Communicating Diagnostic and Risk Information to People with Mild Cognitive Impairment

Research Type: 
Alzheimer's Disease


Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) has become a concept widely used to define the state between normal aging and early Alzheimer’s disease, and may soon transition from a research category to a formal clinical diagnosis. MCI represents a growing population at risk for AD, with prevalence likely even greater than the 4-5 million in the U.S. currently thought to be affected by dementia. Although many studies document conversion rates from MCI to AD, we know little about how to communicate AD risk information to MCI patients and their family members.

Study Aims

The goal of the MCI Risk Communication Study is to develop and evaluate a risk communication protocol to convey diagnostic and risk information to MCI patients and family members. A multi-step protocol will be created, taking into account principles of health risk communication, patient and provider preferences, and ethical issues involved in working with cognitively impaired populations. The protocol will be delivered by health care professionals with risk communication experience and tested on 10 patient/care-partner dyads recruited from Alzheimer’s Disease Centers at the University of Michigan and Boston University. The results of this pilot study will help inform the fourth trial of REVEAL.

Funding Source

The MCI Risk Communication Study is funded by a grant from the Alzheimer’s Association.

Key Personnel

J. Scott Roberts, Ph.D., Principal Investigator

Wendy Uhlmann, MS. C.G.C., Genetic Counselor 

Lindsay Zausmer, B.A., Study Coordinator 

Robert C. Green, M.D., M.P.H., Co-Principal Investigator

Jason Karlawish, M.D., Consultant, University of Pennsylvania

Ron Petersen, M.D., Ph.D., Consultant, Mayo Clinic