News and Events
RP-CNBI Collaboration with Researchers in Thailand
The RP-CNBI is collaborating with a team of researchers from the faculty of Nursing, Praboromarajchanok Institute, Thailand. This pilot project will be conducted at Boromarajonani College of Nursing, Udonthani and Chonburi. The focus of this project is to enhance the detection of age- and disease-related memory impairment across rural and urban regions of Thailand. This project evaluates the sensitivity of an object-location task that has been adapted to ensure cultural relevance. This task reflects the common concern about misplacing objects. Additionally, some participants will complete a treatment study that compares the effects of mnemonic strategy training relative to a matched exposure control condition using a randomized controlled trial format.
Few neuropsychological measures have been validated in the Thai culture, thus there is an urgent need to develop tools that can improve identification and diagnosis. This project aims to address this need and aims to inform future efforts to better identify and treat those with memory deficits in Thailand.
Symposium on Cognition Oriented Treatments (COTs) in Aging and Dementia
The RP-CNBI was proud to host the Cognition Oriented Treatments (COTs) in Aging and Dementia Symposium. Speakers from Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United States were joined by an engaged in-person crowd and over 120 attendees from around the world via Zoom. Topics ranged from mechanistic comparisons of COTs for memory and techniques for attention and executive dysfunction, with the final portion focusing on already available intervention programs.
We thank all the speakers, attendees, and the entire RP-CNBI team for making this event a success! Once edited, videos of the session will form a new module on Michigan Medicine's YouTube page.
Videos coming soon here, so check back regularly!
RP-CNBI Developing Novel Virtual Reality Paradigms
The RP-CNBI is developing immersive virtual reality (iVR) technology to assess a person’s ability to navigate through an environment. This approach lets people freely walk around virtual environments (e.g., a house or office) and makes it “feel” like they are actually in those environments. Because it more closely reflects navigation in the real world, this technology offers a vast improvement compared to our current approaches. Integrating iVR represents our commitment to precise measurement and understanding the real-world impact of cognitive deficits. We plan to begin our first iVR study in the next few months and are eager to work with those who are interested!
Walk to End Alzheimer’s 2022: RP-CNBI Team
The RP-CNBI recently participated in Washtenaw County’s 2022 Walk to End Alzheimer’s on October 9th, 2022, at Pioneer High School. The team, pictured above, raised a combined $2505 in donations for Alzheimer’s care, support, and research. We congratulate Program Manager Eileen Robinson, Dr. Annalise Rahman-Filipiak, and Research Technician Victor Di Rita on becoming members of the 2022 Champions Club by each raising over $500 in donations. We would like to thank all who participated in the Walk and a special thank you to all who donated to support this important cause.
Postdoc awarded best poster at AAIC
Dr. Jacob Kraft and colleagues won the Nonpharmacological Interventions PIA Best Postdoctoral Poster Award at AAIC 2022. This project systematically reviewed the literature of the use of tACS on cognitive function within older adults and those with neurodegenerative impairments. Studies demonstrate considerable variability in methodology and dosing parameters; however, tACS consistently showed changes in certain cognitive domains, especially in those with earlier disease progression.
Research Assistant Ashley Harrie Recently Published in Clinical Parkinsonism & Related Disorders
In a recent publication, Ashley Harrie and colleagues reported on cognitive contributions to fall risk in individuals with Parkinson's Disease (PD). Impairment on different components of a cognitive-ambulatory dual task showed different cognitive correlates, indicating that the cognitive domain involved may vary based on the ambulatory task in question. Read more here.
New Memory Training Publication!
Dr. Hampstead and colleagues recently reported key differences in the benefits of different memory training techniques. Moreover, these techniques engaged very different brain regions, which suggests the various approaches to memory training can be selected to better match individual strengths/weaknesses. Read more here.
New Grant Awarded!
Dr. Xiwen Gong (U-M Chemical Engineering) and Dr. Hampstead received a UM-MNI and UM-Biointerfaces 2022 Neuroregeneration and Cognition Seed Fund Award. With this award, the team will develop skin-adhesive wearable electrodes that can be used for neuromonitoring, brain disorder diagnosis, and treatment. The collaboration between Drs. Gong and Hampstead embodies interdisciplinary expertise across engineering and medicine. Together, they hope to address the prominent challenges in neuromonitoring and neuromodulation.
RP-CNBI work featured in several conferences
Dr. Rahman-Filipiak presented a compelling overview of her biomarker disclosure work at the Spring Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center meeting in Los Angeles, California. Her efforts to understand the types of research data participants want to receive as well as the sociocultural factors affecting those preferences generated a great deal of excitement in the audience and has already led to new collaborations!
In several recent conferences, Dr. Hampstead presented on cutting-edge methods being used in the RP-CNBI to develop personalized treatments for those across the dementia spectrum. He gave a Keynote address at the Beyond Amyloid conference hosted by the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center that focused on neuromodulation effects in those with Alzheimer’s disease. He then spoke to the Udall Parkinson’s Disease Center about non-pharmacologic interventions in those with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy Body Dementia. Finally, he provided a continuing education committee lecture for over 1,000 registered attendees that was sponsored by Today’s Geriatric Medicine and the Right at Home network.
Dr. Rahman-Filipiak and the Healthier Black Elder Center awarded the Statewide Building Capacity for Research and Action grant!
This funding will allow the RP-CNBI to build and strengthen partnerships with community members from Detroit, Flint, and other areas in Southeast Michigan. Part of the project will involve reaching out to past participants to gather feedback about opportunities to improve the work we are doing in the RP-CNBI. We will also be partnering with the Healthier Black Elders Center of Detroit/Flint and the Detroit Advisory Council to discuss some of the tools we regularly use in our biomarker testing and disclosure studies, with the goal of ensuring that our approach is inclusive and useful for all participants. Most importantly, this work will be the start of what we hope to be a longstanding conversation between our team and older adults living throughout Southeast Michigan and beyond. It is important that our work addresses the real experiences and priorities of the diverse communities around us. We are grateful for the opportunity to listen and learn from our partners so we can ally in addressing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias together!
New paper showing HD-tDCS “normalizes” brain communication
One of our newly published papers shows that HD-tDCS can improve the patterns of communication in the brains of those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Typically, brain networks in those with MCI tend to blend together as opposed to a more independent and separated pattern seen in cognitively intact older adults. However, our study found that brain networks involved in thinking became more independent following HD-tDCS and were actually at levels seen in older adults without MCI. Read more here.
RP-CNBI Collaborator Dr. Peltier receives new grant!
Dr. Scott Peltier and colleagues were recently awarded a new multi-year grant to evaluate the ability of machine learning statistical analyses of MRI data to enhance the diagnostic process in those with dementia. The study entitled, Deep Learning for Prediction of Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia of the Alzheimer’s Type, will begin in early 2022. Click here to learn more!
Brain Stimulation May Alter Neurotransmitter Levels!
A recent RP-CNBI publication, led by Dr. Ketrin Lengu, reported that high definition transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS) changed important neurotransmitter levels in the brains of older adults. Read more here!
Dr. Rahman-Filipiak Awarded K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award
Dr. Rahman-Filipiak on Receiving NIA Career Development Award
"I’m so pleased to be the recipient of a 5-year K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award from the National Institute on Aging. This award will catalyze the next stage of my training as an independent investigator in Alzheimer’s disease research through a combination of experiential and formal training, mentorship with the field’s experts, and study implementation. The project is focused on understanding whether disclosure of amyloid and tau PET imaging results to older adults with mild cognitive impairment leads to effective or maladaptive changes in health behaviors, advanced planning, and research engagement. Importantly, we’ll be examining the role of an important social determinant of health – culturally competent healthcare access – in post-disclosure behavior and psychological change for Black and white older adults.
This award is the result of three years of challenging work, not only on my part, but on the parts of my mentors. The submission and subsequent resubmission would never have been successful without the support and infrastructure provided by the MADRC REC Mentoring program and, in particular, my primary mentor Dr. Benjamin Hampstead. On a personal note, it also affords me the opportunity to translate my own experiences as a woman of color, as a caregiver, and as an individual with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease into tangible research and – hopefully – meaningful contributions to the way we think about biomarker disclosure as an intervention."
New Funding from the Alzheimer’s Association!
Dr. Alex Bahar-Fuchs was recently awarded a grant focusing on a novel non-pharmacological intervention, called “The Mind Your Nose” study. An inability to smell in older adults is a risk factor for cognitive decline and the development of dementia. Studies have shown that olfactory training (or “smell training”) leads to improved performance on one’s ability to smell and identify scents in both young and older adults. There is also evidence that this kind of training improves both smell and visual memory. The main question in this study is whether olfactory training will improve the sense of smell and memory in older adults with memory problems due to mild cognitive impairment. This trial provides an exciting new direction for cognitive treatment research, while directly targeting abilities that are important to our patients and participants. This study will be conducted at Dr. Bahar-Fuchs lab at the University of Melbourne.
Dr. Iordan Awarded Alzheimer's Association Research Fellowship
Investigation of Neural Plasticity Induced by Noninvasive Brain Stimulation
Dr. Alexandru D. Iordan was recently awarded an Alzheimer’s Association Research Fellowship (AARF) which supports postdoctoral fellows engaged in Alzheimer’s research and represents a career-transition award. The project will examine neuronal mechanisms underlying memory improvements following the delivery of a weak electrical current to the brain using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). One possible mechanism involves increasing levels of glutamate, a molecule important for efficient communication between neurons. Glutamate levels will be measured using a specialized technique called magnetic resonance spectroscopy. In this study, patients with mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease and cognitively intact older adults will perform a memory task while researchers record their brain activity. Comparing the participants’ brain activity and glutamate levels before and after tDCS will enable the assessment of neurometabolic mechanisms that support brain plasticity and provide potential tools for developing patient-centered treatments. The most exciting part of being an AARF fellow is the opportunity to build bridges between experimental research, translation to the clinic, and individualized treatments. This fellowship will be extremely instrumental for Dr. Iordan as an independent investigator. The resources provided by the Research Program on Cognition and Neuromodulation Based Interventions (RP-CNBI) and the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center (MADC) will be critical for the success of this project.
Dr. Hampstead receives a prestigious R35 Award from the National Institute on Aging!
Dr. Hampstead, the Stanley Berent, Ph.D. Collegiate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, was awarded a 5-year Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia (ADRD) leadership award that totals over $4.4 million. This award furthers Dr. Hampstead’s research on non-pharmacologic methods to improve cognitive, emotional, and functional deficits that occur following injuries and diseases that affect the brain. Dr. Hampstead and his team use cognition oriented treatments (e.g., cognitive rehabilitation, cognitive training) and neuromodulation (e.g., transcranial electrical stimulation - tES) to target dysfunctional brain regions/networks and enhance functioning. This award expands the available infrastructure and associated line of work, integrates a range of experts to enhance training for the next generation of clinician-researchers, and will identify best-practice guidelines for applying these interventions to older adults across the ADRD spectrum.
Dr. Hampstead Receives Named Professorship
The Board of Regents of the University of Michigan have named Dr. Hampstead the Stanley Berent, Ph.D., Collegiate Professor of Psychology. This prestigious honor is named after Dr. Stanley Berent, who held numerous leadership positions at both the University of Michigan and the VA Ann Arbor over his 25+ years of service and was widely respected for his work in Neurobehavioral Toxicology (click here for additional information about Dr. Berent). The Collegiate Professorship further enhances Dr. Hampstead’s ability to develop and solidify the vibrant and collaborative training and clinically-relevant goals of the RP-CNBI!
New RP-CNBI Study!
The RP-CNBI is excited to receive funding for a new project focused on sharing feedback about Alzheimer’s Disease biomarkers. New technology including positron emission tomography (PET) imaging has allowed researchers to identify individuals with significant amounts of Alzheimer’s disease proteins called amyloid and tau in their brains. This study, led by Dr. Rahman-Filipiak, will focus on how best to educate patients and their care partners about these amyloid and tau ‘biomarkers’ and the risks and benefits of learning about one’s biomarker status.
RP-CNBI has Published Several Relevant Articles
RP-CNBI faculty has collaborated with Ann Arbor VA and MADRC colleagues to produce several publications relevant to our Program. Highlighted is a study on how neuropsychologists were changing their practices in order to provide services during the global COVID-19 pandemic, as well as another paper investigating how well two cognitive tests from the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center measured symptoms typical of Lewy Body Dementia. Yet another manuscript describes some initial cognitive and functional brain changes observed in one of RP-CNBI's participants. Congratulations to the authors!
To see these or other recent publications, please click here.
Dr. Benjamin Hampstead is the new INS Continuing Education Chair!
Dr. Benjamin Hampstead was named the Continuing Education Chair for the International Neuropsychological Society (INS). The INS is an international organization of 4,500+ researcher-clinicians. In this role, Dr. Hampstead will oversee training-related activities for the membership and will be excited to increase education about non-pharmacologic interventions!
New Treatment-Focused Grant!
The RP-CNBI is thrilled to announce a new treatment-focused grant that Drs. Hampstead and Bohnen earned! This study focuses on Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB), which is one of the most common reasons for dementia. Patients with DLB experience unpredictable changes in their ability to pay attention and remain alert. These changes can reduce their ability to function independently and lead to safety concerns. This study uses a positron emission tomography brain scan to first identify the affected brain region(s) and then uses brain stimulation to target these same regions in an attempt to improve the individual’s functioning. Contact us to find out more!
The RP-CNBI is excited to support two new federally funded research studies led by Dr. Vikas Kotagal
Posted on September 16th, 2020
1) Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) is one of the most common reasons for dementia but is very difficult to detect early in the disease course. This study uses a positron emission tomography brain scan to evaluate the role of a common neurotransmitter, called serotonin, during the early stages of DLB. If successful, this approach could help identify patients earlier and, in the long-term, be used to identify those for future treatment-based studies.
2) Parkinson’s disease (PD) leads to dementia in the majority of individuals within 10 years. Unfortunately, there are no known treatment to reduce the risk of dementia, which is why this placebo-controlled double-blinded clinical trial evaluates whether the antidepressant citalopram alters disruptive changes that occur in the posterior brain regions (areas toward the back of the head) and reduces the risk of dementia. Click here to find out more!
Presentations at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (APA)!
Click Here to read more about Dr. Hampstead and Dr. Rahman's contributions and awards!
The RP-CNBI is Back Open and Seeing Participants
The Program is back open and the studies Merit and STIM are currently seeing participants. We have implemented new health and safety protocols to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please feel free to Contact Us if you are interested in enrolling!
Drs. Hampstead and Rahman-Filipiak Earn Promotions!
We are proud to announce that Dr. Rahman-Filipiak will be promoted to Assistant Professor – Instructional (tenure) Track effective July 1, 2020! Dr. Hampstead will be promoted to full Professor with tenure effective September 1, 2020!
Congratulations to both for this recognition of their hard work and success!
RP-CNBI published in Special Issue of the International Journal of Psychophysiology (INTPSY)
Posted on June 10th, 2020
The RP-CNBI members Dr. Benjamin M. Hampstead and Dr. Alex Bahar-Fuchs (University of Melbourne, Australia) have published a Special Issue of the International Journal of Psychophysiology (INTPSY) that focuses on Neurophysiologic impact of non-pharmacologic interventions for cognition. The combination of papers provides a wonderful example of how non-medication based treatments can actually change the way the brain is functioning. Dr. Hampstead published two papers in this Special Issue, one that reported increased brain activation after memory training in patients with mild cognitive impairment (also known as early stage Alzheimer’s disease) and the other highlighting the variability in brain stimulation effects for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder. Click here to learn more!
Dr. Hampstead speaks at NIA Session: Use of Neurotechnology in Normal Brain Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and AD-Related Dementias (ADRD)
Posted on April 28th, 2020
Research Assistant Marny Ehmann helps the Program publish an article in Brain Stimulation about t-DCS electrode reliabilityApril 10th, 2020
NIH-funded Study Reports Advance in Blood-Based Detection of ptau181, a biomarker of Alzheimer's DiseasePublished on March 2nd, 2020
The Program attends and presents at the International Neuropsychology Association Conference February 5-8th, 2020
Kayla's Acceptance to Ph.D. ProgramFebruary 1st, 2020
Our very own Program member, Kayla Rinna, has accepted a position at Eastern Michigan University’s Clinical Psychology doctoral program starting this Fall of 2020. Congratulations Kayla!