Research Archives

FY 2020 & 2021 MAJOR RESEARCH GRANTS - by faculty member


DEANNAH BYRD, PI
Cognitive Decline in African Americans: The Impact of Hypertension, Stress & Coping
Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (1Y) / $23,780
This project uses secondary data taken from the Baltimore Study of Black Aging to examine whether health and psychosocial factors that differ by race underlie racial inequalities in cognitive decline in older U.S. adults.


MALCOLM CUTCHIN, Co-PI
African American Resilience in Surviving Cancer (ARISE)
National Cancer Institute (5Y) / $3,118,000
A longitudinal examination of the critical domains that lead to disparities in health-related quality of life in African American cancer survivors versus non-Hispanic white survivors.


JESSICA DAMOISEAUX, Co-PI
Yoga, Aerobic and Stretching Exercise Effects on Neurocognitive Performance: A Randomized Controlled Trial
National Institute on Aging (with University of Illinois) (5Y) / $340,000
Assist with research design, coordinate MRI data processing and analysis, and contribute to interpretation and dissemination of the results through her Connect Lab for Brain Connectivity and Aging.


ANA DAUGHERTY, Co-PI
Brain Iron Accumulation as a Pathway of Hypertension-Related Risk for Alzheimer's Disease
Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Center (1Y) / $39,000
Mid-life hypertension is a risk factor for several neurodegenerative diseases that also present with abnormal brain iron concentration, including vascular dementia and ADRD. Identifying pathways that convey this risk may identify clinical interventions to help maintain cognition.


HEATHER FRITZ, PI
DO TELL Digitized Stories to Bridge Gap between Patient and Provider Perceptions of Disease Management
National Institutes of Health (3Y) / $462,000
African American disparities in chronic condition self-management often stem from physicians' poor understanding of and empathy for their complex medical challenges. Patients' stories have been used to share knowledge, understanding, and reflective listening and foster successful behavior change among patients.

Frailty Prevention in Older African Americans
Michigan Health Endowment (2Y) / $256,000
Tailor lifestyle changes and rehabilitation to individual participants to delay or prevent frailty while promoting independence and improving health.


THOMAS JANKOWSKI, PI
Program Evaluation for UP-Scan: Addressing Elder Financial Exploitation in Rural Communities
Elder Law of Michigan/Office of Violence (5Y) / $90,000
Assist in collecting, testing and evaluating data as well as helping in the design and testing of tools and processes to complete Elder Law of Michigan's grant project with the Department of Justice.

TimeSlips Story Kit
Time Slips Creative (2Y) / $20,000
Engaging partners in a pilot project in SE Michigan to bring creative engagement to family, community and professional caregivers through Story Kits and Engagement Parties for persons with dementia.

Michigan Health Endowment Fund Integrated Care Program Evaluation
Southeast Michigan Senior Alliance (1Y) / $16,000
Review, provide expert advice, and assist with all aspects of the program evaluation of the Senior Regional Collaborative's Integrated Care project.


VOYKO KAVCIC, PI
Community Based Approach to Early ID of MCI to Alzheimer's Disease in African Americans (R01)
National Institutes of Health (5Y) / $3.3M
Use low-cost computerized tests and EEGs to detect early cognitive changes in otherwise healthy older African Americans and determine those at risk for later mild cognitive changes or Alzheimer's disease.


PETER LICHTENBERG
Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR) (P30)
Co-Director with Dr. Robert Taylor (U-M), National Institute on Aging (5Y) / $1.25M
Reduce health disparities between older African Americans and other ethnic groups through research, faculty mentoring and education.  MCUAAAR is a two-decade project between the IOG and the U-M.

Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (P30)
Site PI, National Institutes of Health / National Institute on Aging (10Y) / $500,000
As Research Education Component Core Co-Leader of this tri-university consortium grant, the IOG is training junior faculty across a wide variety of topics relevant to Alzheimer's disease including minority outreach and subject recruitment in the Detroit area.

Successful Aging after Financial Exploitation
PI, Department of Justice (3Y) / $499,000
A project to deliver financial coaching and identity recovery services to vulnerable populations in the Detroit city area and the rural Michigan county of Hillsdale.

New Methods to Assess Financial Decisions, Management & Exploitation in Older Adults with MCI or PCI
PI, National Institutes of Health (2Y) / $423,500
Interview persons with Mild or Perceived Cognitive Impairment to create a new "real world" financial management test from examining the older adult's bank records, wealth loss, financial decision-making and vulnerability to financial exploitation over time.

SAFE: Caregiver Empowerment
PI, Michigan Health Endowment Fund (2Y) / $414,000
Deliver new "hi tech" and "hi touch" education and financial counseling services to caregivers to improve their health by adding a caregiving section to the nationally recognized http://www.olderadultnestegg.com website and providing education and one-on-one services to caregivers in southeast Michigan.

Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors (CURES) | Director Community Outreach & Ed Core; M. Runge-Morris, MD, PI, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, P30 (8Y) / $2.45M – Develop and implement community engagement for all ages to detect and prevent common environmental stressors. Includes learning and discussion forums, a community advisory board, and educational materials for Detroit and nearby at-risk communities.

Center for Financial Safety & Health: Protecting Neurocognitive and Emotional Health in Older Adults
PI, Michigan Health Endowment Fund (2Y) / $334,000
Create an outreach center to protect the financial, cognitive and emotional health of older adults through evidence-based services, education and professional training across the seven counties of southeast Michigan.

Real World Financial Management, Decision Making and Risk of Exploitation in Cognitively Impaired Older Adults
PI, Retirement Research Foundation (2Y) / $176,000
Investigate financial management, decision-making fraud and financial exploitation through bank account analysis, the intersection of real-world financial decisions and lab-based measures, and assessing Motivational Interviewing interventions to protect older adults from exploitation.

Recruiting and Retaining Older African Americans into Research (ROAR)
Site PI, National Institutes of Health (2Y) / $163,000
Transferring best practices from the development of the Participant Resource Pool in Detroit to starting a new registry in Flint, MI, to enhance the recruitment of older African Americans for research projects.

Integrating Financial Vulnerability Tools into Geriatric Medicine
PI, Michigan Health Endowment Fund (18M) / $152,000
A pilot implementation program to find the best means of including the 17-item Financial Vulnerability Survey into routine geriatric patient care, including billing and charting the results in the electronic health record.

Detecting Financial Vulnerability and Preventing Health Declines Due to Financial Exploitation
PI (with Ana Daugherty & Mark Luborsky), United Way of Southeastern Michigan (1Y) / $134,000
An expansion of the free services and information provided to older adult scam victims by adding a brain aging section to the online training, enhancing online marketing to reach a wider audience, and increasing referrals from medical partners to SAFE virtual counseling.

Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (P30)
Site PI, University of Michigan (5Y) / $100,000
Oversee all recruitment and retention of older African Americans into the Participant Registry and assist Pepper Center faculty in accessing the registry for their research.

Success after Financial Exploitation (SAFE) Program Expansion
PI, Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan (1Y) / $40,000
Create and conduct five educational workshops for caregivers: Managing Someone Else's Money, Understanding Scams, Preparing for Difficult Conversations, Detecting Early Cognitive Impairment, and How to Use the OANE Caregiver Assessment.


NOA OFEN, PI
Development of Memory Networks in Children
National Institutes of Health / National Institute on Mental Health, R01 (5Y) / $1.9M
Investigate brain activity that predicts memory formation in children with difficult to control epilepsy by analyzing data collected from electrodes implanted for their treatment.


NAFTALI RAZ, PI
Neural Correlates and Modifiers of Cognitive Aging MERIT Award
National Institutes of Health / National Institute on Aging, RO1 (5Y) / $3.6M
Research the modifiers of normal cognitive aging from a neuroscience perspective.  MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) awards give a small percentage of highly qualified researchers' long-term support without the need to apply for new grant funding.

Neural Correlates and Modifiers of Cognitive Aging Supplement
National Institutes of Health, RO1 (1Y) / $121,000
A boost grant to sequence mitochondrial DNA in the primary Neural Correlates study of brain aging.


WASSIM TARRAF
Sleep in Neurocognitive Aging and Alzheimer's Research
Site PI, National Institutes of Health (with University of Miami) (5Y) / $629,000
Work with the PI to integrate longitudinal data from the parent Study of Latinos project into data collected from this sleep research, including supervising statistical analysis, data collection and quality control.

MRI Measures of Cerebrovascular Injury and AD Atrophy in the Study of Latinos
Co-I, National Institutes of Health (5Y) / $602,000
Measure vascular brain injury, cortical volume and thickness, and hippocampal volume to estimate degrees of Alzheimer's atrophy in various Latino racial admixtures.

Study of Latinos – Investigation of Neurocognitive Aging
Co-I and Lead Statistician, National Institute on Aging (5Y) / $528,000
Study 6,600 Latino and Hispanic older adults to better understand the progression from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's.

Neurocognitive Aging & Alzheimer's Disease DNA Methylation in Diverse Latinos
Site PI, National Institutes of Health (5Y) / $497,000
Integrate DNA methylation into several areas of the Study of Latinos project by helping to generate data, maintain quality control and ensure sample conformity to meet the study aims.

Study of Latinos – Investigation of Neurocognitive Aging 2
Site PI, National Institutes of Health (with University of California San Diego) (2Y) / $440,000
Follow-on to original Study of Latinos above

Subjective Cognitive Decline and Objective Cognitive Trajectories in Older Hispanics/Latinos
Co-I, National Institutes of Health (with University of California San Diego) (5Y) / $120,000
Supervise statistical analysis for publications, and assist in supervising data collection, quality control and data maintenance.

Sleep Apnea Phenotypes in Latinos (SLEPT)
PI, National Institutes of Health, R21 (2Y) / $89,000
Analyze sleep and neurocognitive tests from the 16,415-person Study of Latinos to determine the effect of sleep apnea on neurocognitive decline and the association with cardiovascular risk factors.

Epidemiology of Late-Life Depression and Ethnicity Research Study (ELLDERS) 
PI: Haan, M.N. and Co-PI: González, H.M.
NIA/Department of Health and Human Services, 2003-2008, $8.3 million
The aim of this study is to examine risks for prevalent and incident dementia in community-dwelling older Mexican Americans.


FY 2018 & 2019 MAJOR RESEARCH GRANTS – by faculty member


JESSICA DAMOISEAUX
Subjective Cognitive Impairment: A Sign of Early Alzheimer's Disease / Co-PI, Veteran's Administration Dept. of Psychiatry (1Y) / $45,000 – Determine whether personal complaints of diminished memory could predict Alzheimer's disease.

Hippocampal Connectivity in Pre-Clinical Alzheimer's Disease | PI, Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Center (1Y) / $35,000 – Chart differences in hippocampal connectivity, and their association with cognitive performance in older adults to identify Alzheimer's earlier.


HEATHER FRITZ, PI
Frailty Prevention in Older African Americans | Michigan Health Endowment (2Y) / $256,078 –Tailor lifestyle changes and rehabilitation to individual participants to delay or prevent frailty while promoting independence and improving health.

Reducing Metabolic Syndrome & Unmet Needs among Rural Breast Cancer Survivors | Karmanos Cancer Institute (1Y) / $29,950 – Evaluate whether rehabilitation and lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome in rural women who survived breast cancer.


THOMAS B. JANKOWSKI, PI
Program Evaluation for UP-Scan: Addressing Elder Financial Exploitation in Rural Communities | Elder Law of Michigan/Office of Violence (5Y) / $90,000 – Assist in collecting, testing and evaluating data and helping design and test tools and processes for Elder Law of Michigan's Department of Justice grant.

Evaluate and Assess Programs for Older Adults / Luella Hannan Memorial Foundation(1Y) / $57,300 – Evaluate a pilot program of Hannan's Working Caregiver Employee Assistance; conduct a Creative Aging Needs Assessment; and survey users of the Lifelong Learning Program to evaluate quality and effectiveness.

Michigan Health Endowment Fund Integrated Care Program Evaluation / Southeast Michigan Senior Alliance (1Y) / $16,000 – Review, provide expert advice, and assist with all aspects of the program evaluation of the Senior Regional Collaborative's Integrated Care project. Statewide Needs Assessment of Older Adults / Area Agency on Aging (6 mths) / $12,500 – Consultation and analysis of survey development for a Michigan older adult needs assessment.



VOYKO KAVCIC, PI
Community Based Approach to Early ID of MCI to Alzheimer's Disease in African Americans / National Institutes of Health, RO1 (5Y) / $3.3M – Use low-cost computerized tests and EEGs to detect early cognitive changes in otherwise healthy older African Americans and determine risk for Alzheimer's disease.


NOA OFEN, PI
Development of Memory Networks in Children / National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Mental Health, R01 (5Y) / $1.9M – Investigate brain activity that predicts memory formation in children with difficult to control epilepsy by analyzing data from electrodes implanted for treatment. NAFTALI RAZ, PI Neural Correlates and Modifiers of Cognitive Cognitive Neuroscience: Aging & Alzheimer's Disease.


PETER LICHTENBERG
Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR) | Co-PI with James Jackson (U-M), National Institute on Aging, P30 (5Y) / $3.4M – Reduce health disparities between older African Americans and other ethnic groups through research, faculty mentoring and education. MCUAAAR is a two-decade project between the IOG, U-M, and now MSU.

Integrating Improved Assessments of Financial Judgment: Conceptual & Measurement Advances | PI, National Institute of Justice (5Y) / $468,000 – Validate three new tools that screen older adults' financial decision-making for largescale dissemination to professionals including lawyers, financial planners, law enforcement and Adult Protective Services caseworkers.

Center for Financial Safety & Health / PI, Michigan Health Endowment Fund (2Y) / $334,000 – Create an outreach center to protect the financial, cognitive and emotional health of older adults through evidence-based services, education and training across seven counties of Michigan.

SAFE: Caregiver Empowerment | PI, Michigan Health Endowment (2Y) / $414,000 – Deliver new "hi tech" and "hi touch" education and financial counseling services to caregivers to improve their health by adding a caregiving section to the nationally recognized www.olderadultnestegg.com website and providing education and one-on-one services to caregivers in southeast Michigan.

Michigan & Beyond! Extending Older Adult Nest Egg Training and Certification / PI, Michigan Aging & Adult Services PREVNT program (1Y) / $134,992 – Train all of Michigan's Adult Protective Services caseworkers to administer online assessments (at https://olderadultnestegg. com) to older adults to measure their financial decision-making ability and vulnerability to exploitation.

Expanding Our Reach for Capacity Assessment and Prevention: OlderAdultNestEgg.com | PI, Michigan Aging & Adult Services PREVNT program (1Y) $105,434 – Fully enhance the OlderAdultNestEgg.com website to allow account creation (with organization administration and records archiving) and include online training, screening and improved identification of financial exploitation. Success after Financial Exploitation (SAFE) Program Expansion | PI, Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan (1Y) / $40,000; Westerman Foundation (1Y) / $10,000 – Create and conduct five educational workshops for caregivers: Managing Someone Else's Money, Scams, Difficult Conversations, Detecting Early Cognitive Impairment, and using the OANE Caregiver Assessment.


NAFTALI RAZ, PI
Aging MERIT Award / National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging, RO1 (5Y)/ $3.6M – Research the modifiers of normal cognitive aging from a neuroscience perspective. MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) awards give highly qualified researchers long-term support without the need to apply for new grant funding.

Neural Correlates and Modifiers of Cognitive Aging Supplement / National Institutes of Health, RO1 (1Y) / $121,000 – A boost grant to sequence mitochondrial DNA in the primary Neural Correlates study.

Changes in Brain Energetics and Structure in Cognitive Training / WSU Research Enhancement grant (1Y) / $50,000 – Study changes in brain structure, myelin content and energy metabolism in response to cognitive training to determine the near and far transfer of any cognitive gains.


WASSIM TARRAF
MRI Measures of Cerebrovascular Injury and AD Atrophy in the Study of Latinos / Co-I, National Institutes of Health (5Y) / $554,000 – Measure vascular brain injury, cortical volume and thickness, and hippocampal volume to estimate degrees of Alzheimer's atrophy in various Latino racial admixtures.

Study of Latinos – Investigation of Neurocognitive Aging / Co-I and Lead Statistician, National Institute on Aging (5Y) / $440,000 – Study 6,600 Latino and Hispanic older adults to better understand the progression from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's.

Neurocognitive Aging & Alzheimer's Disease DNA Methylation in Diverse Latinos / Co-I, National Institutes of Health (5Y) / $546,000 – Integrate DNA methylation into several areas of the Study of Latinos project by helping to generate data, maintain quality control and ensure sample conformity to meet the study aims.

Sleep Apnea, Neurocognitive Decline and Alzhiemer's in Latinos / PI, National Institutes of Health, R21 (2Y) / $86,000 – Analyze sleep and neurocognitive tests from the 16,415-person Study of Latinos to determine the effect of sleep apnea on neurocognitive decline and the association with cardiovascular risk factors.

Impact of the Affordable Care Act on the Use of Preventive Services – PI, WSU and Henry Ford Health System (1.5Y) / $69,000 – Study how implementation of the ACA has affected the use of preventive services, and whether disparities in use exist between racial groups.


FY 2016 & 2017 MAJOR RESEARCH GRANTS - by area of research


Cognitive Neuroscience, Aging & Alzheimer's Disease

Neural Correlates and Modifiers of Cognitive Aging MERIT Award, – N. Raz, PI. The NIH awarded this $3.6 million, five-year grant to research the modifiers of normal cognitive aging from a neuroscience perspective. MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) awards give select researchers long-term support, without the burden of constantly applying for new grant funding. Fewer than 5% of NIH-funded investigators to receive MERIT awards.

Development of Memory Networks in Children, – N. Ofen, PI. A $1.9 million over five years to investigate brain activity that predicts memory formation in children. Dr. Ofen will study children who are undergoing surgery to manage epilepsy not controlled through other treatments, analyzing data collected from electrodes implanted for the epilepsy treatment.

MRI Measures of Cerebrovascular Injury and AD Atrophy in the Study of Latinos, – W. Tarraf, PI. The NIH granted $554,000 over five years to conduct comprehensive MRIs of 2,800 Latinos with normal and impaired cognition. The team will measure vascular brain injury, cortical volume and thickness, and hippocampal volume to estimate degrees of Alzheimer's atrophy. The data will point to the impact of disparities on vascular risks of brain health and characterize the biological substrates of stroke, mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's in various Latino racial admixtures.

Study of Latinos – Investigation of Neurocognitive Aging, – H. González (MSU), PI, W. Tarraf, Co-Investigator and Lead Statistician. A five-year study of 6,600 Latino and Hispanic older adults to better understand the progression from mild cognitiv impairment to Alzheimer's. The National Institute on Aging granted $5.67 million with $440,000 to Dr. Tarraf. He will help supervise data collection across four sites, integrate genetics and neurocognitive data, and lead statistical analysis for reports and publications.

Community-Based Early Identification of Mild Cognitive Impairment in At-Risk African Americans – V. Kavcic, PI. The NIH awarded $413,000 over two years to use low-cost computerized tests and EEGs to detect early cognitive changes in otherwise healthy older African Americans and determine those at risk for later mild cognitive changes or Alzheimer's disease. African Americans have faster rates of cognitive decline than other racial groups and are less likely to be diagnosed or receive treatment in its early stages.

Subjective Cognitive Impairment: A Sign of Incipient Alzheimer's Disease? – J. Damoiseaux, PI. Dr. Damoiseaux is conducting a longitudinal study of functional and structural brain changes in healthy older adults with and without cognitive complaints, funded by a 4-year grant of $345,000 from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.

Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Core Center – P. Lichtenberg, Co REC (Research Education Core) Director. The National Institute on Aging granted WSU $292,000 over Research Grants 20 $ 2,718,926 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 $ 2,238,962 $ 2,295,231 $ 1,745,529 $ 1,888,369 21 five years for a regional center linking U-M, WSU and MSU to train junior faculty in Alzheimer's research and recruitment, study vascular changes preceding dementia, and organize an annual symposium on research into non-amyloid precursors to Alzheimer's and other dementias.

Sleep Apnea, Neurocognitive Decline and Alzhiemer's in Latinos – W. Tarraf, PI. A two-year, NIH grant of $86,000 to analyze sleep measures and neurocognitive tests from the 16,415 person Study of Latinos. The goal is to determine the effect of sleep apnea on neurocognitive decline and the association between cardiovascular risk factors, sleep apnea and mild cognitive impairment.

Changes in Brain Energetics and Structure in the Course of Cognitive Training – N. Raz, PI. A $50,000 WSU Research Enhancement grant for a one-year study on changes in brain structure, myelin content and energy metabolism in response to cognitive training to determine the near and far transfer of any cognitive gains.

Subjective Cognitive Impairment: A Sign of Early Alzheimer's Disease? – J. Damoiseaux, Co-PI. A one-year, $45,000 grant from the Veteran's Administration / Dept. of Psychiatry to ascertain whether personal complaints of diminished memory could predict Alzheimer's disease.

Conversational Engagement to Delay Alzheimer's Disease Onset, P. Lichtenberg, Co-I. Recruiting older African American volunteers for a research study on social interactions to prevent persons with mild cognitive impairment from progressing to dementia and other adverse health outcomes. The NIH/NIA granted $37,000 over five years for the recruitment portion of a larger study.

Hippocampal Connectivity in Pre-Clinical Alzheimer's Disease, J. Damoiseauz, PI. A one-year, $35,000 MADC pilot grant to chart differences in hippocampal functional and structural connectivity, and their association with cognitive performance, in older adults from healthy to mild cognitive impairment, to find ways to earlier identify emerging Alzheimer's.

Characterizing Typical Development of Memory Systems in the Brain, N. Ofen, PI. Multiple awards to fund research assistance in the Ofen Lab for Cognitive and Brain Development: $30,000 from WSU for a postdoc fellow; a $3,000 Research Enhancement grant; and $2,500 from the School of Medicine Graduate School for summer research.


Aging, Health & the Environment

Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors (CURES) – P. Lichtenberg, Director, Community Outreach and Education Core; Runge-Morris, MD, PI. Approximately $2.28 million of the eight-year, $7.5 million grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to develop and implement a model of community engagement, interaction and training to detect and prevent common environmental stressors. The grant creates community learning and discussion forums, a community advisory board, and communication and educational materials for Detroit and nearby at-risk communities.

Using a System-Wide Database to Reduce Workplace Violence in Hospitals – M. Luborsky, Co-PI. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are providing $1.6 million over four years to develop a standardized surveillance and risk assessment reporting system at several Detroit-area hospitals. The data from this system will evaluate the effectiveness of two interventions to curb workplace violence in hospitals.

Acrobatic Functioning and Mobility – P. Lichtenberg, WSU PI. This 4-year NIH grant of $123,000 supports research through the Claude Pepper Older American Independence Center at U-M.

Effectiveness of Information Communication Technology Social Network for Older Adults – C. Lysack, Co-I. A collaboration with the University of New Hampshire to design the interviews with older adults and analyze the results for $17,000 over 18 months of the larger NIH grant. The goal is to demonstrate reproducible strategies that enhance the use of ICT among older adults to improve health and social participation.

Older Adult Experiences and Understanding of the Flint Water Crisis – J. Robbins, Co-I. A grant of $10,000 from the McFarland Corporation for a one-year qualitative study of 25 older adults living in Flint during the lead contamination crisis that made use of tap water unsafe. Researchers will conduct in-depth interviews on access to resources, caregiving, navigating everyday activities and the future.

Evaluating and Assessing Programs for Older Adults – T. Jankowski, PI. Dr. Jankowski received three grants from the Luella Hannan Memorial Foundation: A $44,000 grant to evaluate a pilot program of Hannan's Working Caregiver Employee Assistance; an $8,300 grant to conduct a Creative Aging Needs Assessment that asked members of the Healthier Black Elders research volunteer pool about their interest in programs offered by the Hannan Center for Lifelong Learning; and a $5,000 grant to survey current users of the Lifelong Learning Program to evaluate its quality and effectiveness.


Urban Health Equity

Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR) – P. Lichtenberg and J. Jackson (UM), Co-PIs. A $3.4 million 5-year extension to the more than 15 years of previous grant funding from the National Institute on Aging to reduce health disparities between older African Americans and other ethnic groups through research, faculty mentoring and education. MCUAAAAR is a joint project between the IOG and the U-M.

Social Class and Brain Health in Older African Americans – P. Lichtenberg, PI, S. Cocroft, Diversity Scholar, A 22 five-year grant from the Mary Thompson Foundation to support the IOG's Financial Health after 60 educational outreach series. over two years from the Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Center to support Issues in Aging professional development conference, now in its 31st consecutive year. from the Alzheimer's Association Greater Michigan Chapter to support Issues in Aging. $ 75,000 $ 10,000 $ 5,000 Training & Community Engagement Program FUNDING Three past chairs of the IOG Board of Visitors: David Howell (left), Carol Edwards, Tom Trainer. Board member Frances Shani Parker (left) talks research with Professor Cathy Lysack at a holiday gathering. two-year $109,000 Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (part of MCUAAAR) provides scholars with extensive mentoring (primary mentor Dr. Lichtenberg) as they refine the research that will inform their doctoral dissertation.

Impact of the Affordable Care Act on the Use of Preventive Services – W. Tarraf, PI. An 18-month grant of $69,000 from WSU and Henry Ford Health System to study how implementation of the ACA has affected the use of preventive services, and whether disparities in usage exist between racial groups.


Financial Safety & Health Initiative

Integrating Improved Assessments of Financial Judgment: Conceptual and Measurement Advances – P. Lichtenberg, PI. A three-year $468,000 grant from the National Institute of Justice to validate a newly created set of three screening tools that assess the capacity of older adults to make financial decisions. The study will also collect data to prepare for large-scale dissemination of these tools to professionals across multiple disciplines including lawyers, financial planners, social workers, law enforcement and adult protective services.

Center for Financial Safety & Health – P. Lichtenberg, PI. The Michigan Health Endowment Fund gave $334,000 over two years to create a center tasked with protecting the financial, cognitive and emotional health of older adults by providing evidence-based services, education and professional training across the seven counties of southeast Michigan.

Evidence-based Tools and Programs for Detecting and Preventing Financial Exploitation and Assisting Older Scam and Identity Theft Victims – P. Lichtenberg, PI. A one-year grant of $184,000 from the State of Michigan to partner with Lifespan in Rochester, New York, to implement their evidence-based practice of services to older adult scam and ID theft victims in Detroit and seven surrounding counties. The project will also create new tools to guide senior financial decisions and work with Michigan APS to implement them statewide.

Online Evidence-based Assessments of Financial Decision-Making in Older Adults – P. Lichtenberg, PI. The Michigan Aging and Adult Services PRVNT program granted $117,000 for the creation of secure desktop and mobile platform websites to aid in detecting, assessing and preventing financial decision-making problems. This grant continues Dr. Lichtenberg's work with evidence-based assessment instruments for professional employees of Adult Protective Services and the legal and financial sectors to detect vulnerabilities in the financial decision-making process and swiftly intervene to help prevent financial exploitation. The funding expands the program to include all Michigan counties.

Financial Health after 60 – P. Lichtenberg, PI. Support of $26,000 for one year from the Foundation for Financial Health for a series of 10 workshops across Wayne County for older adults on financial literacy, to include free personal sessions with a certified financial planner.

Financial Decision Making in Older Adults: Commercial Applications – P. Lichtenberg, PI. A $25,000 Technology Commercialization grant to create a mobile application for his screening scale available on the BrainsFx Platform, to measure older adults' capacity for financial decision making and vulnerability to financial abuse.


FY 2014 & 2015 MAJOR RESEARCH GRANTS 


Neural Correlates and Modifiers of Cognitive Aging MERIT Award – Naftali Raz, PI. The NIH awarded this $3 million, five-year grant to research the modifiers of normal cognitive aging from a neuroscience perspective. MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) awards give select researchers long-term support, without the burden of regularly applying for new grant funding.

Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR) – Peter Lichtenberg and James Jackson (U-M), Co-PIs. A $2.7 million fiveyear extension to the nearly $6.5 million previously granted from the National Institute on Aging to reduce health disparities between older African Americans and other ethnic groups through research, faculty mentoring and education. MCUAAAR is a joint project between the IOG and the U-M.

Using a System-Wide Database to Reduce Workplace Violence in Hospitals – Mark Luborsky, Co-PI. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave $1.6 million over four years to develop a standardized surveillance and risk assessment reporting system at several Detroit-area hospitals. This system will evaluate the effectiveness of two interventions to curb workplace violence in hospitals.

Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors (CURES) – Peter Lichtenberg, Director, Community Outreach and Education Core; Melissa Runge-Morris, MD, PI. Approximately $900,000 of the three-year, $2.5 million grant from WSU's Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to develop and implement a model of community engagement, interaction and training for all ages in common environmental stressors.

Community-Based Early Identification of Mild Cognitive Impairment in At-Risk African Americans – Voyko Kavcic, PI. The NIH awarded $413,000 over two years to use low-cost computerized tests and EEGs to detect early cognitive changes in otherwise healthy older African Americans and determine those at risk for later mild cognitive changes or Alzheimer's disease. African Americans have faster rates of cognitive decline than other racial groups and are less likely to be diagnosed or receive treatment.

Integrating Improved Assessments of Financial Judgment: Conceptual and Measurement Advances – Peter Lichtenberg, PI. A three-year $468,000 grant from the National Institute of Justice to validate a newly created set of three screening tools that assess the capacity of older adults to make financial decisions. The study will also collect data to prepare for large-scale dissemination of these tools to professionals across multiple disciplines including lawyers, financial planners, social workers, law enforcement and adult protective services.

Study of Latinos – Investigation of Neurocognitive Aging – Hector Gonzalez (MSU), PI. Wassim Tarraf, Co-Investigator and Lead Statistician. A five-year study of 6,600 Latino and Hispanic older adults to better understand the progression from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's. The National Institute on Aging granted $5.67 million with $425,000 to Dr. Tarraf. He will help supervise data collection across four sites, integrate genetics and neurocognitive data, and lead statistical analysis for reports and publications.

Subjective Cognitive Impairment: A Sign of Incipient Alzheimer's Disease? – Jessica Damoiseaux, PI. Dr. Damoiseaux is conducting a longitudinal study of functional and structural brain changes in healthy older adults with and without cognitive complaints, funded by a four-year grant of $345,000 from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.

Southeast Michigan Partners against Cancer (SEMPAC) – Teri Albrecht, Associate Center Director, Population Sciences, Karmanos Cancer Center, PI; Peter Lichtenberg, Head of the Investigator Training Core. This $4 million grant ($327,000 to the Training Core) from the National Cancer Institute renews the original Detroit Community Network Program (CNP) for an additional five years. SEMPAC's goal is to reduce cancer rates among Detroit's older African Americans.

Online Evidence-based Assessments of Financial Decision-Making in Older Adults – Peter Lichtenberg, PI. The Michigan Aging and Adult Services PRVNT program granted $110,000 for the creation of secure desktop and mobile platform websites to detect, assess and prevent financial decision-making problems. This grant continues Dr. Lichtenberg's work with evidencebased assessment instruments for professional employees of Adult Protective Services and the legal and financial sectors to detect vulnerabilities in the financial decision-making process. It expands the program to all Michigan counties.

Assessing Financial Decision-Making, and Financial Exploitation – Peter Lichtenberg, PI. A $109,000 grant: $69,000 from the Retirement Research Foundation; $35,000 from a WSU boost grant; and $5,000 from the American House Foundation, to test the validity and implementation of the newly created Lichtenberg Financial Decision-Making Screening Scale. One hundred older adults will be recruited for the validity test. An additional 100 will be interviewed and tested by financial planners, elder law attorneys, bankers, prosecutors, police and sheriff personnel in their offices to assess the ease and utility of the scale.

Integrated Elder Abuse Reporting System Design (I-EARS) – Thomas B. Jankowski, PI. A grant of $105,000 from Elder Law of Michigan to conduct a nine-month review of current practices to determine the feasibility and cost of creating an integrated elder abuse reporting system in Michigan. Michigan's Adult Protective Services receives approximately 35,000 reports of abuse against vulnerable adults annually; a large portion involving older adults. This project will determine what data is being collected, benchmark best practices, and gather case studies; all to help calculate the amount and impact of elder abuse in the state and how to address and prevent it.

Older Adult Needs Assessment – Thomas B. Jankowski, PI. This one-year, $57,000 grant from the Monroe County (Michigan) Commission on Aging funds a comprehensive community-based senior needs assessment to help the county prepare for the aging of their population. The project will analyze existing demographic, economic, and health information, and conduct focus groups and extensive surveys of key stakeholders in the local aging network, current aging service clients, and older adult community members.

Social Class and Brain Health in Older African Americans – Peter Lichtenberg, PI, Shelytia Cocroft, Diversity Scholar. A two-year $123,000 Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (part of MCUAAAR) provides Shelytia with extensive mentoring (primary mentor Dr. Lichtenberg). She will measure attitudes, knowledge and practices around brain health in 200 older African Americans, some with perceived cognitive impairment. Results may lead to more effective means of educating, preventing and treating dementia in African Americans.

Impact of the Affordable Care Act on the Use of Preventive Services and Disparities in Use – Wassim Tarraf, PI. An 18-month grant of $69,000 from WSU and Henry Ford Health System to study how implementation of the ACA has affected the use of preventive services, and whether disparities in usage exist between racial groups.

Subjective Cognitive Impairment: A Sign of Early Alzheimer's Disease? – Jessica Damoiseaux, Co-PI. A one-year, $45,000 grant from the Veteran's Administration / Dept. of Psychiatry to ascertain whether personal complaints of diminished memory could predict Alzheimer's disease.

Financial Decision-Making in Older Adults: Commercial Applications – Peter Lichtenberg, PI. A $25,000 Technology Commercialization grant from WSU to pursue commercial applications for the screening and assessment scales Dr. Lichtenberg created. They measure older adults' capacity for financial decision-making and vulnerability to financial abuse.

Characterizing Typical Development of Memory Systems in the Brain – Noa Ofen, PI. Multiple awards to fund research assistants in the Ofen Lab for Cognitive and Brain Development: $30,000 from WSU for a post-doc fellow; a $3,000 Research Enhancement grant; and $2,500 from the School of Medicine Graduate School for summer research.

Acrobatic Functioning and Mobility – Peter Lichtenberg, WSU PI. This four-year NIH grant of $123,000 supports research through the Claude Pepper Older American Independence Center at U-M.


Research Archives



Downsizing Possessions for Residential Moves in Later Life 
Co-PIs – WSU Site: Mark Luborsky, PhD & Cathy Lysack, PhD
Funder: National Institutes of Health
The goal of this project is to investigate possession management, disposition, and disposal as an adaptation to the vulnerabilities of age when people move to smaller quarters in later life. In this "Downsizing Households" study the specific aims are to: (1) Describe the strategies and emotions of household downsizing as perceived by those who accomplish a move; (2) Confirm the developmental character of such episodes by examining move circumstances; (3) Identify the heuristics—mental shortcuts—that people use to disband under constraints of limited time and knowledge; and (4) Describe self-representations and explore their role as resources for the accomplishment of downsizing and making a residential move. Investigators with expertise in the study of life reorganization are conducting this study in two-sites: in Lawrence, Kansas, and Detroit, Michigan. In-home interviews will be conducted within 100 households of older persons (age 65 and older) who have moved to smaller quarters in the last year. In addition, there will be interviews in another 50 households twice before and once after the move. The analysis of informants' accounts will clarify how individuals motivate, execute, and evaluate these transitions. This project will generate practical information for the public and for health and social service professionals that can be applied to catalyze disbandment and facilitate residential relocation as a means to better self care.

Adult-Onset Mobility Loss
Mark Luborsky, Ph.D., Principal Investigator
The goal of this project is to describe the experiences and meanings of adult onset mobility loss among a sample of Caucasian and African-Americans (N=216) aged 45 - 62, and test three competing theory-based hypotheses regarding the nature and impact of psychosocial experiences consequent to the loss of physical mobility. Funding: NICHD/NCMRR - #R01HD34940

Adherence to HAART Among HIV+ African Americans
PI: Sankar, A.
Co-PI: Luborsky, M.
NIH/National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Disease, 2001-2006, $2.1 million
The goal is to develop factors related to long-term adherence to High Acting Antiretroviral Therapy among minorities and to develop best practice to increase the likelihood of compliance thereby reducing excess disability, deaths, and emergence of drug resistant strains of HIV.

Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elders (ACTIVE)
Peter Lichtenberg, Ph.D. (Wayne State University Site Principal Investigator)
Michael Marsiske, Ph.D. (Project Principal Investigator)
June Clark (Project Director)

This is a multi-site clinical trial study conducted at six locations nationally (University of Alabama Birmingham, Harvard's Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for Aged, Indiana University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Pennsylvania State University, and Wayne State University), and funded by NIA and NINR. The goal of the trial is to assess whether basic cognitive training (in remembering, concentrating, and problem solving) can have positive effects in the ability to perform critical everyday tasks. Over a planned two-year follow-up interval, the study will address whether such training can have beneficial effects for such public health outcomes as institutionalization, morbidity, and mortality. Nationally, approximately 2880 participants aged 65 and older, about a third of whom are expected to be African American, will be enrolled in the study.

Aging American Voter Project
Thomas B. Jankowski, Ph.D.
Charles D. Elder, Ph.D.
The Aging American Voter Project is an ongoing line of research exploring the relationship between the aging process and changes in political behavior and orientation over the adult life span. Using 48 years worth of National Election Study surveys, the project seeks to illuminate the ways in which adult political learning, attachment to community, social affiliation, partisan identification, and other age-related factors influence political participation and opinion. The project also attempts to explain large-scale trends in U.S. voting turnout and other forms of participation by considering aging effects, cohort differences, and changes in historical context.

City of Detroit 2001-2002 Elderly Needs Assessment
Elizabeth E. Chapleski, Principal Investigator
The Detroit Senior Citizens Department wants to find out what services senior citizens need. This citywide study in Detroit will use trained WSU interviewers to contact residents over the age of 60. During the survey, seniors will be asked questions about many topics including health care, prescription drugs, transportation, recreation, housing, tax preparation and other quality of life issues. Survey participants will be chosen at random. Participants will be recieve a $10 gift certificate to either Rite-Aid or CVS Pharmacy. The results from the study could impact how City services are delivered in Detroit. Funding: City of Detroit

Cognitive Assessment and Early Detection of Dementia
Peter A. Lichtenberg, Ph.D., ABPP
Jeffery Barth, Ph.D., ABPP
David Erlanger, Ph.D.
Larry Lawhorne, M.D.
Michael Maddens, M.D.
Amanda Schaefer, M.A.
Lisa Ficker,M.A.

This series of projects funded by a number of different sources including the NINR, Eisai and Pfizer Inc. and the Geriatric Education Center of Michigan is looking at three main areas to improve early detection of Alzheimer's Disease; (1) Use of the Fuld Object Memory Evaluation to assess cognition in African American elders, and to assess change after treatment in African American elders with Alzheimer's Disease; (2) Validation of a computer internet-based cognitive assessment system Headminders protocol; and (3) A statewide initiative to improve primary care physician awareness and ability to assess and treat dementia.

Community Living After Spinal Cord Injury: Models and Outcomes
PI: Lysack, C.
Co-PI : Luborsky, M.
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/
National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, 2003-2007, $1,089,578
The goal of this study is to extend basic knowledge of longer term spinal cord injury outcomes by evaluating competing social-ecological hypotheses about community (both desired forms of community and modes of valued participation) by comparing adult Caucasian and African Americans with spinal cord injury (n=160) across a range of age of onset and duration beyond 5 years post injury. The main emphasis in this study is on evaluating the relative importance of spatial/geographical versus social/ecological elements of theories of community formation. This study also emphasizes the full developmental spectrum of adults with SCI, thus illuminating how persons participate in the full spectrum of social roles and normative communities across six decades of the human lifespan.

Community Participation After Spinal Cord Injury: Idioms of Beliefs and Behaviors
PI: Lysack, C.
Co-PI: Luborsky, M.
National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, 2002-2005, $450,000
For persons with severe permanent and visible injuries like spinal cord injury (SCI), the challenge of overcoming physical and attitudinal barriers in the community and realizing full community re-integration and inclusion can be significant. The primary goal of this three year practice-focused study (n=72) is to identify individual and environmental level barriers and resources to community independence and re-integration among teenagers and younger adults in the early years post spinal cord injury. This study also seeks to shed light on the ways persons with spinal cord injury envision their sense of community and identify the modes of community engagement over time as they move from the acute post-injury phase to long term adjustment. A substantial body of literature documents that the absence of meaningful community participation is a risk factor for poor long-term medical and psychosocial outcomes in persons with a wide range of disabilities. Thus, the project is anticipated to contribute new data on community re-integration with the potential to assist persons with SCI and persons with other disabilities as well.

Compensating Wage Differences in Older Workers
Gail Jensen, Ph.D., PI
Michael Morrisey, Co-PI
Employers are the principal source of health insurance for Americans under age 65. Economic theory argues that workers pay for health insurance in the form of lower wages or reductions in other forms of compensation. This paper uses 1994 and 1998 Health and Retirement Survey data to examine the wage-health insurance trade-off for older U.S workers. Job and insurance choice are treated as endogenous in a two stage least squares framework. There is strong evidence supporting the treatment of nonwage benefits as endogenous. The preferred specification indicates an annual health insurance wage adjustment of $6,300. The magnitude of the tradeoff is fragile, however.

Diabetes in Older Latinos, Stress and Brain Changes
PI: Haan, M.N.
Co-PI: González, H.M.
NIA/Department of Health and Human Services
1999-2006, $1.42 million
The objectives of this study are to examine the role of diabetes and stress on the cognitive and functional status of community-dwelling older Mexican Americans.

Examing Inequalities in Occupational Therapy Services
Cathy Lysack, PhD, OT(C), PI
The main goal of this study is to identify the factors that predict referral to occupational therapy home evaluation services. Research in the realm of health inequalities has confirmed that access to medical care and duration of rehabilitation varies by insurance payer, not merely objective medical need. We will conduct a secondary data analysis of a 5-year sample of all rehabilitation patients discharged from the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (between January 1, 1994 and December 31, 1998; n=7902) to identify, describe and compare the demographic, insurance provider, and functional independence profiles of rehabilitation patients that receive an occupational therapy home evaluation and those who do not. Results are expected to have direct implications for the design and delivery of occupational therapy home evaluation programs.

HeadMinders: A Computer Internet-Based Cognitive Assessment System
PI (WSU): Lichtenberg, P.A.
NIH/National Institute on Aging (SBIR), $239,000

Despite being one of the top ten causes of death, Alzheimer's disease continues to be poorly assessed, detected, and treated within the primary care setting. Unfortunately, this setting is where the majority of older adults experiencing symptoms of an age-related dementia are likely to first seek help. Thus, with incredible growth in the U.S. population of older adults, especially those over age 75, improving the ability of the primary care physicians to diagnose and treat Alzheimer's disease and other age-related dementias is of high priority. Time constraints within the primary care setting and lack of technical expertise regarding cognitive testing are consistently identified as major barriers for improving care for patients with Alzheimer's disease. Because of these barriers, Practice Guidelines and Best Practice Standards have failed to substantially improve detection and treatment of Alzheimer's disease in the primary care setting. The HeadMinder Cognitive Screening Test (CST) was created to eliminate constraints of time and technical expertise while allowing for fundamental cognitive screening.

Helping Older Minority Women Transition from Homelessness
PI: Washington, O.G.M.
Wayne State University President's Research Enhancement Program, 2005-2007, $160,682

The 24-month study focuses on examining systematically the issues that, African American women who are 45 years of age and older face and determining how these issues compromise successful transition. Action research methods are employed, which include older minority homeless women in transition as expert participants to identify issues they face and design assessment tools to evaluate barriers impeding their successful emergence from homelessness. This study also will facilitate the use of documented issues confronting older minority women in the development and refinement of transitional issues assessment tools and an advocacy intervention designed to help resolve issues presenting during their transition out of homelessness. This research also seeks to augment women's awareness, motivation and skills in resolving issues they perceive as most serious and relevant to them personally.

Hemodynamic Predictors of Brain and Cognitive Aging
PI: Raz, N.
NIH/National Institute on Aging, 2004-2006, $144,172

This research explores the feasibility of using Transcranial Doppler Sonography (TCD) for assessment of the influence exerted by hemodynamic factors on differential age-related changes in brain and cognition. We are specifically interested in exploring the links between age-related slowing of cerebral arterial blood velocity (CBF-V) in anterior and middle cerebral arteries, as a marker for cerebral hypoperfusion, and regional increase in white matter hyperintensities (WMH) burden as well as shrinkage of the cortex and the underlying white matter. In cognitive domain we will focus in the executive functions which are differentially sensitive to aging and prefrontal pathology. Our hypotheses are based on the body of clinical and preclinical studies that suggested CBF-V slowing as risk factor for developing WMH, our own studies that support the plausibility of modifying influence of cerebrovascular risk factors on age-related brain shrinkage and on the studies that suggest differential vulnerability of executive functions to mild hypertension. While a preliminary report [5] indicates that reduced CBF-V may be associated with structural brain pathology (global WMH burden), neither regional specificity, nor cognitive relationship nor longitudinal course of that index have been established. We have conducted research on a cohort of healthy adults (age 18-85) and obtained cognitive and MRI-based structural brain measures on more than 100 individuals. In this project, we propose to use these data as baseline measures in a two-year longitudinal study and to relate hemodynamic variables to the rate of neuroanatomical and cognitive change. Thus, this research represents a pilot study that examines the feasibility of applying a technique widely used in the clinic to research healthy aging, and it will benefit from statistical analysis of existing data.

HIV Risk Behavior by African Americans Receiving Protease Inhibitor Therapy
Mark Luborsky, Ph.D., Co-PI
The goal of this project is to reduce risk behavior by minorities taking protease inhibitor treatments. It will identify how risk and risk behavior is defined by African-Americans (N=60), congruence with medical definitions and evaluate how treatment programs address perceived needs related to HIV risk behaviors. Funding: NIMH - #R01MH54391

Minimum Premium Plans: Defined Contributions and Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance
Gail Jensen, Ph.D., PI
This study examines the extent of use of alternative contribution plans for health insurance coverage offered by employers, analyzes the determinants of choice, and estimates the effect of the choice on the cost of health insurance. Data for the study come from the 1997 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Employer Health Insurance Survey, which is nationally representative of private and public employers in the U.S. The study is first describing the use of alternative premium contribution arrangements among employers. Then, models are being estimated describing the factors that influence an employer's choice of funding arrangement, so that the role of worker heterogeneity can be isolated from other factors relevant to that choice, such as firm characteristics and the nature of the firm's local market area. Finally, the results of this analysis are being used to examine the effects of alternative contribution policies on premiums in employment-based health plans.

Occupational Therapy Training to Improve Mental Health Services
PIs: Lichtenberg, P. & Lysack, C.
Retirement Research Foundation, 2005-2007 $264,000
Bringing together a team of  occupational therapists, psychologists, pharmacists and physical therapistsThis project created a set of 6 one hour DVD based training modules. The modules include actual patient-practitioner interactions; assessments and interventions. The efficacy of the modules is being evaluated across 30 Occupational Therapists in home, outpatient and nursing home settings.

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Social Identity and Political Participation of African Americans
Thomas B. Jankowski, Ph.D.
Ronald E. Brown, Ph.D.
Mary Herring, Ph.D.
By studying racial group consciousness, salience, common fate, cohesion, outgroup attitudes, and preferred strategies for political inclusion, we seek to better understand the socialization experiences that occur within formal and informal African American networks. In particular, our interest lies in exploring the political integration of successive generations of African Americans into the larger community and the relationship between social identity and the growth in political participation over time.

Telling My Story
Using Humanistic Social Science to Illuminate First Person Accounts of Women Surviving Homelessness in Late Life
PI: Washington, O.G.M.
Humanities Center Innovative Proposal Competition & Institute of Gerontology
2003-2006, $8,000

Vascular Depression and Function in Older Latinos
PI: González, H.M.
National Institutes of Health, 2003-2008, $834,520

The objectives of this study are to examine how depression and vascular disease are associated with cognitive and functional changes in community-dwelling older Mexican Americans.

Women and Aging: Well-being in Late Life
Cathy Lysack, PhD, OT(C), Principal Investigator
Colette Duggan, PhD
Doreen Head, MOT
The fastest growing segment of the American elderly population is women age 85 years and older. Yet, we lack an adequate understanding of experiences of aging and well-being from the perspective of these women. What can they tell us about the meaning of health and well-being at the end of life that can inform the complex process of developing and sustaining healthful attitudes and health promoting behaviors? Furthermore, how closely do the characteristics and predictors of "successful aging" defined by researchers approximate the domains of quality of life as defined by older adults themselves? The specific aims of this pilot project are to describe: 1) how very elderly women perceive aging and well-being across the life course; 2) how issues, dilemmas, and concerns associated with advanced age relate to present well-being; and 3) how very elderly women view and evaluate the quality of their lives in late life. This qualitative research project is focused on 20 women (10 White and 10 African American) age 85 years or over, identified by others in their communities as having lived active, satisfying and meaningful lives. Funding: National Institute on Aging.