Tackling a new problem

More than six million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD), characterized by cognitive and behavioral impairments, and more than 50% of community-dwelling older adults with ADRD experience pain daily. Chronic pain remains mostly untreated in those with ADRD, mainly due to their limited capacity to report pain verbally. As the ability to communicate is often diminished, pain often goes under-recognized and is poorly managed. Development of reliable and objective biomarkers of chronic pain could improve accurate pain assessment and treatment. Thus, using electrophysiology (e.g., wearable EEG, EMG, eye tracking), signal processing, and machine-learning, we aim to identify neural signatures of chronic pain in older adults with early-stage ADRD, in comparison to healthy controls.