Aging and Geriatrics Projects 2022

Examining COVID-19 Positivity Trends in Lifestyle Retirement Community

Faculty Mentor’s Name: Dr. Carla VandeWeerd
Email: cvandeweerd@ufl.edu
Phone Number: (352) 247-2493
Project Category: Clinical
International Component or Travel: Yes

Research Project Description:

Understanding the Utility of an Innovative Wearable Technology to Detect and Monitor Cognitive Decline

Faculty Mentor’s Name: Dr. Carla VandeWeerd
Email: cvandeweerd@ufl.edu
Phone Number: (352) 247-2493
Project Category: Translational
International Component or Travel: Yes

The UFHealth: Precision Health Research Center (PHRC) – The Villages is dedicated to promoting brain health in older adults and has begun a project that focuses on better understanding the utility of an innovative wearable technology to detect and monitor cognitive decline. The Villages FL, is the largest active-lifestyle community in the United States, consisting of over 135,000 residents over the age of 55. Due to an aging population, members of our community are at an elevated risk for developing different forms of Dementia such as, Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). As of 2021, an estimated 6.2 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s and within Sumter County there are approximately 16,000 people living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. As the number of older Americans continue to grow, so will the number of new and existing cases of AD. It is projected that by 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with AD may grow to 12.7 million. These numbers place a significance on the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or cure AD. Understanding the relationship between aging and brain health can help older adults in our community and beyond maintain and improve their quality of life, by increasing awareness and introducing early interventions to prevent or reduce cognitive impairment.

The individual choosing to collaborate with our center would have an opportunity to participate under the mentorship of Dr. Carla VandeWeerd and senior coordinators at the Center in a unique academic-industry partnership. This is a longitudinal, single-site study to determine the effect size to power an FDA pivotal study on using multimodal EEG and neurovascular measures captured by the Applied Cognition S1 band, and the reaction time measurements captured by the Longevity phone app, as prognostic and monitoring biomarkers of Early AD. In support of this goal, this study will examine the efficacy of 1) using multimodal EEG and neurovascular measures captured by the Applied Cognition S1 band, and 2) the reaction time measurements captured by the Longevity phone app, as prognostic and monitoring biomarkers of Early Alzheimer’s Disease (EAD).

Responsibilities:

The PHRC is expecting capable individuals to assist with clinical research data management, sample collection and processing, interpretation of data, and developing statistical models, data collection systems, and other strategies that optimize statistical efficiency and quality. This allows for the rapid dissemination of information about cognitive health through publications, conferences, and policy briefs. This individual will be required to follow regulatory standards while developing targeted databases and participating in existing cognitive health research data analytics. We also expect to inform public policy through dissemination activities (e.g., research abstracts, manuscripts, data briefs) to briefly explicate clinical data to various professional and lay community groups. Other responsibilities of this position include participant recruitment, which is an important aspect of the project. The individual will brainstorm and execute community outreach techniques, assist with survey completion, and host community events. The Center will provide support and guidance to students undertaking this work, alongside exposure to industry and community partners, with broad aims to:

Specific Aim 1: Understand the relationship and health implications of diseases affecting brain health, including assisting in examining research questions based on early findings from the study.
Specific Aim 2: Submit an academic work product (e.g. data brief, manuscript, conference abstract) for review under the mentorship of Dr. VandeWeerd and senior research members of the PHRC.

Outcome of Nursing Home Patients Treated by Physicians, Physician Assistants, or Nurse Practitioners

Faculty Mentor’s Name: Dr. Paul Katz
Email: pkatz498@gmail.com
Phone Number: (850) 644-1543
Project Category: Literature Review
International Component or Travel: Yes

FSU College of Medicine Geriatrics Department

Research Project Description:

The prevalence of physician assistants and nurse practitioners is rapidly increasing in the geriatric setting. This project will be a systematic review that attempts to highlight the roles that these providers have in geriatric patient care, the differences in patient outcomes, and what areas require more research moving forward. A large database search will be conducted and chosen articles will be screened to include only those that aim to answer the question of interest. Included studies will be analyzed and all relevant data will be organized into tables for statistical analysis and inclusion in the final manuscript. The medical student, Noah, will be responsible for screening all articles, analyzing relevant studies, making tables, extracting pertinent data and inputting it in the tables that will eventually be included in the final manuscript.