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Cognition

Section Co-ordinator: Andréa Leblanc et Natalie Phillips

Research Interests and Objectives

The Network’s Cognition Research Section seeks to increase collaboration among research teams by networking with various clinical settings in Quebec so as to facilitate studies that could not be conducted by a single team in a single setting—in particular, studies involving rare diagnoses. To this end, Section members have established a multi-hospital registry of older patients who have been characterized as suffering from various rarer forms of cognitive impairment. These patients are now being assessed from a multidisciplinary perspective, using standardized clinical, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging instruments.

Achievements

The Section’s activities to date have focused on establishing the registry of patients with unusual cognitive disorders, developing a clinical and neuropsychological database in connection with this registry, and implementing a system for analyzing MRI images of the brain. Section members have also collaborated on developing and implementing diagnostic, clinical, and neuropsychological tools and imaging protocols needed to diagnose and assess the various types of dementia. In addition, Section members have helped to develop the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA©, www.mocatest.org), a tool for rapid assessment of cognitive functioning.

Section members have also developed a neuropsychological assessment battery in English and in French and validated it in co-operation with the nine Quebec memory clinics that are participating in the registry project. To ensure that the tools in this battery will be applied in a uniform way, Section members have also developed a training manual and provided standardized training sessions for the various participants in the project.

With the help of funding from the Quebec Network for Research on Aging, the Cognition Research Section has obtained a strategic grant to create a Consortium on Cognition and Aging that will study the cognitive problems involved in neurodegenerative diseases. Similar efforts have also led to the funding of the Regroupement de Neuroimagerie Québec (Quebec neuroimaging group).

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