Addressing Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Disparities: The American Indigenous Cognitive Assessment (AMICA)

Memory Keepers Medical Discovery Team (MK-MDT) has been awarded $10 million over five years by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for their grant entitled “Addressing Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Disparities: The American Indigenous Cognitive Assessment (AMICA)” (R01AG074231). MK-MDT Executive Director, Dr. Kristen Jacklin (PI), will lead the five-year project (2022-2027) to develop a culturally appropriate dementia evaluation toolkit for American Indian communities. This toolkit will include:

(1) a cognitive assessment (2) caregiver report of symptoms of dementia, (3) evaluation of depression symptoms, and (4) inventory of changes in activities of daily living (ADLs)

Dr. Kristen Jacklin shared that “Having an accurate diagnosis of dementia is critical to having access to appropriate care for the person living with dementia and their caregivers. In our previous research we learned that Indigenous populations are reluctant to seek care for dementia because the clinical diagnosis process and tools are not culturally fair or safe. The toolkit we aim to develop will help meet a significant community need and will lead to greater accuracy and earlier detection of dementia.” This research expands and adapts previous clinical tools that have been developed and validated with Indigenous populations in Australia and Canada. The tools to be adapted include the Canadian Indigenous Cognitive Assessment (CICA), as well as the Australian Kimberly Indigenous assessments for depression (KICA depression), Activities of Daily Living (KICA-ADL) and a caregiver report (KICA-Carer). Memory Keepers researchers: Drs. Kristen Jacklin (PI) & Wayne Warry (Co-I)  have partnered with the Red Lake Nation in Minnesota on this project. Drs. Carey Gleason (MPI) and Megan Zuelsdorff (Co-I) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will implement the project with the Oneida Nation in Wisconsin; and Drs. Tassy Parker (MPI) and Nancy Pandhi (Co-I) from the University of New Mexico will work on the AMICA project with a diverse urban population through the First Nations Community HealthSource in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Addressing Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Disparities: A 5-year project to develop a culturally safe assessment toolkit called the American Indigenous Cognitive Assessment (AMICA)