AB Nexus Grant Focuses on Early Detection of Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Can AI Detect Alzheimer’s Earlier? Two Researchers Combine Forces to Find Out

Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment – an early stage of memory or cognitive ability loss – have a particular challenge in their diagnosis and treatment: Only 16% of seniors receive regular cognitive screenings as part of their primary care, and as high as an estimated 95% of elderly patients with memory concerns don’t receive a diagnosis until the disease has significantly progressed.

About AB Nexus

AB Nexus, an initiative launched in 2020, has provided $2M to 30 collaborative intercampus teams that feature scientists, engineers and physicians at CU Boulder and the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. The program has proven to be a catalyst for bringing researchers together to tackle innovative projects, enabling them to gather data needed for success in their pursuit of extramural funding from NIH and other funding agencies.

With the fourth round of AB Nexus grants, Peter Pressman, MD, an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and Peter Foltz, PhD, a research professor with the Institute for Cognitive Science (ICS) at CU Boulder, are combining their respective backgrounds in clinical and research neurology and computation language and cognitive assessment to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) tool to improve the early detection of dementia.

In this Q&A, Pressman and Foltz explain the importance of detecting dementia early, previous research that has led to their current work, and how an AI tool could help patients through speech detection.

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