Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is an intermediate stage in cognitive decline, between the normal cognitive decline associated with aging, and the more abrupt decline of dementia. Nearly 20% of adults over 65 years old are at risk of getting MCI, and of those who do get it, 80% will progress to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, this population of adults over 65 is expected to double by 2050. An MCI diagnosis affects the whole family, not just the family member who is diagnosed. Our lab works on many different projects in this space including measuring the impact of soundscapes and lighting on cognition or sleep, developing and evaluating novel medication management techniques, using passive sensing techniques to understand patterns of daily activity for this population, and empowering older adults with MCI and their care partners using conversational agents, such as the Google Home.
This research is a part of the Cognitive Empowerment Program, a collaboration between Georgia Tech and Emory, which strives to empower people with MCI through lifestyle interventions, passive sensing, therapeutics, and research collaborations.