The Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology

Cognitive Reserve and Delirium

07/11 – 06/13
Type: MD/PhD program project - A. Tow
Primary Mentor: J. Verghese
Agency: AECOM


The concept of ‘cognitive reserve’ reflects the ability of an individual to undergo brain injury and continue to function with no or minimal cognitive symptoms. Cognitive reserve has been operationalized using multiple proxy measures including education level, literacy, verbal IQ, and leisure activities. Based on current literature, we propose to operationalize cognitive reserve into ‘early life’ and ‘later life’ measures. This research is relevant because while considerable work has been done relating cognitive reserve to dementia and cognitive decline, cognitive reserve has not been well studied in the context of delirium, particularly in the post-operative setting. In this project we are working with surgeons to recruit orthopedic patients during their pre-operative clinic visit. At a baseline visit, we are assessing cognitive reserve measures as well as potential covariates including demographics, smoking and alcohol consumption, comorbidity, activities of daily living, and sleep. Following surgery, we are assessing patients for delirium using the Confusion Assessment Method, developed by Inouye, and delirium severity using the Memorial Delirium Assessment Scale developed by Breitbart and colleagues.

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Letter from the Chief 

New Developments

Verghese Gait Video Geriatrician Joe Verghese explains how subtle changes in gait can identify which patients are at risk for frailty – with the goal of preventing falls and mental decline. Dr. Verghese is chief of geriatrics at Einstein and Montefiore Medical Center and a professor of neurology and of medicine at Einstein. This edition of Einstein On, a research and medicine podcast, is hosted by Paul Moniz, managing director of communications and marketing at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

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