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2007 Grant - Greenaway
A Memory Compensation Intervention in Mild Cognitive Impairment
Melanie Chandler Greenaway, Ph.D.
2007 New Investigator Research Grant
Memory problems caused by mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a disorder that may be a precursor to Alzheimer's disease, can affect the mood, family relationships, general health, treatment compliance and, ultimately, independent living status of people with the disorder. Most people who live with MCI are highly motivated to do something to combat their memory difficulties, but no rehabilitation techniques currently exist for this specific type of memory loss.
Melanie Chandler Greenaway, Ph.D., will address this problem by adapting an existing rehabilitation model for individuals with traumatic brain injuries and using it with people with MCI. The project will utilize a "memory compensa-tion" technique, one using external aids to help compensate for memory loss. Dr. Greenaway will develop a Memory Support System (MSS) that will consist of a calendar and organization system with an accompanying six-week curriculum designed specifically for individuals with progressive memory impairment.
The project will recruit 30 individuals with MCI. Half will receive the MSS training and half will receive standard care. Outcomes will be measured at eight weeks and six months through a detailed assessment of each partici-pant's functional level, mood and self-efficacy, as well as the caregiver's burden and mood.
Dr. Greenaway hopes this research will prove that a memory compensation intervention can have an impact on the lives of individuals with MCI, enabling them to live more productive lives with improved confidence, mood and family relationships.