Pilot Projects

Insomnia, Cognition and Affect in Patients with Prehypertension or Hypertension

Faye Routledge, Project PI


  • To examine the relationship between insomnia, cognitive function and affect (depression, anxiety) in individuals with PreHTN and untreated stage 1 HTN
  • To explore the potential mediating and/or moderating effects of affect (depression, anxiety), inflammatory markers (Interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-Reactive Protein (CRP)), neurogenesis factor levels (brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)) and endothelial function (flowmediated dilation (FMD)) on the relationship between insomnia and cognitive function (neurocognitive tests) in persons with PreHTN/HTN

Feasibility of Exercise and Cognitive Retraining to Improve Cognitive Impairment in Heart Failure

Rebecca Gary, Project PI


  • To evaluate the feasibility of a 3-arm intervention of combined exercise and cognitive training, exercise alone, and attention control (ExCT, EX, AC) in heart patients with cognitive impairment (CI)
    • To test the acceptability and implementation of each study arm
  • To ascertain limited efficacy of the 3-arm intervention on changes in cognitive abilities
  • To ascertain limited efficacy of the 3-arm intervention to improve cerebral oxygenation, physiological status, physical function and quality of life (QOL)

Administrative Supplement to above: Mechanisms and Processes that Facilitate or Impede Self-Management of Chronic Conditions 

Rebecca Gary, Project PI


  • To characterize the relationship between neurocognitive performance scores and neuroimaging data in stable HF participants with MCI compared to healthy age-matched controls.

Cognitive and Affective Symptoms Associated with Cancer Pain among African Americans

Kate Yeager, Project PI 


  • To assess the relationship between perceived cognitive function and depression with perceptions of pain among African American cancer patients being treated with long acting (around the clock) opiates.
  • To evaluate caregiver perceptions of the patient’s cognitive, depressive, and pain symptoms. 

Neurocognitive impairment in patients with head and neck cancer receiving IMRT

Canhua Xiao, Project PI 


  • To evaluate changes in neurocognitive function, measured by standard neurocognitive tests, from pre-IMRT to one-month post-IMRT in patients with HNC.
  • To explore associations between neurocognitive function and radiation doses in different brain structures in patients with HNC receiving IMRT.

New R01 as a result of Pilot Study

Healing Hearts, Mending Minds among Older Persons Living with HIV (FiTBRAIN) 

Drenna Waldrop-Valverde & Rebecca Gary, Project Co-PIs