The director of the Montefiore Einstein Center for the Aging Brain provided insight on expanding the use of the 5-Cog tool, and whether it can be used for other conditions like HIV or COVID-19. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]
WATCH TIME: 3 minutes
"I’m hoping at the end of the current trial, our results are positive and lead to it being adopted more widely across the nation. I think the primary focus, no pun intended, is primary care clinics, because that is the front lines where most patients come in."
In early December 2022, the National Institutes of Health awarded a $11 million grant to investigators at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Montefiore Health System and Indiana University School of Medicine, to evaluate the 5-Cog assessment. This tool, developed by those at Einstein, is used for assessing cognitive impairment and potential risk of dementia, with a focus on individuals with various racial and ethnic backgrounds, education levels, and socioeconomic circumstances.
As the population continues to age, the number of patients with neurocognitive disorders like Alzheimer disease, are expected to increase with it. Additionally, with the shortage of neurologists relative to patients, the responsibility of detecting and responding to the first cognitive changes typically falls in the hands of primary care physicians on the front lines. Neurologists will then diagnose AD or its precursor, mild cognitive impairment, after a lengthy evaluation.
Spanning across 22 primary care clinics in the Bronx and Indiana, the new study will enroll 6,600 participants who will be graded as either normal or abnormal based on results, with follow-up care teams provided to assess potential next steps for treatment and support. To learn more about the clinical utility of the tool, and whether it can be applied broadly across hospitals nationwide, NeurologyLive® spoke to Joe Verghese, MBBS, MS, director of the Montefiore Einstein Center for the Aging Brain. Verghese provided his thoughts on the ease of the 5-Cog assessment, and whether it could be potentially be applied to other conditions such as HIV or COVID-19 brain fog.