NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Nov. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Medical Care Corporation (MCC) today announced funding for a validation study of the corporation's digital biomarkers for detecting Alzheimer's disease in cognitively normal adults. The $1.2 million Fast-Track Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant was awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The validation study will be led by principle investigator Dr. William Shankle, M.D., M.S., MCC's Chief Medical Officer; and co-investigators Dr. Ronald Petersen, M.D., Ph. D., Director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Disease Research Center; and Dr. Junko Hara, Ph.D., MCC's Chief Science Officer. These scientists were specifically selected for the study based on their unique expertise in translational research, Alzheimer's patient care, and mathematical cognitive modeling. Each has made meaningful research contributions in the field of cognitive health.
"MCC's digital biomarker models function by estimating various facets of memory storage and memory retrieval," explained Dr. Shankle. "By separating overall memory into its underlying components — storage and retrieval — these digital biomarkers can detect latent cognitive changes that precede the symptomatic stages of Alzheimer's disease."
"This study aims to validate our earlier work showing that important changes may be happening in the brains of Alzheimer's patients long before symptoms of memory loss emerge," Dr. Hara added. "Once validated, we believe such a model will help with identification and enrollment of subjects into early-stage Alzheimer's trials, which could ultimately facilitate development of new treatments. Furthermore, when new therapies are approved, this approach can be used to identify those patients who will most benefit from timely intervention during the early stages of Alzheimer's disease."
MCC's patented model for generating digital biomarkers uses a Hierarchical Bayesian analysis of item-response data collected through a list-learning task and an item recognition task. The model assesses each subject's distinct abilities to store and retrieve partially learned and fully learned information.
Dennis Fortier, MCC's President and CEO concluded, "Digital biomarkers that estimate latent cognitive processes represent a meaningful step forward in the field's ability to characterize cognitive function and are well-aligned with recent guidance from the FDA to the Alzheimer's drug development community. We are grateful for the support from the NIH as we validate this work and look forward to bringing such important capabilities to researchers and clinicians in this field."
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute On Aging of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R44AG065126.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.
About Medical Care Corporation
Medical Care Corporation (www.mccare.com) is a data analytics company that develops digital biomarkers for characterizing human cognition and brain health. The company's intellectual property includes multiple patents on algorithms for isolating important signals in standard cognitive assessment instruments, an electronic platform for distributed cognitive assessment services, a registry of well-characterized individuals monitoring their brain health, and a proprietary dataset of two million cognitive assessments that facilitates ongoing R&D and further model development.
Karen Kalil for Medical Care Corporation
SOURCE Medical Care Corporation