Hearing, Memory and Quality of Life in Older Adults
Community-based Cooperative for Studies Across Generations (CoSAGE) would like to invite persons with memory problems or dementia (for example, Alzheimer disease) and their primary family caregiver to take part in a new research study to learn how hearing and memory impact a person’s quality of life.
The purpose of this study is to learn how certain genes, hearing ability, and environment influence our ability to remember, think and care for ourselves. The researchers hope to identify better ways of treating persons with memory problems or dementia to improve their independence and quality of life.
This study includes doing tests on DNA, a person’s genetic material, collecting information about your personal and family medical history. The DNA, white blood cells and serum samples obtained from you will be used to examine the role of genes in relationship to the health data that you provide during this study. The DNA, white blood cells and serum samples obtained from you during this study will also be stored indefinitely. The results of the studies that we do in the laboratory with your DNA and white blood cells will not be reported back to you.
Participants will also be connected to a large pedigree or family tree of the community. The pedigree includes immigrant families to the community, their ancestors and descendents. Pedigrees can help researchers study how common health problems are passed down from generations, identify the hereditary factors that cause the health problem, and then someday help prevent and treat these health problems.
Volunteers will be asked to-
- If you agree to participate, your involvement will last 12 months and will include up to six visits (two visits at each of 3 time points) with a member of the research team. After the first time we meet with you, we will visit again after 6 months and again at 12 months. The research team will visit you where you live. Each time point will require two, 2.5 hour visits on separate days.
- Visits will include hearing tests and answering questions about your health, hearing, and how you feel. A member of the research team will also interview you to determine your current ability to remember, think, and care for yourself.
- We will exam your ears and test your hearing at each visit. Part of the hearing tests will include looking at your outer ears and eardrums. For one hearing test you will be asked to wear earphones. You will be asked to respond when you hear a sound delivered through the earphones. For another hearing test a small earphone is place in your ear and various tones are emitted and then recorded. The procedures are painless and pose no danger to you. Each of the tests to be performed is part of routine audiologic testing.
- We will also review your medical record or interview your family/caregiver for information about your current and past medical history, medication use and your current ability to remember, think and care for yourself.
- A research team member will draw a sample of blood from your arm. Approximately one (1) tablespoon (13.5mL) of blood will be taken. In most cases this will require 1 needle stick. The blood will provide DNA and white blood cells for genetic studies. If we are not able to draw blood from your arm we may use an alternative procedure. For a cheek swab, either a small sponge will be placed inside your mouth to collect saliva or a small brush (similar to a toothbrush) will be turned on the inner surface of the cheek to collect cells. For a saliva sample we will ask you to spit about one tablespoon of saliva into a plastic container. The sample collection processes takes approximately 15 minutes. If you were part of previous CoSAGE study and we were able to collect a sample of your blood or saliva, we will not collect another sample.
- We will ask you to share the names and birth dates of your parents, spouse and grandparents in order to connect you to the existing pedigree or family
Caregivers will be asked to-
- Meet with a member of the research team up to six times (two visits at each of 3 time points). After the first time we meet with you, we will visit again after 6 months and again at 12 months. Each visit may take up to 2.5 hours.
- During each visit, we will ask you questions about your family member’s (or legal designee’s) current and past medical history, their ability to think, remember and care for themselves, medication history and their nutritional status. If your family member (legal designee) is unable to answer questions about their hearing or and how they feel about different areas of their life, we will ask you these questions also. You will also complete surveys about your health and wellbeing and how you are feeling about taking care of your family member (or legal designee).
- We will ask you to share the names and birth dates of your parents, spouse and grandparents in order to connect you to the existing community pedigree or family tree.
- We ask for your permission for a member of the study team to contact you to update your contact information periodically.
Gender: Men and women
Age: 21 years of age and older.
Other: You or your family member have concerns about memory or have been diagnosed with dementia (for example, Alzheimer disease). Individuals who reside in a care setting outside of the home are invited to participate. Individuals with a cognitive impairment will require a legal representative (guardian) to review and co-sign the informed consent. Participants must be English speaking.
Volunteers do not need to have hearing loss to participate.
Persons with major depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disease will be excluded.
Location of appointments:
All study activity can be done in your home. Special arrangements can be made for individuals who reside in a care setting outside the home. Flexible appointment times are available.
Volunteers will each receive a $25.00 gift card for their participation.
You will receive no direct benefit from your participation. You and others may benefit in the future from the result of this research as we understand how genes and the environment, influences quality of life in persons with memory problems or dementia.
Principal Investigator (s):
schutted [at] msu [dot] edu
schutteb [at] msu [dot] edu