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January 26, 2010

Media Contact: Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
News and Information
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.565.5769

UT Tyler Department Assists Area Researchers Analyzing Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia Detection

Two faculty members and a graduate student at The University of Texas at Tyler assisted area researchers in analyzing the detection of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, Dr. William Geiger, College of Education and Psychology dean, announced.

Dr. Andrew Schmitt, UT Tyler assistant professor of psychology, Dr. Ronald Livingston, UT Tyler professor of psychology, and graduate student Eirah Reese of Tyler, joined researchers at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital – Dallas with the study, which analyzed the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status test in patients with varying dementia stages. Their findings titled, “Factor Analysis of the RBANS in a Large Sample,” will be featured in Applied Neuropsychology this spring.

The study served as the largest of its kind to date, according to researchers.   
“We think we’ve found a more diagnostically sensitive way to analyze the results of the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status test, a common dementia test,” said Schmitt, the lead author and a licensed psychologist. “Other studies have made similar observations, but we wanted to examine the subtle differences in the five factors and what the results really mean. A more refined cognitive test could help physicians identify people at risk of developing impairment that sometimes progress to Alzheimer’s disease.”

A UT Tyler alumnus, Schmitt holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and a master of science in clinical psychology with a neuropsychology concentration from UT Tyler. He currently serves as a consultant to numerous East Texas law enforcement departments.

A faculty member since 1994, Livingston holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology from UT Austin. He is a licensed psychologist, specialist in school psychology and professional counselor. His memberships include the East Texas Psychological Association, National Academy of Neuropsychology and Texas Association of School Psychologists.

Reese, a teaching assistant within the department, holds a bachelor of arts in psychology summa cum laude from UT Tyler. She will graduate with a master of science in clinical psychology in May 2010. Reese was named UT Tyler’s “Psi Chi Outstanding Psychology Student” in 2006 and is a current American Psychology Association student member.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 90 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.

 

 

 
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