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Developing of a computer-based multimodal mind and body approach for mild cognitive decline

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41AG082591-01
Agency Tracking Number: R41AG082591
Amount: $498,094.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIA
Solicitation Number: PAS19-317
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-06-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-05-31
Small Business Information
11 Grace Street
Malden, MA 02148
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 (617) 726-7893
Business Contact
Phone: (781) 588-6678
Research Institution
BOSTON, MA 02114-2621
United States

 Domestic Nonprofit Research Organization

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) represents an intermediate state between normal aging and the diagnosis of
clinically probable very early Alzheimer's disease (AD). Since MCI manifests before the onset of AD, it may be
the optimal stage in which to intervene with preventative therapies for AD and age-related dementia before
progressive neurological loss and irreversible cognitive impairment. Nevertheless, pharmacologic treatment for
MCI is far from satisfactory, highlighting the urgent need for new treatment solutions for MCI.
Baduanjin (BDJ) is a unique and innovative mind-body exercise characterized by the interplay of symmetrical
physical postures and movements, focusing on strengthening muscles and tendons. It consists of eight simple
movements that can be easily practiced at home when guided by videos /audio. These characteristics make it
a suitable option for older adults with MCI. Studies from both our group and others have demonstrated its
potentials for improving cognitive function for older adults with MCI. Nevertheless, studies also showed that the
response to BDJ varies significantly, some individuals demonstrate only a moderate response. To overcome
the challenge, this application aims to integrate BDJ with other mind and body approaches to develop a more
effective treatment option for MCI.
The goal of this Phase I R41 (STTR) application is to develop a computer-based multimodal mind and body
approach (cbMMBA) to improve the cognitive function for MCI. Specifically, we will first develop a functional
cbMMBA platform (prototype) integrating BDJ, acupressure, and relaxation techniques (Aim 1). We chose
these methods, not only because some of these methods alone have demonstrated their potential to improve
cognitive function in MCI / dementia, but because they also can interact with each other positively to produce
synergistic effects. Next, we will perform a feasibility study using the cbMMBA on MCI (Aim 2).
This application, if successful, will provide a cost-effective and easily accessible treatment option for MCI and
other age-related dementia, significantly improve the prevention of MCI development, and directly benefit
patients suffering from the highly prevalent disorder, particularly for those who may have limited access to in-
person mind and body interventions.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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