Memory Keepers Receive Grant to Optimize Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease

The University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth Campus – Memory Keepers-Medical Discovery Team (MK-MDT), has been awarded $440,000 through a National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging R21 research grant. This funding will support a two-year pilot study with the MK-MDT’s Industry partner, CareBand, to optimize a Life-Space Performance Metric for monitoring and early detection of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias in Rural and Indigenous communities. This grant represents an MK-MDT collaborative effort involving all MK-MDT investigators, Drs. Wayne Warry (PI) and Kristen Jacklin, Dr. Sriraam Natarajan, University of Texas, Dallas and Mr. Adam Sobol, Founder and CEO of CareBand. 

The two-year pilot study will involve people with dementia and their caregivers, living in rural Northern Minnesota and Indigenous participants in Wiikwemkoong Unceded First Nation on Manitoulin Island, Ontario and the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa in Minnesota. Our research recognizes the need to develop commercially viable sensor-based technologies for aging-in-place in a cost-effective, culturally sensitive, and ethical manner. Our long-term goal is to use the optimized Life-space metric to track cognitive decline from pre-clinical subjective cognitive complaints through all stages of ADRD for geographically and culturally diverse populations.