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In her longstanding work to help people overcome cognitive problems caused by stroke, Dr. Gail Eskes and her team have developed a computerized battery of tests to assess all aspects of attention. With help from a $30,000 Brain Repair Centre Knowledge Translation (KT) Grant she and her team are transferring this PC-based test onto a mobile platform to make it more accessible.

“It’s essential to restore the ability to pay attention, for people to be able to follow their rehab programs and function well in their daily lives,” notes Dr. Eskes, a clinical neuropsychologist and professor in the departments of Psychiatry and Psychology & Neuroscience at Dalhousie University. “To do this effectively, we must pinpoint what aspects of attention are causing the most problems for people, so we can tailor the cognitive rehab to their needs.”

Dr. Eskes and her team developed DalCAB—the Dalhousie Computerized Attention Battery—to measure how well people do in all three domains of attention: alerting (the ability to remain vigilant and ready to respond); selection and search (the ability to sift through information and choose what’s important); and executive control (the ability to set goals and assign resources to accomplish them).

“We’re developing an app so stroke patients can complete the battery on a tablet, in the hospital, rehab centre, or at home,” she says. “The results will help us identify priorities for treatment and monitor their progress along the way.”

The mobile DalCAB will become a key component of the Cognitive Repair Kit that Dr. Eskes is developing with fellow Brain Repair Centre members, Dr. Raymond Klein and Dr. David Westwood, and Bedford-based digital technology firm, REDspace. This novel kit includes a series of computer games designed to rebuild skills and the underlying neural connections needed to stay focused, avoid distractions, hold multiple thoughts in mind, reason and solve problems.

“The KT Grant from the Brain Repair Centre is pivotal to our project,” notes Dr. Eskes. “Granting agencies don’t normally fund this type of R&D. The KT grant will help us take this important step toward making the Cognitive Repair Kit ready for commercialization.” 

 

 

Tuesday the 17th. © 2017. All rights reserved.. Bridgewater Media Services