Indianapolis-based Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine will share with two other entities an $11 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to examine the effectiveness of an Alzheimer’s screening tool. The 5-minute screening tool assesses cognitive impairment and dementia.
The four partners will evaluate a test developed by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. The other partner is Montefiore Health system, which is associated with Einstein.
“Primary care physicians are on the front lines of caring for those with dementia, but it is challenging for them to make diagnoses—in fact, more than 50% of dementia cases are missed during primary care appointments,” said Dr. Malaz Boustani, co-principal investigator on the grant and the founding director of the Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Science at the IU School of Medicine. “The 5-Cog screening paradigm seeks to address this challenge by providing a tool that does not require special equipment or training, is inexpensive, available in English and Spanish, and takes only five minutes.”
The study will enroll 6,600 participants presenting with cognitive concerns in 22 primary care clinics in the Bronx and Indiana. Primary care teams will be prompted to give the assessment by the electronic medical record system.
The partners say it was designed for people from a range of racial and ethnic backgrounds, education levels and socioeconomic circumstances with the goal of reducing disparities in pre-dementia and dementia diagnosis and treatment and improving dementia care overall.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 6.5 million Americans older than 65 are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and the number is expected to rise to 12.7 million by 2040.