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Research in the News

Virtual Health Library Project Announced

August 8, 2019

SUNY Upstate Medical University’s Department of Geriatrics and Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine have received a two-year, $250,000 award from the national Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) for a project entitled Virtual Health Library: Disseminating PCORI Findings to Patients with Dementia at the Point of Care.


Upstate Medical University among nine SUNY campuses to share $900,000 funding

Dr. Brangman, an internationally recognized physician/scientist in the area of gerontology, and member of the Upstate faculty, will help to lead two of the projects on aging and neural pathologies associated with aging.


Skeletal Muscle-Related Inflammation in the Effect of Exercise in Alzheimers Disease Patients

Principal Investigator:

  • Stefan Keslacy, PhD, Syracuse University
  • Moustafa Hassan, Assistant Professor of Surgery, SUNY Upstate Medical University
  • Sharon A. Brangman, MD, Professor of Medicine, SUNY Upstate Medical University

Alzheimers disease is the most common dementia (50 to 60% of the cases) associated with aging. It is estimated that 1 in 85 persons worldwide will be affected in 2050. Effective strategies for preventing/treating Alzheimer's disease (AD) have become a public health priority. Chronic exercise improves brain health and protects against age-related cognitive decline and degenerative changes. In the elderly population, the benefit of exercise is most pronounced in individuals at the greatest risk for disability and subsequent loss of independence. Furthermore, a dose-dependent decrease in the rate of dementia has been associated with exercise. However, the underlying mechanisms of exercise-mediated neuroprotection remain largely unknown. This study will compare changes in signaling in skeletal muscle in AD patient exposed to an exercise training program.

Improving Communication for Older Hospital Patients with Assistive Listening Devices

Principal Investigator:

  • Karen A. Doherty, PhD, CCC-A, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Syracuse University
  • Sharon A. Brangman, MD, Professor of Medicine, SUNY Upstate Medical University

According to the American Academy of Audiology, after 60 years of age, one in every three adults have some degree of hearing loss and approximately one in every two adults over the age of 75 years have significant hearing loss. The World Health Organization recommends that background noise in hospital rooms should not exceed 35 decibels (dB), but several studies have reported that background noise levels range from 45 to 68 dB (Ulrich, 2006). Patients who wear hearing aids typically leave them home when they are in the hospital because they are expensive and can get lost or stolen. If doctors and other healthcare workers perceive patients cannot hear them, they will raise their voices when speaking. This may not improve communication and can compromise the patients privacy. The purpose of this study is to investigate the benefit of using an assistive listening device to improve communication for older patients in the hospital.