Long Lasting Memories 1st newsalert

Dear Madam / Sir,
 
Long Lasting Memories (LLM) is a European Union project developing an integrated ICT platform which combines state-of-the-art cognitive exercises with physical activity in the framework of an advanced ambient assisted living environment.
 
This news alert will:
 
1.      introduce you to the LLM project ,
2.      present you the components of the LLM service ,
3.      invite you to participate in the project’s first workshop ,
4.      inform you on the LLM trials ,
5.      inform youon a recent scientific study that proves the effectiveness of LLM service components.
 
I hope you will enjoy reading this news alert. We plan to send you not more than 3-4 such alerts until the end of the project (in the next two years). If you do not wish to receive them, please reply to this email with the word REMOVE in the subject line.
 
The coordinator
Panagiotis D. Bamidis, Assist. Professor,
Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
 
1.      The LLM project
 
The LLM project runs from June 2009 to February 2011, and is partially funded under the ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP) as part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme by the European Community.
 
By combining cognitive exercises and physical activity LLM delivers an effective countermeasure against age-related cognitive decline, thus actively improving the quality of life of the elderly. The LLM service can be installed in individual homes, day care centres, or more formal medical settings, enabling personalized and monitored physical and cognitive training of its users.  
 
The LLM consortium includes a multidisciplinary team of partners encompassing a broad spectrum from technology development to service providers.
 
 
The LLM service is designed to comprise of three existing interoperable components which perform complementary and interactive tasks to provide the system’s services:
 
·        The Independent Living Component (ILC) is based on the eHome system, which is a network of distributed, wirelessly-operating sensors connected to an embedded system (the e-Home central unit). It includes features such as intelligent learning of normal and exceptional patterns of behaviour (dangerous situations or indicators for emerging health problems), and relevant alarms. e-Home is a project funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG).
·        The Cognitive Training Component (CTC) is designed to support cognitive exercises provided by specialised software. A variety of software can be used for this process; a careful selection and evaluation has been performed by the LLM partnership to identify the appropriate software for testing during the project and for completing customization and localization of this software as needed for the initial deployment and the pilot testing of the LLM system.
·        The Physical Training Component (PTC) is comprised of custom training equipment, geared to meet the specialised needs of the elderly. The only prerequisite for the equipment is that it is able to provide exercise performance output. This output will be forwarded to the central LLM system for monitoring and processing.
 
 
The first LLM Workshop will take place in Athens, Greece, on May 20-21, 2010. During the workshop, we will present in detail the integrated LLM service and its separate components to a diverse audience that is expected to include medical and health-care providers, researchers, investors, government bodies, insurance companies, industry and technology providers, etc. This variety of perspectives will enable us to address many aspects of the LLM service, from scientific validation to market deployment. We will also discuss thoroughly and receive feedback from interested parties on issues regarding the effective use of the service in different environments and the upcoming pilot studies.
 
You may be kept informed on the development of the agenda and other plans for the Workshop at the LLM web site.
 
4.      The LLM trials
 
Four consecutive rounds of testing will take place in 5 EU Member countries (Austria, France, Greece, Spain, and the UK) for a period of 15 months. Testing will be focused upon elderly volunteers who will provide feedback to help improve the solution to meet user expectations. Testing will be conducted in accordance with relevant regulations for the protection of the participants; all test protocols will utilise good ethical practices and comply with European and national legislation.
 
Testing participants, as well as end users of the service after testing is completed, will include:
 
      People living at their houses, utilising the LLM monitoring environment and training services (“At Home” installation).
      People visiting day care centres, utilising a centralised monitoring environment and using the training components as well (“Day care centre” installations).
      People being hospitalised in clinical centres and hospitals, utilising a centralised monitoring environment, while following the cognitive training and using the physical training component as complementary to their physiotherapy sessions (“Hospital” installations).
 
To request further information or to participate in the project trials you may visit the LLM web site and contact the LLM partner in your country.
 
 
Numerous interventions for age-related cognitive decline are available. Unfortunately, improvement in cognitive function is typically limited to the directly trained skills. That is, seniors cannot use what they learn in their everyday activities outside of the lab. However, a recent large scale study by Smith and colleagues (2009) verified empirically that training with the Posit Science BrainFitness(TM) Program results in generalized improvement in measures of memory and perception in everyday life. Seniors with normal cognitive skills were trained intensively with computerized exercises that target brain systems associated with learning and memory. The exercises were specifically designed to improve the speed and accuracy of auditory and language processes. Compared to a control group who worked with other educational material for the same amount of time, seniors trained with the Brain Fitness program had significantly superior results in speed of processing, several measures of memory and attention, and self-reported improvements.
 
Smith, G. E., Housen, P., Yaffe, K., Ruff, R., Kennison, R. F., Mahncke, H. W., & Zelinski, E. M. (2009). A Cognitive Training Program Based on Principles of Brain Plasticity: Results from the Improvement in Memory with Plasticity-based Adaptive Cognitive Training (IMPACT) Study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 57(4), 594-603.
 
Contact
 
LLM is coordinated by Panagiotis D. Bamidis, Assist. Prof., Lab of Medical Informatics, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, PO Box 323, 54124, Thessaloniki, Greece, tel: +30 2310999310. Please feel free to contact Dr. Bamidis with questions or suggestions: bamidis@med.auth.gr.