Wayne State Receives NIH Grant to Develop AD Diagnosis, Focusing on African Americans

Wayne State Receives NIH Grant to Develop AD Diagnosis, Focusing on African Americans
Voyko Kavcic, Ph.D., a Research Assistant Professor in the Institute of Gerontology at Wayne State University received a grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The grant consists of $420,000 over two years to support research on whether electroencephalograms (EEGs) and cognitive tests can detect early signs of AD. Kavic is particularly interested in detecting signs of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which can be an early sign of AD. MCI consists of subtle problems in language, mental functioning and memory. MCI usually does not create major problems with day-to-day functioning, so it can often be missed.  Detecting MCI is particularly important for elderly African Americans, who develop MCI and Alzheimer's twice as often as Caucasians, but are less likely to be treated earlier in the disease. "We want to develop affordable, comfortable ways to test for evidence of these disorders so it is easier for older African Americans," Kavcic said. "People with transportation or mobility problems shouldn't have to navigate large, confusing medical centers to get answers. Why not take the test to them?" Convenience may assist in testing African Americans. "This is a community-based approach," said Kavcic. "If we want more people to be diagnosed and treated, testing must be easy, fast, cheap and readily accepted. The tests we propose can be conducted in a church basement or a senior center. Older African Americans are at highest risk to develop Alzheimer's from MCI, so they are the priority." Kavcic is also working with collaborators Michigan Alzheime
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