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Problem Adaptation Therapy for Mild Cognitive Impairment and Depression


This study will compare Problem Adaptation Therapy for Mild Cognitively Impaired Older Adults (PATH-MCI) to Supportive Therapy for Cognitively Impaired Older Adults (ST-CI) for improving cognitive, affective and functioning outcomes.

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
60 Years 85 Years All No
July 1, 2017
July 31, 2021

  • Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI)
  • Not taking or on stable dose of antidepressants, cholinesterase inhibitors or memantine, without any medical recommendation to adjust dosage in next three months
  • Clinical Dementia Rating = 0.5 at screening; Mini-Mental State Examination = greater than or equal to 24
  • Capacity to consent
  • Fluent in English

  • Significant suicide risk
  • Too unstable medically or neurologically to safely enroll in a research trial
  • Too psychiatrically unstable to safely enroll in randomized trial of psychotherapy; requires psychiatric hospitalization
  • Current involvement in psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is the use of psychological methods to help a person change and overcome problems in desired ways. PATH-MCI differs from standard of care psychotherapy by offering a combination of emotion regulation techniques with the provision of environmental adaptation tools (notes, checklists, calendars, etc.), the use of the WellPATH app, and the participation of a willing and available caregiver. Supportive Therapy (ST) incorporates standard of care approaches by using nonspecific techniques to provide a supportive environment and help patients to express their feelings and focus on their strengths and abilities.

Participants will be randomly assigned to either PATH-MCI or ST, given by certified mental health clinicians in 15 in-office sessions over six months. The sessions will be held weekly for 12 weeks, followed by three monthly booster sessions. Researchers will look for changes in cognition, depression, memory and stress reduction. There will also be optional blood draws to better understand whether response to psychotherapy treatment is affected by genes, inflammation or a memory factor called brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

The study partner will provide information about the participant and participate in treatment if the participant agrees.  

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore Maryland 21224 Recruiting Paul B Rosenberg, MD
Montefiore Medical Center
Bronx New York 10461 Recruiting Mirnova Ceide, MD
Weill Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medicine
White Plains New York 10605 Recruiting Dimitris Kiosses, PhD

Weill Medical College of Cornell University

  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Montefiore Medical Center

Name Role Affiliation
Dimitris Kiosses, PhD Principal Investigator Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Name Phone Email
Dimitris Kiosses, PhD 9149974381
Laurie Evans, MS 9146829100


Problem Adaptation Therapy for Mild Cognitive Impairment and Depression