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2021 Pilot Awards for Global Brain Health Leaders (GBHI)

Digital technology to support cognitive assessment and dementia diagnosis

Arianna Almirall Sanchez, M.D., MSc
Institute of Oncology and Radiobiology of Cuba
Havana, Cuba

The Cuban population is one of the oldest in Latin America. There are currently 130,000 older adults living with dementia in Cuba and that number is projected to double by 2030. As a result, early and accurate diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders in the primary care setting is critically important. Dr. Arianna Almirall Sanchez’s project will study the feasibility and acceptability of a Tablet-based Cognitive Assessment Tool (TabCAT) to test for mild cognitive impairment (a condition with subtle memory loss that may precede dementia, including Alzheimer’s dementia) and dementia in primary care settings in Cuba. Dr. Almirall Sanchez will recruit 200 participants including primary care practitioners, neurologists and geriatricians to take part in the study. Participants will complete a questionnaire about their experience with dementia assessment and management in primary care. Results from the questionnaire may shed light on barriers and gaps in knowledge for accurate diagnosis and care of individuals with dementia. If successful, this project could lead to further studies exploring the utility of digital screening tools such as TabCAT for early diagnosis of dementia in older adults in Cuba.

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