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Contemp Clin Trials ; 124: 107006, 2022 Nov 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2233489


BACKGROUND: Emerging evidence indicates that healthy dietary patterns are associated with higher cognitive status; however, few clinical trials have explored this association in diverse middle-aged adults before the onset of cognitive decline. We use novel ambulatory methods to assess cognition in natural settings in tandem with diet recording. AIMS: We investigate whether the Multicultural Healthy Diet Study to Reduce Cognitive Decline & Alzheimer's Disease Risk, a pilot randomized controlled trial of an anti-inflammatory dietary pattern compared to usual diet, can mitigate cognitive decline and Alzheimer's Disease risk in a diverse population of 40-65 year old adults in Bronx, New York. METHODS: Primary cognitive outcomes assessed at nine months are collected in an ecological momentary assessment "measurement burst" design, over the course of participants' daily lives. These ultra-brief, ambulatory cognitive assessments examine processing speed, visuospatial working memory, short-term associative memory binding, long-term associative memory, and working memory capacity. Key secondary outcomes relate to comparing dietary intake between study arms with respect to cognitive outcomes. We assess diet with food records using the National Cancer Institute's Automated Self-Administered 24-h record and serum biomarkers. We further investigate the association of self-reported diet and dietary biomarkers with inflammatory-based biomarkers. CONCLUSION: This randomized controlled trial of diet and cognition for the first time combines novel measures of ambulatory cognitive assessment with web-based assessment of dietary intake recording. This new approach enabled the study to continue in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in remote format.

Alzheimers Dement (Amst) ; 13(1): e12144, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1680306


INTRODUCTION: There is an urgent need to validate telephone versions of widely used general cognitive measures, such as the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (T-MoCA), for remote assessments. METHODS: In the Einstein Aging Study, a diverse community cohort (n = 428; mean age = 78.1; 66% female; 54% non-White), equivalence testing was used to examine concordance between the T-MoCA and the corresponding in-person MoCA assessment. Receiver operating characteristic analyses examined the diagnostic ability to discriminate between mild cognitive impairment and normal cognition. Conversion methods from T-MoCA to the MoCA are presented. RESULTS: Education, race/ethnicity, gender, age, self-reported cognitive concerns, and telephone administration difficulties were associated with both modes of administration; however, when examining the difference between modalities, these factors were not significant. Sensitivity and specificity for the T-MoCA (using Youden's index optimal cut) were 72% and 59%, respectively. DISCUSSION: The T-MoCA demonstrated sufficient psychometric properties to be useful for screening of MCI, especially when clinic visits are not feasible.

Am J Public Health ; 110(9): 1328-1331, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-918027


The unique health and aging challenges of rural populations often go unnoticed. In fact, the rural United States is home to disproportionate shares of older and sicker people, there are large and growing rural-urban and within-rural mortality disparities, many rural communities are in population decline, and rural racial/ethnic diversity is increasing.Yet rural communities are not monolithic, and although some rural places are characterized by declining health, others have seen large improvements in population health. We draw on these realities to call for new research in five areas.First, research is needed to better describe health disparities between rural and urban areas and, because rural places are not monolithic, across rural America. Second, research is needed on how trends in rural population health and aging are affecting rural communities. Third, research is needed on the ways in which economic well-being and livelihood strategies interact with rural health and aging. Fourth, we need to better understand the health implications of the physical and social isolation characterizing many rural communities. Finally, we argue for new research on the implications of local natural environments and climate change for rural population health and aging.

Aging , Health Status Disparities , Rural Population/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Climate Change , Coronavirus Infections , Ethnicity , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Rural Health , United States