The primary objective of the current project is to develop and evaluate the efficacy of on-line brain plasticity-based computerized assessment tool and training program for the prevention and delay of the onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD). This novel therapeutic strategy is designed to re-connect and reinvigorate Default Network (DN) brain areas by 1) increasing feed-forward power in brain systems in ways that are designed to reactivate them, and by 2) directly exercising highest-level neurological (DN) processes. Computerized assessments will be embedded in the exercise suite to further document the status of 1) DN levels of operation in the brain, 2) the complex systems that support them, and 3) important near- and far-transfer targets for training. Also, brief self-report of lifestyle stats and change provided via weekly self-rated evaluations related to health status, physical exercise, social activities, diet, sleep, mood, and self-efficacy shall provide data useful both fo evaluating real-world outcomes and product model acceptability. In the first specific aim, we will organize a series of small focus groups composed of normally aged adults to discuss and play various computer games and cognitive training programs. Based on questionnaires from and discussions with these focus groups, we will define a set of enhancements to make the user experience and the game play sufficient to motivate the forty hours of program. We will then employ established methods of software design and development and iteratively refine the implemented design to complete the development of the enhanced program for a feasibility trial conducted locally, in collaboration with the research team at the University of Iowa. Given the ease of access of online-based assessment and training, this project should result in the development of a new, powerful tool to assess and prevent the risk of onset of AD, and to provide effective adjunctive therapy those results in far greater resilience against cognitive impairment in a substantially greater pre-AD population.

Public Health Relevance

The goal of this project is to develop and evaluate the efficacy of a recently validated Plasticity-based Adaptive Cognitive Remediation program (PACR) for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease (AD). This proposal aims to develop and evaluate the benefits of a novel, neuroplasticity-based, computerized &web-deliverable assessment and training program suite that have been shown to drive substantial improvements in cognition. These outcomes are widely applicable to the cognitive health and life-quality of elderly Americans, and have further potential to offset degenerative processes common to normal aging.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase I (R43)
Project #
1R43AG047722-01
Application #
8715467
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
Program Officer
Ryan, Laurie M
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Brain Plasticity, Inc.
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
San Francisco
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
94105