VeraSci attended CTAD 2018 in Barcelona, Spain – October 24-27. Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the greatest public health challenge we face today. Key leaders from industry, academia, and government agencies came together to examine the complexity, challenges, discoveries, and promise of a better future for patients and caregivers. Researchers across the globe are working together for a breakthrough that can ameliorate symptoms of AD or delay its onset, with the hope to one day eliminate this disease altogether.

Key topics this year at CTAD included:

  • Blood biomarkers for AD Clinical Trials
  • Challenges and opportunities associated with multiple BACE1 inhibitor trial results
  • Role of Aβ blood based tests as surrogate markers of cortical amyloid pathology
  • FDA guidance regarding endpoints for early AD
  • How BIG and GOOD data are revolutionizing research in AD

VeraSci presented two posters:

Poster 74 “Assessing decline in visuospatial working memory associated with subjective cognitive impairment using a tablet-based measure of hippocampal-dependent learning”

Authors: Alexandra S. Atkins, Anzalee Khan, Daniel Ulshen, John Harrison, Brenda L. Plassman, Kathleen A. Welsh-Bohmer & Richard S.E. Keefe

VeraSci presented the results of a recent study utilizing a novel tablet-based visuospatial working memory (VSWM) task to examine differences between healthy older adults with and without subjective cognitive decline (SCD). Our VSWM task, developed in collaboration with AD opinion leader John Harrison, assesses the ability to encode and maintain the identity and location of increasingly complex sequences of visual stimuli.

Statistically significant differences in VSWM performance were demonstrated between young adults (YAs), older adults (OAs) and older adults with SCD. Bonferroni post hoc tests showed a significant difference between the YA group, the OA group and the SCD group, with the OA group performing significantly worse than the YA group and the SCD group performing significantly worse than the OA group on three measures (p≤0.001 for all comparisons). Findings suggest that this brief assessment of visuospatial working memory may be sensitive to the earliest stages of cognitive impairment. The specificity of observed declines in hippocampal-dependent tasks such as this offer a link to underlying AD pathology not provided by more global cognitive screening instruments

Poster 87 “Predictive value and test-retest reliability of the tablet-based Brief Assessment of Cognition (BAC App) for assessment of cognition in aging: preliminary findings from an ongoing normative study”

Authors: Anzalee Khan, Alexandra S. Atkins, Daniel Ulshen, Ryan Bowser , Danela Balentin, Adam Vaughan, Heather Dickerson, Brenda L. Plassman, Kathleen A. Welsh-Bohmer, Richard S.E. Keefe

VeraSci presented results of a recent study utilizing is a brief tablet-based assessment of the paper-and-pencil based Brief Assessment of Cognition (BACS) assessing multiple cognitive domains, including verbal memory, working memory, motor function, verbal fluency, processing speed and executive function. VeraSci presented results examining criterion validity for the assessment of cognition in individuals with subjective cognitive decline by assessing the diagnostic sensitivity, specificity and test-retest reliability of the BAC App endpoints.

Psychometric analysis showed intra-class correlations (ICC) for the BAC App composite were strong, ICC>.80 for Young Adults, Older Adults, and individuals with Subjective Cognitive Decline (SCD). Each test had one measure that produced an ICC of 0.74 or greater for the SCD group. The lowest ICC was observed for the Tower of London for the Young Adult and Older Adult groups and the Token Motor for the Subjective Cognitive Decline group. When a cut-off point of 1.5 SD was used, individuals without SCD were accurately identified 86.89% of the time (specificity), with a 90% chance that this identification is accurate (NPV).Findings suggest that the BAC App has good test-retest reliability; individual subtests demonstrate higher test-retest for individuals classified with SCD. The BAC App has good discriminative validity in terms of specificity and predictive value for categorizing SCD.

Poster: CTAD BAC APP 2018

Poster: CTAD VSWM 2018