The Study of Healthy Aging
& Applied Research Programs
Pennsylvania State University
Data Collection Ongoing:
Mobile Monitoring of Cognitive Change (M2C2)
This project is led by Dr. Martin Sliwinski at The Pennsylvania State University. This is a longitudinal study focused on understanding, and ultimately improving, cognitive and brain health across the adult lifespan. We will accomplish this goal by establishing an open, flexible, and sustainable infrastructure for assessing and tracking changes in cognitive function using pervasive mobile technology (e.g., smartphones). This is a five year project that is currently underway.
This project is led by Dr. Karlene Ball at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. This is a longitudinal study conducted in association with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration which began in 1998. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a brief driver screening battery in predicting crashes. The study contains both cross-sectional data (N=2366) of participants who were renewing their licenses and longitudinal data on a subsample who agreed to participant in additional assessments (N=1042). We are currently collecting 11th year data for our longitudinal component as well as adding additional participants to the study.
Data Collection Completed:
This project is led by Dr. Karlene Ball at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The Physical And Cognitive Exercise Study (PACES) is a longitudinal randomized trial to investigate the impact of cognitive and exercise training on later cognitive, physical, health and everyday functioning of older adults. Beginning in 2007, eligible participants (N=236) were randomized to one of four conditions: (1) processing speed training only; (2) exercise training only; (3) processing speed and exercise training; or (4) typical cognitively stimulating activities, which served as the control condition.
The Dynamic Analyses to Optimise Ageing project is led by Dr. Kaarin Anstey at the Australian National University in collaboration several universities and institutes throughout Australia. This project harmonized data from nine seperate longitudinal studies of aging and includes over 50,000 participants across twelve years. The broad goals of the project are to (1) Forecast health and functional status in the context of population ageing over the next 20 years; (2) Identify potential interventions within population target groups and estimate the associated costs and benefits of the extent to which risk reduction may prevent disease in order to compress morbidity and delay mortality, thus increasing social and economic participation; (3) Contribute a state-of-the art, innovative resource for government and researchers, with the potential for wider application in identifying factors that will optimize healthy and productive ageing at both the individual and population levels; and (4) Ensure the effective implementation of research findings by engaging with government, consumers and industry. For more information, please see http://dynopta.anu.edu.au/index.php.
This project is led by Dr. David Vance at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. MAPS (Mental Aging and Performance Study) is a multi-faceted study examining how older and younger adults with and without HIV differ on neuropsychological performance and how such performance impacts everyday functioning and quality of life. Furthermore, certain aspects of the project are also examining whether speed of processing training improves such neuropsychological and everyday functioning in adults with HIV.
This project is led by Dr. David Vance at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The purpose of the ACES study was to: (1) examine cognitive performance differences in older and younger adults with and without HIV, and (2) determine if such differences were related to a laboratory measure of instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). Ninety-eight HIV-positive (69 younger, 29 older) and 103 HIV-negative (84 younger, 19 older) adults were evaluated on a number of cognitive measures. Controlling for a number of confounders, age by HIV status interactions were found on two cognitive measures, indicating poorer cognitive performance for those aging with HIV. Poorer performance on these cognitive measures corresponded with poorer performance on the Timed Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (TIADL) test. These findings suggest that as adults age with HIV, they may be at risk for cognitive declines that would impair their ability to engage in activities important for maintaining independent living.
This project was led by Dr. Karlene Ball at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The Staying Keen In Later Life (SKILL) study began in 2000 and investigated the impact of processing speed training against computer exercises (control condition) in persons who demonstrated poor processing speed at baseline (N=213). In addition, baseline measures were collected on a subsample of persons without poor processing speed. In 2004, a follow-up study occurred that collected three-year data on all available SKILL participants over the phone.
Senior Driver Research Study
This project was led by Dr. Karlene Ball at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. This project was conducted in collaboration with one of our industry partners beginning in 2004. Alabama drivers aged 75 and older (N=2931) were invited to participate in this study investigating the effectiveness of the Useful Field of View (UFOV®) test in predicting later crashes and other driving outcomes, such as driving cessation. Beginning in 2008, participants who did not pass the assessment were allowed to take part in processing speed training that could be completed either online or in collaborating facilities across the state.
Senior Driver Research Study - Long Form
This project was led by Dr. Lesley Ross while at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. This project ran in conjunction with the larger Senior Driver Research Study. Between 2005 and 2007, consented participants (N=255) were given an additional series of questionnaires that collected data on mental status, personality traits, additional driving and transportation habits, life events, social networks, depressive symptoms, and medical/ psychological health. Longitudinal data is available for some participants (i.e., if participants returned to the Senior Driver Research Study).
This project is led by Dr. Virginia Wadley at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The goal of this Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) project was to examine everyday functions with direct ramifications for autonomy and safety (e.g., driving and financial skills) among individuals at risk for dementia and functional decline by virtue of their diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). MILES began in 2004 and included 164 participants. Longitudinal analyses are currently underway.
The longitudinal Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) study investigates the impact of three cognitive training programs (reasoning, memory and speed of processing) on the cognitive and everyday functioning of older adults. The study began in 1998 and enrolled 2802 participants across six sites throughout the United States. We have recently completed collecting data for the ten year follow-up.
The Macular Degeneration Project is a study that is investigating if cognitive training can result in neural changes within the visual cortex for adults with Macular Degeneration. Evidence of such neural plasticity may result in potential new directions for persons with reduced vision. Of particular interest is a translation of this training to improved daily functioning and mobility outcomes. This project is led by Dr. Visscher in close collaboration with Dr. Ross. It is funded by the UAB Center for Clinical and Translational Science, The Dana Foundation, and is also supported by the UAB Roybal Center for Translational Research on Aging and Mobility.
Status: Data Collection is Complete; Data Analysis is Ongoing