INDIANAPOLIS -- The approach of the Indianapolis Discovery Network for Dementia -- with contributions from family members, community advocates, health care systems and researchers -- improves dementia care and informs dementia research, according to a new study by researchers from the Regenstrief Institute and the Indiana University Center for Aging Research.
"Collaborative dementia care -- sensitive to local needs and concerns -- combines human interaction of all those involved plus technology. Regular face-to-face meetings of caregivers, clinicians and researchers provide invaluable opportunities to balance human need and the flood of information as we develop and deliver new and innovative dementia care," said Regenstrief Institute investigator Malaz Boustani, M.D., MPH, associate director of the IU Center for Aging Research and IU School of Medicine associate professor of medicine. The senior author of the new study in Clinical Interventions in Aging, a peer-reviewed, open-access online journal, Dr. Boustani is founding director of the Indianapolis Discovery Network for Dementia and sees patients at the Wishard Healthy Aging Brain Center.
IDND's interdisciplinary open-source think-tank implementation of innovations short circuits the lengthy -- typically 17-years, according to Dr. Boustani -- research-to-practice timeline, bringing concepts that improve dementia care to patients in a fraction of that time. This "discovery-to-delivery" approach evolves to meet the changing needs of those it serves.
For example, IDND's Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden Scale, which evaluates the effects of common over-the-counter and prescription drugs on the aging brain, was developed, tested and put into clinical practice within four years. The Healthy Aging Brain Care Monitor, a "blood pressure cuff" for dementia put into patient care within two years of development, functions as a screening, diagnostic and management tool. Both tools a
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