The Neurocognitive Frailty Index: An App to Assess Dementia

A point of care worker shows the results of a test to a patient

Award Date: 2018

Project Lead(s): Sarah Pakzad, Professor

Project Title: The development and validation of the NFI prototype application for early detection of dementia in the elderly

What is the issue?

People with hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes may have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia than people without these conditions.

What did we do?

We developed a prototype of a mobile app for detecting dementia in elderly individuals called the Neurocognitive Frailty Index. We used it to collect information on cognitive changes, dementia, and mortality in 627 people. Then we assessed its ability to detect dementia in advance of symptoms. Participants were tested three times in six-month intervals.

What did we find?

The Neurocognitive Frailty Index successfully indicated the risk of developing cognitive impairment. We anticipate that the tool will better address memory concerns in patients, decrease waitlists for assessments, and help them access treatment options faster than standard methods. More than half of elderly patients with cognitive complaints could receive evaluations in primary care settings.