Research shows that older adults who are regularly engaged in social interactions are better able to maintain healthy mental function and memory. The I-CONECT research study is exploring how social interaction impacts the onset of age-related cognitive decline, such as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Using user-friendly technology, I-CONECT engages seniors over the age of 80 in fun, diverse and interesting face-to-face conversations in the comfort of their own home. All the equipment needed for video chat including internet will be provided to the participants free of charge.
With I-CONECT, the research team hopes to establish a foundation for future dementia-prevention trials. Overall, I-CONECT hopes to show that engaging in short one-on-one conversations might improve brain functions.
What is Involved:
VIDEO CHATS (There is a 50% chance of receiving video chats. In addition to video chats and home visits, study staff call participants once a week.)
30-minute long chats conducted 4 times a week for 6 months, and optional follow-up chats twice a week for additional 6 months
Video chat device is provided
Participants are paired with different study staff members each week to have engaging conversations
Includes physical measures, survey-taking and problem-solving tasks, equipment installation and upkeep
One in-home screening visit (1-2 hours), seven in-home evaluations (2 hours) with study staff (three visits at the beginning of the study, two visits at 6 months, two visits at 12 months, and one visit at 18 months)
Two visits with study staff to install and pick-up tech equipment (30-90 min each)
Participants at the OHSU site receive an electronic pillbox that tracks when they take a daily low-dose Vitamin C pill.
Participants at both sites also have a 50% chance of being selected to undergo two brain MRI scans, once at the beginning of the study and the last one at the six-month mark.