Savonix-Boston University Partnership Launches Study to Collect Brain Data for Alzheimer’s Disease

Savonix Boston University Alzheimer’s Study
Image: Savonix

Savonix, a global leader in digital tests for cognitive health, and Boston University School of Public Health, announced the launch of a landmark population health study in dementia. The study, titled Alzheimer’s Disease Discovery Study (ASSIST), will digitally collect cognitive data, health history and lifestyle tracking data from 400,000 individuals. The study will capture data from multiple wearable technologies together with sensitive neuropsychology tests, giving researchers for the 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.

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“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.”

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, said a press release.

Boston University building
Image: Boston University

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.

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“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.