New Technology for the prediction, early diagnosis, monitoring and support of patients with cognitive disorders and their caregivers.
Magda Tsolaki, MD, PhD, Neuropsychiatrist-Theologist, Professor and Director of the
1st Department of Neurology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Chair of Greek Federation of Alzheimer’s Disease, Chair of laboratory of Neurodegenerative Disease.
Our research is implementing high quality next generation services for the Prediction, Early Diagnosis, Monitoring, and Support of patients with Cognitive Impairment and their caregivers and Education and Training for all stakeholders. Prediction, Early Diagnosis and Monitoring: The first idea was to Research and Develop a novel System using motion detection devices, depth cameras, and intelligent objects of everyday use (ranging from cooking implements such as kitchen to furniture (e.g. sofa, bed, etc.) which are appropriately adapted in order to capture changes of subject's Activities of Daily Living -ADL- and behavioral patterns (including mobility, nutrition, exercising and medication schedule). We also demonstrated the potential of a virtual supermarket (VSM) cognitive training game as a screening tool for patients with MCI in a sample of older adults. We have indicated that this VSM application displayed a correct classification rate (CCR) of 87.30%, achieving a level of diagnostic accuracy similar to standardized neuropsychological tests, which are the gold standard for MCI screening http://www.en-noisis.gr / Support of patients: Cognitive tasks and cognitive exercises for patients suffering from Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's Disease (AD) through web-based applications. These exercises have been developed in such a way in order to exploit rich interactive multimedia interfaces (including music) based on human computer interaction principles. To this direction we are implementing a web based portal with supportive services such as (a) on-line monitoring of patient's progress by health care professionals, (b) statistical representation of patients' progress. Multimedia enriched cognitive exercises in virtual reality form (i.e. 3D Serious Games) use suitable modalities for such activities through the creation probable of new brain cells and by assisting the brain to find out alternative methods to execute functions, which are controlled by damaged brain regions. Another program the "robot-programming-as-cognitive-training" approach aims to explore the impact that the activity of programming a friendly robot might have on AD and MCI patients' condition. http://aspad.csd.auth.gr. REMEDES for Alzheimer - R4Alz battery, HAST test and Altoida are neuropsychological tests with different cognitive targets. Another study aimed at investigating the benefits of combined physical and cognitive training on global cognition while assessing the effect of training dosage and exploring the role of several potential effect modifiers. The results indicate that combined physical and cognitive training improves global cognition in a dose-responsive manner but these benefits may be less pronounced in older adults with mild dementia. The long-lasting impact of combined training on the incidence and trajectory of cognitive disorders in relation to its severity should be assessed in future long-term trials. www.longlastingmemories.eu. Symbiosis is a revolutionary system aiming at providing integrated solutions to a series of problems related with MCI and AD. It is the first integrated AD support system that takes into account patient's response in an adaptive way that fulfills each patient's special needs and provides to caregivers and doctors considerable facilitations, unlocking the potential of innovative supporting role. www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDkLz-T-jYE. Under the umbrella of EU funding we create a platform with 25 serious games (http://adgaming.ibv.org). Now we are working together with young students and elderly with cognitive problems in order to prepare games which elderly people will suggest under the umbrella of Erasmus Projects (Bridge). We also try to use body exercise in combination woth cognitive exercise in virtual environment (VRADA and VERN programs). Education and training for all stakeholders (i.e. health professionals and informal and formal caregivers) through distance education platforms and e-collaboration services. To augment this effort, the research team integrates biofeedback modules for stress measurement in teleconferences in order to support the emotional awareness of the participants. The depression, anxiety and burden of caregivers were reduced significantly in the same way as in a face to face intervention. (http://aspad.csd.auth.gr). In conclusion ICT can help health professionals and caregivers to support in a better way the patients with cognitive, functional and behavioral problems.