You are here

Current Projects

Network for Investigation of Delirium across the US (NIDUS)

The Network for Investigation of Delirium across the US (NIDUS) will create an interdisciplinary network of researchers from 27 organizations across the U.S. united in focused, collaborative efforts to accelerate scientific discovery in delirium. 

NIDUS' unparalleled efforts to advance delirium research will include: developing a database of ongoing delirium studies to encourage multi-site collaboration, secondary analyses of existing delirium data, and facilitation of pilot studies; developing resources to help researchers choose and compare tools for assessing delirium and integrate information collected across multiple delirium studies; providing annual pilot grants to encourage innovative research into new areas of study; hosting an intensive training boot camp for researchers new to the field of delirium, as well as providing ongoing opportunities for mentorship and career development; and holding an annual scientific symposium for delirium researchers and using social media and other approaches to communicate information about delirium research broadly. NIDUS is funded by a grant from the National Institute on Aging, grant no. R24AG054259 (Inouye).


The Center of Excellence for Delirium in Aging: Research, Training and Educational Enhancement (CEDARTREE)

The Center of Excellence for Delirium in Aging: Research, Training and Educational Enhancement (CEDARTREE) was established in 2013. CEDARTREE offers comprehensive interdisciplinary training and mentorship in delirium research and encourages investigators to engage in collaborative, delirium-related, and patient-oriented research. In addition to advancing research and training, CEDARTREE fosters dissemination of research findings, and serves as a local and national resource for delirium research. CEDARTREE hosts an annual Delirium Boot Camp, Scientific Symposium, and visiting scholar, and sponsors delirium-related talks in the Greater Boston area.   In 2015, CEDARTREE awarded its first Pilot Grants and Best Delirium Paper Awards. CEDARTREE is funded by the NIH, grant K07 AG041835, and is under the leadership of Dr. Sharon Inouye in collaboration with Dr. Edward Marcantonio and other experts in delirium and related fields.

Recent/Upcoming CEDARTREE-NIDUS Events:

June 6, 2017: NIDUS Scientific Symposium: NIDUS will host its first annual Scientific Symposium at the 2017 American Delirium Society Annual Meeting in Nashville (June 4-6). The NIDUS Symposium will include a plenary session by NIDUS Core and Task Force Leaders introducing new projects, followed by a scientific breakout session featuring oral presentations by alumni of the CEDARTREE-NIDUS Delirium Boot Camp.

November 1-3 2017: Delirium Research Boot Camp - applications due June 23, 2017: CEDARTREE & NIDUS will be hosting a three-day intensive course on delirium research November 1-3, 2017 at the Inn at Longwood Medical in Boston, MA. Recognized experts in the field will discuss cutting-edge research approaches, from assessment and methodology to novel technologies and interventions. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with world-renowned experts in delirium and related fields. This year, NIDUS is offering a limited number of travel awards to attendees.

Details and applications are available at https://deliriumnetwork.org/2017-delirium-boot-camp/ Contact agingbraincenter@hsl.harvard.edu if you have any questions

March 31, 2017:  Dr. Brad Dickerson, Associate Professor of Medicine at Yale University, gave a talk titled: “Large-scale brain systems subserving cognitive and affective function: Imaging biomarkers of vulnerability and resilience.” Dr. Dickerson is the Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Frontotemporal Disorders Unit and Neuroimaging Lab in Boston. He is also a staff behavioral neurologist in the MGH Memory Disorders Unit, co-investigator on the Neuroimaging Core of the Alzheimer’s disease Research Center, and an Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. His research employs quantitative structural, functional, and molecular neuroimaging techniques to investigate dementias as well as normal aging.

Visit the NIDUS website for more information: https://deliriumnetwork.org


RISE (Role of Inflammation after Surgery in Elders)

The RISE study (Role of Inflammation after Surgery in Elders) funded by the Alzheimer Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) seeks to understand the role of inflammation in delirium and long-term cognitive decline. Increasing evidence links neuro-inflammation to Alzheimer’s Disease, post-operative cognitive decline and delirium (acute brain failure). Delirium, which may accelerate cognitive decline possibly mediated by inflammatory mechanisms, often occurs following major physiologic disruptions including medical illness and surgery. RISE will identify risk markers for delirium and cognitive decline and identify biomarkers of inflammation.  This study holds great promise to accelerate anti-inflammatory treatment interventions with the goal of reducing delirium and long-term cognitive decline following surgery.


Successful Aging After Elective Surgery (SAGES)

Surgery and hospitalization in older adults can often lead to delirium, and in turn these patients may develop difficulties in thinking, functioning, and memory. Previous studies have shown these changes occur in 30-40% of older adults. SAGES is designed to examine the risk factors, causes, and duration of these changes in thinking and functioning. The SAGES study is one of the largest of its kind, examining 566 older adults after surgery, and is the first ever Program Project (P01) on delirium funded by the National Institutes of Health. This project collects novel risk markers for delirium, including components from blood samples and brain MRI scans, and examines how cognitive reserve markers might influence delirium or delirium-related outcomes. Ultimately, the results of the study may contribute to finding ways of helping older adults successfully recover after surgery, avoid hospital- and surgery-related complications, and maintain their cognitive abilities. SAGES is funded by NIA grant P01 AG031720 (Inouye).


Better Assessment of Illness (BASIL)

The BASIL study aims to create a new way to measure the severity of delirium. Delirium is preventable and treatable, but good measures of delirium severity are needed to understand the clinical course and recovery, and to test the effectiveness of treatment on relevant clinical outcomes. Severity is a complex topic and may mean different things to patients and those providing care. The results of the BASIL study may ultimately help to reduce healthcare utilization, and to minimize distress to patients and caregiving burden to family members and nurses. BASIL is funded by NIA grant R01 AG044518 (Jones/Inouye).