New Virtual Study to Assess Cognitive Toll of Caregiving
Early Alert and Call Out for Caregivers to Guard Their Health
WASHINGTON, D.C.— A pioneering online health study to assess the cognitive toll of Alzheimer’s and dementias caregiving using online brain performance tests was officially announced today at a ReACT/AARP event. Employers from more than 75 corporations, academic institutions, non-profits and government attended the event, which was held at AARP’s Washington, DC headquarters.
The 21CBT®/Caregiver Health-eBrain Study is the first of its kind to characterize the brain health profile of caregivers as measured by Lumosity’s cognitive assessment, Brain Performance Test (BPT), in caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, compared with aggregate scores of the general population. This one-time, online self-assessment takes less than 30 minutes to complete.
The virtual study brings together three Alzheimer’s non-profits that form the 21st Century BrainTrust® (21CBT), Lumosity, a leading brain training program, and AnthroTronix, an innovator in the field of mobile health technology as well as other prominent Alzheimer’s-serving organizations.
Open to the first 10,000 caregivers, the 21CBT/Caregiver Health-eBrain Study can be accessed via the websites of the 21st Century BrainTrust partners or directly through www.health-ebrainstudy.org.
Changes in cognitive efficiency are closely linked and can occur with depression, fatigue, stress, and long-term chronic illness. This impact is particularly severe for caregivers of individuals with complex chronic conditions like Alzheimer’s and other dementias, two-thirds of whom are women. The physical, mental and emotional burden over time can take as much as ten years off a family caregiver’s life. It also can increase the caregiver’s own risk for dementia.
“Over fifteen million unpaid individuals provide care to the 5.4 million victims with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. We form the backbone of all unpaid long-term care in the U.S. What happens to our loved ones if something happens to us?” said Meryl Comer, President of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative, founding partner of the 21st Century BrainTrust, and the author of Slow Dancing with a Stranger: Lost and Found in the Age of Alzheimer’s.
“We believe the 21CBT/Caregiver Health-eBrain Study serves to support the caregiver community and advance research at the same time,” said Stacy Haller, CEO of BrightFocus® Foundation and founding partner in the 21st Century BrainTrust. “This is a new avenue of science, one that begins to engage caregivers in the research process for themselves and their loved ones.”
George Vradenburg, co-founder of USAgainstAlzheimer’s, and convener of the CEOi (Global CEO Initiative Against Alzheimer’s Disease) added, “Our 21CBT mission is to stimulate a three-way connection between a new generation of technology innovation, the scientific community, and public support for virtual research to design successful mobile health interventions for caregiver and patient support.”
The 21st Century BrainTrust® (21CBT®) consists of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative, BrightFocus® Foundation, USAgainstAlzheimer’s, and its scientific advisor, Cleveland Clinic/Lou Ruvo Brain Institute.
Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative: Catalytic donor philanthropy that promotes innovation in early diagnosis and AD prevention. Funded by the Geoffrey Beene Foundation since 2008, it has launched major innovation challenges, national public service campaigns and led the formation in 2012 of the non-profit partnership, 21st Century BrainTrust.
USAgainstAlzheimer’s: Leader in marshaling political will toward combating Alzheimer’s. One of only 12 non-governmental members of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act Advisory Council, USAgainstAlzheimer’s is also co-convener of the Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease, and Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s Disease (LEAD Coalition), a coalition of 67 organizations from the business and civic sectors.
BrightFocus® Foundation: Cure in Mind. Cure in Sight. A non-profit organization supporting research and public education to help eradicate brain and eye diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. BrightFocus supports innovative, catalytic scientific research around the globe.
Lumosity: America’s leading brain training company with more than 60 million members, and paying subscribers from 180 countries. Founded in 2005 and launched in 2007, Lumosity offers more than 40 games that are designed to challenge core cognitive abilities. Lumosity games are based on neuroscience, with continuing independent third-party studies being conducted by researchers at academic institutions around the world. Lumosity is headquartered in San Francisco, CA.
AnthroTronix: An award-winning research and development company with a broad base of patented Intellectual Property and innovative product offerings in the health IT sector. Founded in 1999 by biomedical engineering and robotics experts, AnthroTronix develops advanced technologies that are defining the future of mobile health technology.
National Alliance for Caregiving: A national, non-profit coalition of nearly 50 nationwide organizations focused on advancing family caregiving through research, innovation and advocacy. Through supporting public policy research, coalition building, and education, the Alliance has supported America’s nearly 66 million family caregivers since 1996.
Home Instead Senior Care: Home Instead Senior Care is the world’s leading provider of in-home care services for seniors with more than 1,000 independently owned and operated franchises. The network is estimated to provide more than 50 million hours of care annually throughout the United States and 16 other countries. On top of in-home care, Home Instead Senior Care provides online support and education to millions of visitors to help enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. www.homeinstead.com www.helpforalzheimersfamilies.com www.caregiverstress.com
Caring.com: With more than two million unique visitors per month, Caring.com is a leading senior care resource and flagship resource for Alzheimer's caregiving (the first of its kind when it launched in October 2010): www.caring.com/steps-stages/alzheimers. A Bankrate company, Caring.com is headquartered in San Mateo, CA.
Caregiver Action Network: Serving a broad spectrum of family caregivers ranging from the parents of children with special needs, to the families and friends of wounded soldiers; from a young couple dealing with a diagnosis of MS, to adult children caring for parents with Alzheimer’s disease. Non-profit organization providing education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers free of charge.
Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s Disease (LEAD Coalition): Sixty-seven member-organization national coalition including patient advocacy and voluntary health non-profits, philanthropies and foundations, trade and professional associations, academic research and clinical institutions, home and residential care providers, and biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Co-convened by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America and USAgainstAlzheimer’s. Working collaboratively on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias to accelerate transformational progress in research, detection and diagnosis, care and support. More information is available at: www.leadcoalition.org.
Leeza’s Care Connection. We connect caregivers to the resources, programs and support services needed to adjust to, and thrive on the ever-changing path presented by caring for a friend or family member. We teach caregivers to call on their courage and summon their strength; encouraging and coaching our guests to be Warriors of Wellness (WoW), those who take ownership of their intellectual, physical, and emotional health. Our services are free. www.LeezasCareConnection.org.