Savonix and Boston University School of Public Health Launch Landmark Population Health Alzheimer’s Disease Discovery Study (ASSIST) to Digitally Collect Brain Health Data
– First-ever wholly digital population health study that captures data from multiple wearable technologies together with sensitive neuropsychology tests to examine how risks for dementia cluster to produce diseases like Alzheimer’s
– Study will digitally collect cognitive data, health history and lifestyle tracking data from 400,000 individuals
– Study data will power first time knowledge of how lifestyle factors that increase dementia risk cluster to produce cognitive changes across the life span, with the long-term goal to identify pathology and accelerate drug development in Alzheimer’s disease
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Savonix, a global leader in digital tests for cognitive health, and Boston University School of Public Health, one of the nation’s leading schools of public health, announced today the launch of a landmark population health study in dementia.
The Alzheimer’s Disease Discovery Study (ASSIST) Study will digitally collect cognitive data, health history and lifestyle tracking data from 400,000 individuals. The study data will power first time knowledge of how lifestyle factors that increase dementia risk cluster to produce cognitive changes across an individual’s life space, to accelerate early intervention efforts and drug development in Alzheimer’s disease.
The study will ask people to complete a short health history form with information on risk factors for the development of dementia such as smoking, alcohol intake, diet and exercise combined with direct measurements of daily behavior from their digital devices including sleep, heart rate variability, exercise, blood glucose levels, and other critical bio and psycho-social markers. Participants will also take a 15-minute Savonix Mobile cognitive assessment mapped to the DSM-V criteria for classification of minor and major cognitive impairment. Each participant will be asked to complete the health history and cognitive tests at two time points in a two-year period.
Upon completion of the study, participants will receive personalized results of their brain function across multiple domains, including memory, attention and focus. Participants need to be 22 years old or older, live in the United States and have access to an internet connected mobile device such as an android phone or table or an iOS device such as an iPhone or iPad.
The ASSIST study comes at a critical time when there are now more people on Earth older than 65 than younger than five for the first time, according to a Deutsche Bank analysis of United Nations data, Haver Analytics data, and the firm’s global research. Increased lifespan combined with known risk factors for dementia such as diabetes and sedentary lifestyle have driven increasing levels of dementia world-wide. This demographic change combined with the graveyard of failures in Alzheimer’s Disease clinical trials means that we must take a new approach to the detection, classification and prevention of dementias as well as leverage data from ASSIST to identify how risk factors combine to produce dementia to develop new therapies and find a cure for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
This study will survey the general and cognitive health of a large number of people in the US and determine direct relationships between risk factors (and clusters of risk factors) to the presence or absence of cognitive deficits. This cross-sectional ‘snapshot’ will also be the first step before later longitudinal follow-up studies of the original sample that will be used to map changes in health status, lifestyle and behavior to cognitive change with age. Together this rich and ongoing registry of phenomic data will lead to a better understanding of long-term risk of dementia.
“By collaborating with Savonix on this landmark study in dementia, we are bringing together state-of-the-science thinking about how we can capture patient data with an innovative digital cognitive assessment platform that can help advance our understanding of dementia across individuals, communities and large populations,” said Dr. Sandro Galea, Dean and Robert A. Knox Professor at Boston University School of Public Health. “The ASSIST study stands to become a benchmark for future population health studies in dementia that will transform the health not only of Americans and their communities but also of global populations.”
“We are excited to work with Boston University School of Public Health on the ASSIST study to lay the foundation for a population level understanding of both normal cognition and cognitive decline across the age span as well as the important modifiable risk factors that can lead to dementia. Our aim is to generate data on an unprecedented scale that will assist researchers, universities, biotech and pharma companies in the fight to better understand individual differences that the hold the key to treatment, prevention and ultimately the elusive cure for Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Mylea Charvat, CEO & Founder at Savonix.
About the Boston University School of Public Health
Founded in 1976, the Boston University School of Public Health is one of the top five ranked private schools of public health in the world. It offers master’s- and doctoral-level education in public health. The faculty in six departments conduct policy-changing public health research around the world, with the mission of improving the health of populations—especially the disadvantaged, underserved, and vulnerable—locally and globally.
Savonix delivers a fully mobile assessment of cognitive function available on Android and iOS for phone and tablet, the Savonix Cognitive Assessment platform is an accurate, accessible and affordable tool for professional cognitive screens. It empowers healthcare providers, payers and researchers to evaluate and leverage results to improve health and treatment outcomes. Led by clinical neuropsychologists and digital health technology experts, the company has established itself as an authority on cognition globally. To learn more about Savonix, visit Savonix.com.