Remote Screening for Cognitive Impairment: Richard Gershon, PhD


The vice chair for research at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine discussed the Mobile Toolbox Battery that his team developed.

“One option may be to give this kind of test as an initial screen. It could potentially be self-administered—which is really the goal in this current project—or perhaps in a telemedicine environment in which a patient takes it on their phone under a doctor's supervision to make certain that the patient is taking it themselves.”

Early detection of cognitive impairment due to neurodegenerative disease may be achieved using a mobile application dubbed the Mobile Toolbox Battery (MTB), according to a study presented at the 2021 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting, April 17-22, by Sarah Pila, PhD, research assistant professor, Department of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Among investigators is senior author Richard Gershon, PhD, vice chair, research, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, who, with his colleagues, developed the MTB to safely, remotely, and effectively collect data from assessments that measure executive function, language, memory, and processing speed in adults. Assessments included in the battery are the Flanker, Face-Name (FNAME); Memory for Sequence (MFS); Picture Sequence Memory (PSM); and Vocabulary, Number Match, Spelling, and Dimensional Charge Card Sort (DCCS) tests.

NeurologyLive spoke to Gershon to learn more about future applications of the MTB and its potential as an initial screening tool for cognitive impairment. He also stressed the importance of making sure the patient is not distracted while taking the assessment.

For more coverage of AAN 2021, click here.

Pila S, Novak M, Weintraub S, et al. The Mobile Toolbox (MBT): A Completely Remote Platform for Cognitive Research. Presented at 2021 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting; April 17-22. Abstract P7.086
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