CogTrack is being developed to enable the status of cognitive function to be assessed by anyone, at any time in any place. The first phase, completed in 2015, involved the creation of an internet platform of cognitive function tests which over the last 35 years have proven to be the most sensitive and repeatedly used in worldwide clinical trials. Moving these automated tests to an online platform has enabled various on-going major long-term studies to utilize CogTrack to measure cognitive function outside of the traditional constraints of laboratory or clinical settings. The consequence has been to dramatically increase the scale, practicality and economic efficiency of such trials. Already in one 10-year study which began in late 2015 more than 14,000 older individuals have performed CogTrack on up to six occasions. The current phase of development is to enable the CogTrack tests to be performed on handheld and touchscreen devices and offer immediate feedback.
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The CogTrack System is the progression of a method developed by Keith Wesnes in the 1970s of sensitively measuring changes in cognitive function. This method was the CDR System, a range of computerised tests of major aspects of mental ability, which has for decades been the most widely adopted technique in worldwide clinical research.
The internet has dramatically changed the landscape for the automated assessment of cognitive function. Internet enabled cognitive tasks allow virtually unlimited populations to be tested in any location over any duration. Large e-Clinical Trials are already underway which employ such tests. This procedure also opens the door for individuals to take an interest in and self-monitor cognitive function from the comfort and convenience of their own homes.
A total of 1,778 school children participated in a 2004 UK Government initiated internet based study of the effects on attention and memory of morning dietary behaviour including caffeine intake(1). In a study conducted in 2005, run on the Pharmaton website, 622 individuals aged 18 to 84 performed cognitive tests and answered questions about their use of supplements. It was identified that those users who reported tasking Pharmaton Capsules performed better on tests of attention and memory than non-users(2). In 2008 a survey entitled ‘What is the age of your brain?’ was made available on and individuals were invited to perform CDR System tests of attention and to have feedback on their ‘Brain Age’(3). Over a two year period a total of 32,909 individuals aged 5 to 105 years participated. A second study on the Pharmaton website was conducted in 2010, and over a 12-month period 111,203 individuals aged 5 to 104 years logged on and performed CDR testing(4).