Medinteract Co-Founder – Speaks at Knoxville Event

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Hundreds of people were at Sevier Heights Baptist Church Thursday to hear what a leading Alzheimer’s specialist had to say about the degenerative brain disease.

Dr. John Dougherty, with Cole Neuroscience Center at UT Medical Center, not only talked, he listened as people of all ages shared their stories about life with a loved one struggling with the mind-robbing disease.

Knoxville News Sentinel – Hundreds turn out to hear Alzheimer’s Expert

WATE TV Knoxville, TN – Alzheimer’s Expert Shares His Knowledge at Knoxville Event

Reports on Alzheimer’s Disease in Knoxville, TN

Below are number of recent news reports on Alzheimer’s disease from Knoxville, TN:

WBIR-TV’s Robin Wilhoit interviews Janice Wade-Whitehead & Board member Dr. Monica Crane

Knox News Sentinel interviews Programming Director Linda Johnson about early onset dementia

WBIR-TV (NBC) interviews local family who wants Pat to know she has a bigger team now

WATE-TV (ABC) interviews local woman about her mother’s fight with Alzheimer’s

 

  • News
  • November 5th, 2010

Medicare’s New Annual Wellness Visit Promotes Cognitive Screening

In what is both breaking and outstanding news for the future of Alzheimer’s disease, Medicare has announced that, beginning January 1, 2011, all beneficiaries must be screened for cognitive impairment as part of their annual wellness visit, another component that will now be mandatory for Medicare beneficiaries.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued final regulations for implementation of an important provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which will include for the first time an annual wellness benefit for all Medicare beneficiaries beginning January 2011. This Medicare preventive service benefit is significant for the growing number of baby boomers who will soon be reaching the age of Medicare eligibility. It is also particularly important to the Alzheimer’s Association and the more than 5 million Americans it represents because an assessment for the detection of cognitive impairment will be a mandatory part of this annual wellness visit.

Medinteract has long been an advocate for the critical need for regular and early warning screening for Alzheimer’s and dementia. In July, 2010 Medicare began reimbursing physicians for using the Computerized Self Test for cognitive impairment screening in their offices, for those patients presenting with memory concerns. As part of the new regulation it appears that Medicare will not only reimburse for screening of each beneficiary annually, but will require this (or similar) test be performed by their physician.

The Computerized Self Test (CST), a groundbreaking online screen for Alzheimer’s disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), is one of the only tests available today which screens all six of the cognitive domains, something we now know to be critical for understanding ones level of cognition. With over 98% accuracy (clinical trials to date) the CST distinguishes between impaired and non-impaired persons. The CST also provides a level of cognitive detail the primary care physicians (PCP) have not had available from other tests. Using the CST’s computer-generated results, the PCP can now assess exactly which cognitive domain(s) show impairment, as well as severity of the impairment. Patients can be quickly and accurately categorized according to one of 5 groups: normal, MCI, mild, moderate or severe AD.

Armed with this level of detail the PCP can offer an individualized plan of care to each patient, based on their unique level of cognitive function, and upon retest, can accurately assess the efficacy of the existing treatment and adjust interventions, as necessary. This is a tremendous step forward in changing the face of Alzheimer’s disease, a move Medinteract hopes will radically reduce the estimated 60% of persons with Alzheimer’s who are currently going undiagnosed in the primary care setting, during a pivotal time when existing treatments are most effective.

For more information on the CST, please read our validation study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in April, 2010. For questions or information on integrating the CST into your medical practice please contact us.

  • News
  • April 13th, 2010

ABC World News: Driving With Alzheimer’s

Dr. Dougherty was featured on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer April 12, discussing his research on driving with Alzheimer’s, in the driving simulator from the University of Tennessee. You can read the full story on the ABC site here, or watch the video below. If you are concerned that you or a loved one may have signs of early Alzheimer’s, you  may take the early warning screen, developed by Dr. Dougherty, here.

  • News
  • April 12th, 2010

Medinteract Founder on ABC World News Tonight

Dr. John Dougherty will be interviewed tonight on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, to discuss his Alzheimer’s research, using the driving simulator at The University of Tennessee and Cole Neuroscience Center. You can read the original story, aired on Knoxville ABC-affiliate WATE here.

  • News
  • April 6th, 2010

Driving Simulator To Help Alzheimer’s Patients

ALZselftest creator, Dr. John Dougherty, is leveraging the new driving simulator at the University of Tennessee to conduct some very important research on driving and Alzheimer’s disease.  You can read the full story from WATE here.  Please note the Lenoir City Forget Me Not 5k benefits Dr. Dougherty’s research. If you are in the Knoxville area, please plan to join us!

“Some people with severe memory problems have a difficult time remembering how to get home. They get lost in the car,” Dr. Dougherty says. “But also other things happen in Alzheimer’s disease. That is, one’s attention can be affected. You might see a dog or a child run across the street and may not be able to react as quickly.”

Dr. Dougherty hopes to start testing his patients in the simulator within the next couple of months.

Lenoir City is hosting the Forget Me Not 5K for Alzheimer’s on Saturday April 17. All proceeds will go toward Dr. Dougherty’s research at UT.

The Alzheimer’s Association is holding a Memory Walk in Knoxville the same day.

  • News
  • March 31st, 2010

Knoxville News Sentinel – Detecting Dementia

Front page article in the Knoxville News Sentinel – Test developed by UT doc and his son screens for Alzheimer’s March 31, 2010

  • News
  • March 29th, 2010

Latest News Links for Computerized Self Test

Here is the latest list of sites featuring articles on the Computerized Self Test, or, the ALZselftest.com:

On PubMed.gov

From Science Daily

New Article on Computerized Self Test from Medscape

From The Behavioral Medicine Report

From WATE.com

  • News
  • March 19th, 2010

New Online Test May Help Detect Alzheimer’s Sooner

From WATE News in Knoxville, TN.  Get the whole story here.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A new online test developed in Knoxville may help with earlier diagnoses of Alzheimer’s disease.

An estimated 5 million people have Alzheimer’s disease and the latest studies show up to 60 percent go undiagnosed until it’s too late to do much about it.

It’s a progressive and fatal disease of the brain that destroys brain cells, causing memory loss and problems with thinking and behavior.

The simple, interactive test is posted on the Web sitealzselftest.com. It only takes 10 minutes and costs just under $20.

Your answers reveal important information about your mental functions.

The test is a sort of fitness test for the brain. It starts with questions like what year is it? What month? What week?

Then the questions progress to dig deeper into what’s going on in your brain.

At UT Medical Center’s Cole Neuroscience Center, researcher Rex Cannon, with UT Knoxville, and Dr. John Dougherty with the, UT Graduate School of Medicine, developed the test to get more people diagnosed in time to make a difference in their quality of life.

“It’s so important, if not critical, for people to come early for evaluation. That’s why we’ve been so interested in developing this test that people can access online. Or if they’re not computer literate a loved one, family member, can help them with the computer interface,” Dr. Dougherty says.

“Nobody is really afraid of the test and I think that’s important they don’t feel alienated, kind of comfortable taking it. It speaks to the patient with verbal instructions so that’s important,” Cannon says.

After you take the test, if you show early signs of Alzheimer’s disease, you can take the results to your doctor.

  • News
  • March 3rd, 2010

New Alzheimer’s Test Offers Better Opportunities for Early Detection

KNOXVILLE – Early detection is key to more effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of cognitive impairment, and new research shows that a test developed by researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is more than 95 percent effective in detecting cognitive abnormalities associated with these diseases.

The test, called CST — for computerized self test – was designed to be both effective and relatively simple for medical professionals to administer and for patients to take.

Rex Cannon, an assistant professor of psychology at UT Knoxville, and Dr. John Dougherty, an associate professor in the UT Graduate School of Medicine, worked with a team of researchers to develop CST. The impetus for the test came from data showing that 60 percent of Alzheimer’s cases are not diagnosed in the primary care setting, and that those delays lead to missed treatment opportunities.

“Early detection is at the forefront of the clinical effort in Alzheimer’s research, and application of instruments like CST in the primary care setting is of extreme importance,” said Cannon.

The CST is a brief, interactive online test that works to asses various impairments in functional cognitive domains – in essence, it’s a fitness test of sorts for the basic functions of thinking and processing information that are affected by Alzheimers and milder forms of cognitive impairment.

Cannon and Dougherty’s research, published in the April issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, showed that the CST was substantially more effective and more accurate in detecting the presence of Alzheimer and other forms of cognitive impairment in patients than other existing tests. The CST had a 96 percent accuracy rate compared to 71 percent and 69 percent for the tests that are currently in use.

Part of the goal in developing the test, according to Cannon, was to ensure that the test is useful in the primary care setting, where physicians may not have detailed training in recognizing cognitive impairments, but where an early diagnosis may do the most good for patients.

“Computerized testing is a developing and exciting area for research,” said Cannon, who noted that the test can provide an objective way to determine what diseases may affect the patient and provide information to begin treatments that can blunt the effects of Alzheimer’s.

Cannon and Dougherty, who are also affiliated with the Cole Neuroscience Institute at the UT Medical Center, collaborated with Medical Interactive Education in developing the CST over the past two years.

The journal article is titled “The Computerized Self Test (CST): An Interactive, Internet Accessible Cognitive Screening Test For Dementia,” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 20 (1) and The test can be found at www.alzselftest.com.