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Brain Care for Veterans with Alzheimer's or Traumatic Brain Injury (ABC ANSWERS)


Most people with Alzheimer's disease or traumatic brain injury receive significant amounts of care from family members or friends. This study will test an intervention that is designed to improve the informal care of veterans with Alzheimer's disease or traumatic brain injury and to reduce the burden on their caregivers.

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
18 Years 90 Years All No
August 1, 2018
December 2020


  • Diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or traumatic brain injury
  • Receiving primary care from a Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC)


  • Primary caregiver (family or friend) of a veteran with Alzheimer's disease or traumatic brain injury
  • Plans to provide care for 1 year or longer

All Participants

  • Fluent in English


  • Resides in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • Currently receiving care in a GRACE clinic
  • Enrolled in ANSWERS-VA research study


  • Does not consider him/herself a caregiver for the veteran
  • Serious medical illness limiting ability to participate

All Participants

  • Unable to be contacted within 10 phone calls
  • Either caregiver or veteran denies that the veteran has Alzheimer's disease or traumatic brain injury
  • Difficulty hearing or talking by telephone
  • Has a terminal illness such as cancer or renal failure requiring dialysis
  • History of hospitalization for alcohol or drug abuse
  • History of severe mental illness, such as suicidal tendencies, severe untreated depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia
  • Prisoner or on house arrest

Veteran/caregiver pairs will be randomly assigned to receive either primary care plus ABC ANSWERS or primary care only for 1 year. ABC ANSWERS is an evidence-based, collaborative model for brain care that addresses barriers to delivery of care. Veterans will be assessed for quality of life, and caregivers will be assessed for caregiver burden. Both veteran and caregiver will be assessed for depression, anxiety, and relationship strain.

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
Richard L. Roudebush VAMC
Indianapolis Indiana 46202 Recruiting Emily Fortier

Indiana University

  • Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center
  • Cleveland State University

Name Role Affiliation
Nicole R. Fowler, PhD Principal Investigator Indiana University

Name Phone Email
Laura Plue 317-988-2351


The Aging Brain ANSWERS Program: Veterans Living With Alzheimer's and Traumatic Brain Injury and Caregiver Burden