In April 2019, the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute (TCCI®) for Translational Research co-hosted the International Conference on the Clinical Assessment of Cognitive Impairment together with the Shanghai Medical Doctors Association, and the Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Huashan Hospital in Shanghai, China.
The four-day conference and training sessions invited 10 well-known experts and scholars in the cognitive field from China and abroad to discuss cutting-edge research, suitable technologies, and practical needs related to cognitive impairment assessment. More than 200 professionals from medical institutions, community health centers, Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, senior care institutes, and scientific research institutions participated in the event.
A prototype of the first original translational research project sponsored by TCCI® for Translational Research – a virtual reality (VR) tool that assesses Alzheimer’s disease and offers supplementary treatment — was showcased onsite and intrigued many conference attendees. Xinhua News Agency, Xinmin News, and other major media from China and Shanghai covered the event which received a great response from the industry.
Wu Qianyu, Deputy Director of the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, attended the conference opening and gave a speech, during which she pointed out that the registered senior (aged 60 or above) population of Shanghai has reached 5.7 million.
The city’s fast-paced growth of this aging population is higher than the national average and the amount of attention that it gives to cognitive disorders among the highest in the country.
This year, Shanghai has decided to include the assessment of cognitive abilities of the elderly in its “Municipal Government Practical Projects.” Wu expressed her support for the cognitive assessment training and associated projects led by TCCI® for Translational Research being put into community service.
Dr. Mao Ying, Vice President of Huashan Hospital and Director of TCCI® for Translational Research, indicated that one major goal of the institute this year is to prioritize the assessment of brain disorders. On one hand, the organization plans to share advanced cognitive assessment and training models from abroad and organize training courses for the community of Chinese cognitive appraisers.
On the other hand, it will continue funding the research and development of tools such as cognitive impairment self-assessment software and supplementary games-based treatment. This brings to life the institute’s focus on translational research and cross-disciplinary cooperation, and reinforces its commitment to helping China’s elderly population.
Host of the conference, Huang Yanyan, Deputy Director of Geriatrics Department and Chief Physician at Huashan Hospital and Director of the VR gaming project at TCCI® for Translational Research, said that early symptoms of Alzheimer’s are often overlooked, and that early uses of cognitive training, medicine and other methods could effectively intervene, improving and delaying the development of the disease.
During her speech, she also announced that now the VR game project has completed its first phase of research and development, A.I. and games industry partners will be engaged to help drive the second phase of clinical research.
The conference invited Professor Zavern S. Khachaturian, Editor-in-Chief of Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association and Executive Editor, Ara S. Khachaturian, to deliver an online lecture on the “frontier” thinking within the research field of cognitive impairment.
They discussed how age, genes, immunity, endocrine, nutrition, stress, infection, poison and trauma could all influence the metabolic function of the brain and in turn, affect the development of cognitive impairment of the elders.
Professor David Salmon, Director of the Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, attended the conference and presented some methods for the early diagnosis of cognitive impairment.
Appraiser Amanda Rodriguez presented a series of tools for cognitive assessment, and shared with the audience that the incidence rate of Alzheimer’s disease in the US has been declining in recent years due to early assessment interventions.
Marc Fisher, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Stroke and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, introduced the latest research on stroke prevention.
Professor Zhang Kan, Director of the Science and Education Department at Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, gave a lecture on the “Establishment of Cognitive Impairment Discipline and Suitable Technologies.”
Professor Li Chunbo, Associate Director of the Mental Health Center at Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, and Academician of the TCCI® for Translational Research, presented the RBANS cognitive assessment tool for the senior community.
Li Xia, Deputy Director of the Department of Geriatiric Psychiatry at the Shanghai Mental Health Center, explained the grade-based intervention framework for cognitive impairment in China.
Professor Yu Jintai from the Department of Neurology at Huashan Hospital gave a speech on the standarized diagnosis and treatment of the Alzheimer’s disease.
Professor Wang Yi, Deputy Director of the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University, introduced the cognitive asessment and research of children’s neurological diseases.
Professor Yu Dehua, President of the General Practitioners Branch of Shanghai Medical Doctor Association and Director of Yangpu District Central Hospital, delivered closing remarks for the conference.