Geriatric Medicine & Palliative Care Current Research
Scientists at The Michael L. Freedman Research Center on Aging, Technology, and Cognitive Health collaborate with basic, translational, and clinical researchers from NYU Langone and other academic institutions on an array of research projects. Our goal is to support the prevention and treatment of cognitive disorders in aging and at the end of life; to improve chronic disease management using goal-concordant approaches; to influence healthcare policy through relevant health services studies; and to facilitate and leverage the career trajectories of other NYU Langone and NYU investigators.
Areas of Interest
Our researchers are assessing telehealth, therapies, care partner support, hearing loss, and the relationship between chronic conditions and cognitive function.
Our scientists are developing and testing novel strategies in telehealth to improve clinical and health service outcomes for affected patients and their families. One project involves building and testing a suite of telehealth strategies for reaching homebound and other clinically underrepresented groups with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
We are testing point-of-care therapies for patients with newly recognized cognitive disorders and their care partners to reduce unnecessary and potentially harmful medical care. In addition, we are developing novel nonpharmacological approaches for better brain health and cognitive function.
Our research team is investigating the relationship between hearing loss and acute care and the impact of hearing loss mitigation strategies on health service use and health status. We are identifying hearing impairment prevalence, assessing its relationship to cognitive impairment and adverse health outcomes, and testing the influence of mitigation strategies on adverse outcomes.
We are evaluating primary care clinical practice interventions in diabetes and other chronic diseases and the interrelationship between chronic diseases and dementia. We are also investigating how care can address what matters most to people with multiple chronic conditions.
Center scientists are engaged in cutting-edge, technologically supported interventions to address chronic conditions.
Improving Sleep in Nursing Homes
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Institute of Nursing Research are funding the study Improving Sleep Using Mentored Behavioral and Environmental Restructuring (SLUMBER). Led by Joshua Chodosh, MD, MSHS, this research is evaluating an educational program for nursing facility staff that teaches strategies for improving common sleep-related symptoms among residents. The study investigates whether the SLUMBER intervention improves nighttime sleep quality and resident-reported symptoms of poor sleep, depressed mood, anxiety, pain, and cognitive and physical function.
Support in Emergency Departments for Older Adults and Their Care Partners
Joshua Chodosh, MD, MSHS, principal investigator, oversees the Program of Intensive Support in Emergency Departments for Care Partners of Cognitively Impaired Patients (POISED-CPCIP) study, funded by the NIH and National Institute on Aging (NIA). Researchers are evaluating whether a novel care management program for family care partners of patients with cognitive impairment can reduce recurrent emergency department use and increase caregiver activation, while also improving caregivers’ symptoms of depressed mood and anxiety.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Research and Development is funding Hearing Impairment, Strategies, and Outcomes in Emergency Departments (Hear-VA). The study is assessing the benefit of hearing screening for emergency department patients and the impact of hearing assistive devices on ease of communication and preparation for discharge in individuals who have difficulty hearing. Dr. Chodosh leads this work with hearing experts Jan Blustein, MD, and Barbara L. Weinstein, PhD.
Care for Older Adults with Diabetes and Dementia
Funded by the NIH and NIA, Enhanced Quality in Primary Care for Elders with Diabetes and Dementia (EQUIPED-ADRD) is developing and testing a panel management program for older patients with diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia under the leadership of Caroline S. Blaum, MD, and Joshua Chodosh, MD, MSHS.
Additionally, the Einstein College of Medicine’s Center for Diabetes Translation Research funds a pilot study on the acceptability and feasibility of a telehealth-based diabetes prevention program in New York City community centers. Jeannette M. Beasley, PhD, MPH, leads this work under the mentorship of Dr. Chodosh.
Individualized Care for Older Adults
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Risk and Outcome Heterogeneity in Older Adults with Diabetes, a study co-led by Caroline S. Blaum, MD, and Hua Zhong, PhD, and funded by the NIH and NIA, seeks to provide evidence for individualizing care of older adults with prediabetes and diabetes by investigating their risks of CVD, its development, and subsequent disability.
Co-led by Dr. Blaum and Mary Tinetti, MD, of Yale University School of Medicine, Patient Priorities Care is a multifaceted approach to aligning care between primary and specialty clinicians for older adults with multiple chronic conditions in accordance with patient-identified health priorities. The project has been supported by The John A. Hartford Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).
Opioid Use in Older Adults
The NIH- and National Institute on Drug Abuse–funded Chronic Disease and Health Outcomes of Older Adults with Opioid Use Disorders study, led by Benjamin Han, MD, MPH, an expert in substance use among older adults, plans to use a mixed methods approach to develop and pilot test a geriatric-based care model for geriatric conditions and chronic disease management.
Palliative Care and Kidney Disease
The National Kidney Foundation Young Investigator Award funds A Pilot Randomized-Controlled Trial of Integrated Palliative and Nephrology Care Versus Standard Nephrology. Researchers are investigating the impact of integrated palliative and nephrology care versus standard nephrology care on quality of life, symptom burden, and documentation of advance directives in patients with advanced chronic kidney disease not yet on dialysis. Jennifer S. Scherer, MD, a rising expert in renal palliative care and director of the Kidney CARES (Comprehensive Advanced Renal Disease and End Stage Renal Disease Support) Program at NYU Langone Nephrology Associates, leads this work.
Internal Research Partners
Collaborating with divisions, departments, and programs throughout NYU Langone and NYU broadens and strengthens research at the center.
Leon H. Charney Division of Cardiology
The Geriatric Cardiology Program in the Leon H. Charney Division of Cardiology pursues clinical studies in older patients with cardiovascular disease, many of whom have other underlying health conditions. Through research, our scientists address gaps in our understanding of best care practices for older adults with cardiovascular disease. Our investigators study trends in the use of cardiac procedures in seniors, as well as outcomes after cardiac interventions such as percutaneous coronary intervention, valve surgery, and implantation of cardioverter defibrillators.
Department of Neurology
The center partners with the Department of Neurology to conduct basic, translational, and clinical research on neurological diseases affecting cognition in the aging brain. We collaborate with scientists and clinicians at the Center for Cognitive Neurology, Pearl I. Barlow Center for Memory Evaluation and Treatment, Alzheimer’s Disease Center, New York State Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease, for which Joshua Chodosh, MD, MSHS, serves as program director of medical education, and Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Family Support Program, of which Dr. Chodosh is co-director.
NYU Aging Incubator
Academic leaders across NYU launched the NYU Aging Incubator in 2016 to bring together students and faculty who study aging. The mission of the incubator is to support the development of innovative and interdisciplinary research initiatives and educational programs that improve the health and wellbeing of the oldest segment of the population. Joshua Chodosh, MD, MSHS, is a co-director of this initiative, and Caroline S. Blaum, MD, is on the steering committee.
Department of Population Health
Faculty in the Department Population Health work closely with our center staff to conduct research on the care for older adults by community health workers, improved dementia prevention strategies, hearing, and smoking cessation, among other initiatives.
Department of Emergency Medicine
Our center faculty are studying cognitive impairment and hearing loss detection via pragmatic trials in the emergency departments of NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn and NYU Langone’s Tisch Hospital. Another pragmatic trial is planned for the emergency departments of the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System, Brooklyn and Manhattan campuses. In the area of palliative care, our faculty lead NIH- and PCORI-level investigations.
Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism
Center investigators are working closely with colleagues in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism to develop guidance around care for joint comorbidity of diabetes and dementia. The plan is for this guidance to support primary care practices throughout NYU Langone.
Division of General Internal Medicine and Clinical Innovation
Close collaboration with colleagues in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Clinical Innovation strengthens our commitment to mentorship and education. Senior faculty in both divisions provide mentorship to junior faculty across specialties and wide-ranging interests, including community health centers, nutrition, and complex interventions. We partner on educational initiatives for both trainees and faculty, including career development and situational objective structured clinical examination in the New York Simulation Center for the Health Sciences. Future collaborations, including studies on recruitment and retention in clinical trials, are in the planning phases.
External Research Partners
To promote resource sharing and multisite trials, we foster and maintain close collaborations with other academic institutions, including Indiana University; University of Rochester; University of Michigan; University of California, Los Angeles; Yale School of Medicine; and The Graduate Center of The City University of New York.