Early Testing Options for Memory Loss and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

The Alzheimer’s Association released its updated report on the cost of global dementia care, with a whopping headline number of $604 Billion. The report also predicts an 85% increase in dementia care cost during the next 20 years, which means over $1 Trillion by 2030. The developed world will absorb much of this price tag… Read More »

The Reality of Brain Injuries in Professional Football

A sports commentary from the LA Times shows the NFL’s half hearted approach to implementing new guidelines for handling concussions on the field. This $7.8 Billion industry has some interesting management and policy choices to make in the next few years. The NFL’s concussion management policies run counter to its own business interests, and there… Read More »

Cognitive Testing and Screening in Health Care

Cognitive testing in primary care settings like a doctor’s office or community health clinic is still a rare occurrence. While some health care practices are beginning to take notice of the need for preventive cognitive screening for conditions like memory loss and mild cognitive impairment (which could be the early stages of Alzheimer’s), most medical… Read More »

Portable EEG as a Diagnostic Screening Tool for TBI

Interesting work being done with field-ready, portable EEG systems that are being tested as TBI triage units in hospital emergency departments.  The software algorithms that drive these EEG systems are becoming so sophisticated that a lightweight, simple EEG test is nearly as accurate as a traditional (and expensive/heavyweight) CT scan for TBI related cognitive impairment.… Read More »

Cognitive Testing in Clinical Drug Trials

Formal cognitive testing in pharmaceutical trials is relatively new.  Up until 2000, most drug trial designs did not include any form of baseline and end point cognitive testing, even for drugs that act directly on the central nervous system (CNS). A significant push towards standardized cognitive assessments in clinical drug trials occurred in 2005 when… Read More »

Defining Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI)

The current issue of the European Journal of Neurology has an article on how to classify mild cases of Traumatic Brain Injury, or mTBI. Using the words mild and traumatic in the same definition seems a bit of an oxymoron, but the author reasonably uses the European Federation of Neurological Societies’ definition, which sets the… Read More »

ER Visits for Concussions in School Age Children

Interesting research study that looked at Emergency Room visits over a five year period for concussions in children ages 8-19.  About half of the 500,000 visits were for sports related brain injuries, including organized team sports and individual activities like snowboarding and cycling. Since a person’s brain is still developing well in the late 20s,… Read More »

Computerized Cognitive Testing in Research Labs

Most of the current paper-based cognitive assessment tests were developed and validated in psychology, neuroscience, and cognitive science lab settings over several decades.  Long term funding and some creative freedom in basic research provide an environment to prototype experiments and tests that can take many years to show results and validate outcomes. Basic research labs… Read More »