Defense Automated Neurobehavioral Assessment (DANA) for Mild Dementia: Pilot Study

Corinna E. Lathan, PhD, PE AnthroTronix, Inc


The DANA application is a DoD funded platform for testing cognitive impairment in deployed service members. Understanding that cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s patients is similar in some manners to cognitive impairment in other disease, this study seeks to ask whether an existing and vetted technology in another health condition can be leveraged to aid Alzheimer’s patients and care partners.

Project Details

The partnership study refines an existing DoD-funded technology developed for battlefield cognitive testing following concussive injuries and translates its use for clinical and in-home monitoring of cognitive performance.  Notably, the grant tests both patients and caregivers, providing feedback related to reaction time.  The assessments embedded in the platform consist of a suite of standard neuropsychological tests deployed with android smartphone technologies.   The initial study involves clinical trial patient/care-giver pairs in order to develop necessary reference datasets.

If successful, mobile health technologies stand to significantly streamline the process of recruiting patients into clinical trials.  By screening patients with a rapid, low cost technology, researchers can be aided in their decisions of whether or not to deploy expensive and labor intensive imaging or neuropsychological tests in an effort to recruit a given patient. 

Testing of caregivers is currently not well-linked to studies of patient health.  This project presents an exceptionally innovative view of monitoring patient and caregiver health.