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The Research

The following sections detail ongoing research at UAB and affiliated Universities related to UFOV® assessment and SOP training.This includes recent papers, key findings, and completed as well as ongoing funded grants.

Currently, we are participating in a recently-funded grant which will examine the impact of SOP training on Alzheimer’s Disease in conjunction with USF and Dr. Jerri Edwards.We are also participating in an ongoing grant looking at the benefit of SOP training from the ACTIVE clinical trial – 20 years later – for which we are obtaining Medicare and other health care information as well as driving records.The infrastructure funding for our Roybal Center, which provides resources for investigators around the world to do SOP training research is up for renewal, so we are working on that competing continuation for an additional five years.The Director of the NIA has encouraged us to seek additional SBIR support for the new interventions coming out of the Center.We have another grant in preparation for improving cognitive training, and evaluating the physiological basis for those who improve from training.Finally, we are in the process of preparing a Pepper Center application with the theme of improving mobility for older adults.

In the past year, the UAB Media Relations Department has provided 863 media clips which have highlighted our research findings, including print media (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today), as well as TV and Radio (including all the major networks) and the internet (including Medicalnewstoday.com, and Time.com). Dr. Ball, in conjunction with Dr. Merzenich recently wrote an article highlighting brain plasticity for Brain Awareness Week.Drs. Ball and Merzenich also collaborated on a consensus statement regarding the state of the science with respect to cognitive training.This consensus statement was signed by hundreds of scientists throughout the world.As described above, collaborations with commercial partners has led to the development of new products designed to maintain/improve functional abilities for older adults.

We are also very busy retrieving data and preparing publications on completed SBIR studies, and serving the broader research community through help in recruiting with our large database of nearly 200,000 older adults who have volunteered for research in Alabama.