New Grant Supports Emory Brain Health Center

11/15/2018

 A new paradigm-shifting program at the Emory Brain Health Center aims to tackle early declines in memory, a condition that affects up to 20 percent of Americans over age 64 and is expected to double to 88.5 million by the year 2050.  

MCI-1-(1).jpgThe Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) Empowerment Program is made possible by $23.7 million in grants from the James M. Cox Foundation and Cox Enterprises. The program will combine research, clinical care, patient and caregiver support while empowering patients to take an active role in their health and wellness.  

Often a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease, MCI is a distinct, early decline in memory and the ability to think. In partnership with Georgia Institute of Technology’s Institute for People and Technology and the SimTigrate Design Lab in the College of Design, the MCI Empowerment Program intends to improve the everyday lives of patients and their families, and to develop more effective, evidence-based therapies.  

The program will include a therapeutic day program for participants and caregivers, new technologies and innovations, research outcomes based on real-world function and an environment that empowers individuals and their families to take control over their health.    

“This is a heartbreaking disease. We’re excited about the work Allan Levey and his team are doing and hope our gift helps improve the lives of those affected and their families,” said Jim Kennedy, Chairman, Cox Enterprises. 

“These generous gifts, in collaboration with partners such as Georgia Tech, will allow Emory to continue its quest to pioneer new technologies, engage in collaborative research and transform traditional approaches to the diagnosis, care and treatment of MCI,” said Jonathan S. Lewin, MD, CEO of Emory Healthcare.   

“The Cox gifts are allowing us to greatly accelerate our efforts to improve the lives of our patients and their families. The MCI Empowerment Program presents an unprecedented opportunity for us to fill a gap in research and care while developing innovations that can be used worldwide,” said Allan Levey, MD, PhD, director of the Goizueta Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. 

According to Levey, lifestyle and behavioral research will be a major focus of the MCI Empowerment Program. Learning more about patterns of exercise, diet, sleep, socialization and other activities has tremendous potential to impact the disease and the quality of life of affected individuals and their families. 

This partnership brings together expertise and resources from Georgia Tech’s “Aware Home” and Oregon Health and Science University, with the intention of innovating new technical approaches to increase our understanding of the daily experience of MCI and to invent new ways of supporting the independence of people with MCI and quality of everyday activities for them and their families, according to Elizabeth Mynatt, PhD, executive director of Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology. 

The MCI Empowerment Program will be offered during patient evaluations at the Emory Brain Health Center’s Cognitive Disorders Clinic, part of Emory’s Goizueta Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.   

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