Date August 19, 2020

Investigator Spotlight: Louisa Thompson, PhD

Louisa Thompson, PhD, was awarded a Clinician Scientist Fellowship Grant Award from the Alzheimer’s Association. 

Congratulations, Dr. Thompson!

Louisa Thompson, PhD
Louisa Thompson, PhD

Louisa Thompson, PhD, was recently awarded a Clinician Scientist Fellowship Grant Award from the Alzheimer’s Association for her work on developing new methods of cognitive screening for Alzheimer’s Disease in older patients. 

“Implementing Digital Cognitive Tests for the Detection of Preclinical AD”

Dr. Thompson’s study, which began in July, provides participants with a smartphone and asks them to play short brain games via a special app at regular intervals over eight consecutive days. The data collected from the games are then used to evaluate cognitive function. Another aspect of the study involves having participants learn common Chinese characters over five days. 

“This requires thinking outside the box,” she says. “There are a number of barriers to cognitive testing with older adults, including transportation, time, and test anxiety.”

Dr. Thompson aims to recruit 150 participants between the ages of 60 and 80 for the study. 

How Advance-CTR Helped 

Pre-submission, Dr. Thompson consulted with the Advance-CTR Biostatistics Core for help formulating her idea of how to screen and enroll patients in her study. She said the input she received from the core ultimately changed the organization of her study. 

Dr. Thompson also received written feedback on her Advance-CTR Mentored Research Award application, which she used to restructure her proposal ahead of submission to the Alzheimer’s Association.

“ I received more input on my grant application than I would have expected over two [consulting] sessions, and that is helpful as an early-career investigator. My background is not in clinical research methods and Advance-CTR is helpful in getting perspectives from people with expertise in those methods. ”