairment who are at high risk of developing dementia due to a significant burden of modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors. This population was enrolled in an observational study aimed at identifying risk factors for dementia. The study cohort receives care within a large healthcare system that captures all activity in a large medical record database, including medication dispensing data. Similarly, neuropsychological assessments conducted annually during the four-year prospective period will be used as a comprehensive measure of cognitive function. These results will provide preliminary evidence for future interventions aimed at reducing the adverse cognitive effects of medications and ultimately improving the health of the aging brain.
The older adult population may use several classes of medications for a variety of chronic medical illnesses that have unknown cognitive effects. For many of these medications, the contribution to the development of very devastating cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer's dementia, remains unknown. This research would provide clinicians with reliable information regarding the adverse cognitive effects of commonly prescribed medications and preliminary evidence in the design of future interventions to improve the health of the aging brain.