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Medical Care Corporation Achieves Phase I Milestone in Study to Detect Pre-Symptomatic Alzheimer's Disease
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., March 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Medical Care Corporation (MCC) today announced the achievement of its Phase I milestone in a study of the corporation's digital cognitive biomarkers for detecting Alzheimer's disease in cognitively normal adults.
MCC's model for generating digital biomarkers uses a hierarchical Bayesian analysis of responses to a simple list-learning task. The model assesses each subject's distinct abilities to store and retrieve information across various stages of transient and durable learning. By separating overall memory into its underlying components of storage, encoding, and retrieval, these digital biomarkers reflect early cognitive changes that precede the symptomatic stages of Alzheimer's disease.
The study analyzed data drawn from the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging – an initiative that longitudinally assessed cognitive function in a cohort of aging adults who were cognitively normal at their first assessment. Those who maintained normal cognitive function for the duration of the study were grouped as "Stable" and those who later developed memory impairments due to Alzheimer's disease were grouped as "Progressor." Using data from each subject's first assessment (at a time when all subjects demonstrated normal cognitive function for their age), MCC's digital cognitive biomarkers were able to detect significant, yet outwardly undetectable, differences between the "Progressor" group and the "Stable" group. In effect, the digital biomarkers were able to identify the early, pre-symptomatic stages of Alzheimer's disease.
Funded by a $1.2 million Fast Track Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the study is 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.
As Dr. Shankle explains, "Our digital biomarker models quantify the underlying components of memory, namely storage and retrieval processes, to measure how well a subject's distinct cognitive processes are working. Since these distinct processes are independent from one another and change at different rates across the progressive stages of Alzheimer's disease, having the ability to separate the cognitive processes is paramount in detecting the onset of disease before outward symptoms present themselves."
"We were pleased to see the positive results of this replication study," stated Dr. Hara. "The ability to accurately identify people with previously imperceptible cognitive declines will accelerate efforts to enroll pre-symptomatic patients in clinical trials for early stage Alzheimer's treatment. This capability is a solid step toward developing more effective treatments in a more timely manner and we are grateful for the support from the NIH as we further refine these biomarkers in Phase II of the study."
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.
Research reported in this release was supported by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R44AG065126.
Contact: Karen Kalil for Medical Care Corporation
Phone: (714) 371-6783
SOURCE Medical Care Corporation