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How One of the World’s Largest Brain Health Trials Uses CBS Research in the Quest to Fight Dementia

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“CBS Research has been a great partner in our quest to revolutionize the way we fight dementia.”
—Prof. Michael Valenzuela, Chief Investigator


Challenges

  • Maintain Your Brain (MYB) involves thousands of participants from New South Wales, Australia. Long, manually administered, pen-and-paper cognitive testing tools would not be feasible.
  • Scientific rigour can be hard to come by in online tools, but is indispensable when accurate conclusions about brain health are necessary.
  • Tests need to be repeatable to assess progress, and they need to be sensitive to changes in brain health in order to figure out what truly maintains cognition.


Solutions

  • CBS Research—a platform for running a study on any device with a scientifically rigorous and validated cognitive test battery.
  • Engaging tests administered at scale via email that ensure high-quality data is gathered from thousands of participants, and aggregated into a single file for easy analysis.
  • The ability to both accurately measure brain health now and detect changes over the years-long study, validated by over 300 scientific papers.


Results

  • CBS Research tests integrated into the MYB digital platform
  • Positive pilot testing in anticipation of the world’s largest clinical trial that aims to reduce risk of dementia with a program 100% delivered over the Internet.
  • The trial will reveal insights into lifestyle factors proven to impact brain health in older adults.
  • Potential for results that lead to widespread reduced risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementia.


Efficient Cognitive Testing Allows MYB to Run the Largest Dementia Prevention Trial in the World

A new case of dementia is diagnosed every 3 seconds around the world, and the number of people with dementia is expected to double every 20 years. The Maintain Your Brain trial, led by the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) in Australia, is aiming to fight this troubling trend by identifying the lifestyle activities that reduce future risk of dementia. To do so, they are recruiting thousands of participants to participate online, changing their lifestyles to slow the progression of dementia as they age.

Such an ambitious study is no small undertaking, so the investigators behind MYB needed a tool that reaches anybody in the world, takes a short amount of time, and keeps participants engaged, but does not compromise on the scientific rigour needed to accurately assess brain health.

That’s where CBS Research comes in. “CBS Research has been a great partner in our quest to revolutionize the way we fight dementia,” says Professor Michael Valenzuela, a chief investigator for the project.


Real Outcomes: Finding the Lifestyle Changes That Reduce Cognitive Deficits

Currently underway, the MYB trial will last 3 years, delivering coaching over the Internet while regularly measuring brain health in order to help participants fight dementia and determine what works. Treatments include exercise, diet, cognitive training, and stress management—all factors with promise for maintaining brain health into old age, but never studied on such a massive scale. Coaching programs are tailored to target individual risk factors.

The CBS tests were perfect for this long-term tracking of brain health. They can be taken in participants’ own homes, in a short amount of time, making it easy to gain an immense amount of data with almost no effort on the part of the investigators. Because the tests are proven reliable over time, and puzzles are randomly generated for each test to minimize practice effects, the investigators can be sure that changes in brain health are a direct result of their interventions.

“CBS Research provided outstanding technical expertise and support as an external partner in the massive IT development effort that was MYB,” says Chris Boulamatsis, system architect for MYB.

When the MYB trial is complete, the information and methods gained will provide real hope for an aging population to continue thriving in coming years.


CBS Research Makes it Easy to Run Trials—Large or Small

With CBS Research contributing to an efficient trial, MYB can study thousands of participants. However, CBS Research scales to any size—from small pilot trials to collaborative international studies. Tests can be performed in a lab or at a participant’s home, with secure web-based testing that works on nearly any device.

Running a study on cognition? Any researcher can use CBS Research to reduce the time needed to set up and run a study or experiment, while maintaining the scientific integrity needed to publish rock-solid results. We’ll handle data collection and aggregation while you focus on the science. To try CBS Research yourself, click here to set up a trial.

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