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The Midwest Roybal Center for Health Promotion and Translation

The Midwest Roybal Center for Health Promotion and Translation was established in 1998. The Center develops evidence-based interventions and shares them with organizations and health practitioners that serve older adults, communities, and researchers worldwide. The Center is one of 15 Roybal Centers for Translational Research on Aging funded by the (NIH).

The center supports the design and testing of principle-driven, potent health promotion interventions that have strong promise of progressing through the NIH Stage Change Model while focusing on designing interventions for older racial/ethnic minority adults but expands our focus to include cognitive health.

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Funding Opportunity

Funding Opportunity – Annual Call for Proposals

The Midwest Roybal Center for Health Promotion and Translation holds an annual pilot grant
competition for all UI-UIC researchers — faculty, doctorate-level researchers and doctoral students are
eligible to apply. The Center seeks to fund and support small clinical trials that assess the feasibility,
acceptability, and preliminary effectiveness of new or adapted health promotion interventions.
Proposed interventions must be principle-driven behavioral interventions that target older adults (50+)
living in the United States. Interventions that target physical activity promotion and/or that maintain or
enhance mobility and cognitive function are preferred. Interventions should use cutting-edge
technology for intervention design, measurement, and outcomes. Projects can be funded up to $50,000
for one year. Applications will be released soon!

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Photo of David Marquez PhD

Research Report

Latinos Have Greater Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s, But Are Less Likely to Get Help

David Marquez, PhD, professor in the department of kinesiology and nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Co-director of the Midwest Roybal Center and leader of the Latino Core of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center was featured as a panelist on a WTTW segment hosted by Paul Caine addressing Alzheimer’s disease in the Latino community.

In the segment it was reported that Latinos are 50 % more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than non-Latino whites, yet they are far less likely to seek treatment or help.  The degenerative brain disease, for which there currently is no cure, takes a terrible toll on those who have the disease and those who care for them. By the year 2060, some 3.5 million Latinos are expected to be afflicted with the disease.

David Marquez says the reasons why Latinos may be more susceptible to the disease “has little to do with actually being Latino” and more to do with the lives Latinos live and the opportunities they have in the United States.

View the segment which aired on July 10, 2021 at ““.

Tanvi Bhatt, PhD

Research Report

CogXergaming to promote physical activity and cognitive function in frail older adults

Tanvi Bhatt, PhD, Professor of Physical Therapy in the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Co-director of the Midwest Roybal Center reports on her recent research into CogXergaming.  In her report, she explains that alternate forms of therapy such as exergaming with explicit cognitive training has shown promising effects in improving motor and motor function in disabled populations. These studies use a cost-effective, off the shelf device such as Nintendo Wii or Microsoft Kinect to deliver the training which is easily available and clinically translatable. Further, such training has demonstrated increase in brain connectivity enhancing cognitive functions associated with balance control. However, there is limited literature examining the effect of exergaming in older frail population and the efficacy of such training is unknown. Therefore, this study proposes a randomized controlled trial to examine the feasibility of CogXergaming program with an aim to improve locomotor-balance control, cognition, muscular system and cardiovascular fitness.

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