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2021 Pilot Awards for Global Brain Health Leaders (GBHI)

Computerized cognitive tests for individuals at risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Anna Brugulat-Serrat, Ph.D.
Barcelonabeta Brain Research Center
Barcelona, Spain



Research suggests that brain changes observed in Alzheimer’s disease start decades before clinical signs, including decline in memory, are evident. Dr. Anna Brugulat-Serrat’s study will aim to develop cognitive tests sensitive to early brain changes observed in Alzheimer’s. Dr. Brugulat-Serrat will leverage an existing and larger ongoing study called the ALFA+ (for Alzheimer’s and families) that tracks brain changes of individuals at risk for Alzheimer’s (due to a family history of the disease), over time. The researcher will administer a remote computerized cognitive assessment to 420 cognitively unimpaired ALFA+ participants who have an overall increased risk of Alzheimer’s. Dr. Brugulat-Serrat will then compare the results from this remote test to traditional assessments which involve in-person paper and pencil cognitive testing. The results will be analyzed to see whether they are associated with biological markers (biomarkers) of Alzheimer’s. If successful, the study may highlight the value of remotely administered cognitive tests to identify cognitively unimpaired individuals at risk of Alzheimer’s and could promote equity in obtaining access to cognitive assessments at earlier stages of the disease.

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