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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. 

Affecting over 2.6 million older adults in the U.S. each year, typically following surgery, hospitalization, or acute illness, delirium can be serious and  life-threatening, often leading to loss of independence, cognitive decline, an increased risk of morbidity and mortality, and costing more than $164 billion per year in healthcare expenditures. Despite its importance for the health and wellbeing of older adults, delirium is not well understood and is vastly under-recognize. 

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; creating an intensive training bootcamp 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.


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 Events:

November 6-8 2016: Delirium Research Boot Camp - applications due July 15, 2016: CEDARTREE will be hosting a three-day intensive course on delirium research November 6-8, 2016 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, CEDARTREE will also be offering two pilot awads, prestigious awards for new research projects related to delirium. Details and applications are available at http://www.hospitalelderlifeprogram.org/cedartree/delirium-bootcamp/. Contact agingbraincenter@hsl.harvard.edu if you have any questions

April 30, 2015:  Dr. Margaret Pisani, Associate Professor of Medicine at Yale University, gave a talk titled: Sleep and Circadian Rhythm Alterations in Aging and Illness. Dr. Pisani co-founded the Sleep in the ICU Task Force, an international group of investigators dedicated to researching the role of sleep in critically ill patients.

November 12-13, 2015: CEDARTREE held its 3rd annual two-day intensive course in delirium research to train the next generation of delirium investigators.

Visit the CEDARTREE website for more information.


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.


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.