Commonly Asked Questions

General Questions

What is the APT Webstudy?

The Webstudy monitors volunteers who are 50 and older for changes in their memory through a series of quarterly, no-cost memory tests. It takes place online, without any in-person visits required. Researchers use the results to monitor volunteers’ memory and, based on possible risk level, invite select volunteers to participate in other Alzheimer’s research studies.

The Webstudy is connected to an in-person study called the Trial Ready Cohort for the Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia (TRC-PAD). TRC-PAD identifies those from the APT Webstudy whom may have a possible increased risk for memory loss and refers them to a research site nearest them for further evaluation. TRC-PAD will help eligible and interested participants enroll into clinical trials quickly to allow new treatments aimed at reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s dementia to be discovered as soon as possible. Volunteers do not have to participant in TRC-PAD study in order to be part of the online APT Webstudy.

Who is eligible for the APT Webstudy?
Webstudy volunteers must be at least 50 years old, healthy and have easy access to the internet. People of all races and ethnicities are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the Webstudy in either English or Spanish.
Can a person already diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease participate in the APT Webstudy?
The Webstudy is not designed for individuals who have already been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease dementia or any other form of dementia. Volunteers must be at least 50 years old and healthy.
How do I participate in the APT Webstudy?
First, you complete the registration, consent to participate and complete your first memory assessments. The two assessments are called the Cognitive Function Index (CFI) survey and the Cogstate Brief Battery (Cogstate) memory assessment, which take about 20 minutes total to complete.

Sign Up Here

Every three months you’ll receive an email reminder to take your online memory assessments. If researchers notice any changes in your memory and thinking performance over time, they may invite you to a nearby research center for further evaluation in-person. Based on the evaluation you may then be matched with an Alzheimer’s prevention trial, if eligible, but you are under no obligation to attend the in-person evaluation or join another study.

Can people outside of the United States participate in the APT Webstudy?
The Webstudy is open to all people worldwide. However, all research centers that conduct the optional in-person evaluations, which are not required, are in the United States.
How is my personal data protected in the APT Webstudy?
The data privacy of volunteers is of greatest importance, and the Webstudy is required by law to maintain the privacy and security of volunteers’ protected health information. Volunteers may share their memory test information with their doctors by accessing the Summary Report in the participant dashboard.
Who can I contact with questions not answered here?

Please feel free to contact us by email at info@aptwebstudy.org or by phone 1-858-877-3135. We will respond to inquiries during normal business hours: Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm Pacific Time USA. We will do our best to respond within three business days. We are closed on all major holidays.

Techical Issues

How do I navigate the APT Webstudy platform?

Once registered and after completing one full round of memory assessments, you will see the menu pictured below whenever you log into your account.   

My Memory

This section contains the memory assessments you take every three months. This section also informs you of the date for your next assessments. You will also receive an email reminder, but please be aware that these types of emails can end up in junk and/or spam folders.

My Life

This section contains your current registration answers, such as your employment status and current medical conditions, where you can make any changes necessary at any time.

My Dashboard 

This section contains your test scores and is where you can update your profile, manage your consent to participate, and view your Summary Report. You can even refer a friend to participate in the Webstudy via the Dashboard.

About APT

This section contains resources, updates to studies connected to the Webstudy, and an archive of the APT Webstudy Quarterly Review—a newsletter update for all volunteers. 

My Profile

The section contains your account settings where you can change the email associated with your account and/or your password, among other actions. You can navigate here by using the blue round icon with a person in it at the top right of the screen.

What computer requirements are needed to take the assessments? Can I use my cell phone?

You can use any computer or tablet, as long as it’s connected to the internet and meets the following minimum capabilities requirements: 2gb RAM of memory, 1024×768 screen resolution, and sound capability. For now, the memory test can only be taken using tablets (in landscape mode) or computers (i.e. laptops, desktops). All other activities in the APT Webstudy can be done using your smart phone.

How do I change my email language communication preferences?

Once logged into your Webstudy account, you can change your preferred language from English to Spanish (or vice versa) by using the toggle in the top right corner of the screen as shown below.

I forgot my username and/or password. What do I do?
Visit the “Log In” page (https://app.aptwebstudy.org/en/accounts/login/) and click on “Forgot Password or Username?” Follow the instructions to reset your username or password. Or always feel free to reach out to us with any questions or issues. We can be reached via email at: info@aptwebstudy.org 
I don’t want to participate in the APT Webstudy anymore. What should I do?

You can stop participation in the Webstudy at any time by withdrawing your consent. Once you are logged into the Webstudy, follow these steps to remove consent:

  • Select “My Dashboard” from the menu of choices
  • Select “Manage Consent” on the left side of the screen
  • Select “I no longer agree to participate.” If selected, you will no longer receive APT Webstudy emails.

*Note: If you are in the middle of your first visit, you’ll need to navigate back to the consent section by clicking on the yellow thumbs up at the top of the screen (in the navigation pane) as shown below. Then select “Check to revoke my study consent.” This will immediately revoke your own consent and you will no longer receive emails from the APT Webstudy.

CFI and Cogstate

What are the Cognitive Function Index (CFI) and Cogstate Brief Battery (Cogstate) tests?

Both assessments are research tools being evaluated for their ability to predict individuals at risk for developing Alzheimer’s in the future. A change in score over time is thought to be most useful in identifying individuals who may be at increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s in the future. Below are links to published manuscripts on the development of these research tools:

CFI:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25706191 

Cogstate:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27589532 

Do I need to use the same type of device for every Cogstate reassessment?

While it’s important that the same device (i.e. computer, tablet) be used each time you retake the Cogstate assessment, it’s not crucial. Using the same device does however, help to ensure that any changes in performance are indicative of genuine change and not simply a result of devices possibly having different processing times.

If I get interrupted, can I restart the CFI and/or the Cogstate later?

Unfortunately, if you close the internet browser before you complete either assessment, it will not be saved and you will need to restart from the beginning.

I received a message that says my device doesn’t meet the minimum screen resolution. What should I do?

The Cogstate assessment must be taken on a device that meets certain minimum capabilities, including screen resolution. This is so the test is displayed and runs properly. If you receive a message saying that your device doesn’t meet the minimum screen resolution of 1024×768, you will need to try to change the display screen resolution, if you are willing. You will be able to change the resolution back to original/recommended settings when you are finished. Use the links below for more information on how to change the screen resolution of Mac and Windows operating systems:

Windows 7
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/14108/windows-7-change-screen-resolution

Windows 10
https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/change-screen-resolution-in-windows-10

Mac
https://support.apple.com/kb/PH25175?locale=en_US

You can also log into your APT Webstudy account using a different device (i.e. laptop, PC) to see if you are able to complete the assessments.

I received a message that the Cogstate can’t be taken on a mobile device, but I already switched to my tablet/computer. Now what?

First make sure that the web screen/window you are working on is maximized to its fullest. If it’s not maximized, the system may think you are using a small device like a phone, thus giving the mobile or resolution message. You can maximize screens by selecting the icon directly to the left of the “X” (two interlocking squares) in the top right corner of your browser window like below:

Another issue might be the size of the screen font. If the screen is zoomed in too far, so that your font size is large, the system may think you are using a small device like a phone, thus giving the mobile or resolution message. Try zooming out of your screen a little to reduce the font size. If using a tablet, make sure you’re holding it in landscape mode.

I have tried all the recommendations for remedying screen resolution and/or mobile device messages. What do I do?

We apologize but it may mean that your system does not support the Cogstate assessment software at this time. The Cogstate assessment must be taken on devices that meet certain technology requirements to run properly. Until your system can be supported, you may skip the Cogstate assessment.

Even without completing the Cogstate assessment, you can still participate in the APT Webstudy and by doing so, you are still making a significant contribution to Alzheimer’s research. We will still be able to assess for any possible memory changes. Not being able to complete the Cogstate assessment will not preclude you from continuing to participate in the APT Webstudy and contributing what you can.

To skip the Cogstate assessment, please follow the following directions. When you get the resolution and/or mobile device message, you can click on the Skip Assessment button as highlighted below.

That should take you to a thank you page where you can click on the Home button, which will take you to the main menu as shown below.

Where do I push “yes” and “no” for the Cogstate?

Be sure to watch the Cogstate tutorial video found on the Cogstate introductory page. This will help guide you through the assessment. The video play button is found on the screen where the finger and keyboard are. Also, as a guide through each of the Cogstate sections, you will be presented with an introduction to each, will be allowed a short practice round, and then will be taken to the scored assessment.

The tutorial will show that there are keys on your keyboard to designate “yes” or “no” answers, so will the practice rounds of each subtest. If you are on a tablet, there will be actual “yes” or “no” buttons on the screen to touch with your fingers. Please keep in mind that practice rounds are separate from the scored tests and that the “yes” and “no” answer prompts will not appear during the scored tests.

When will I be able to see my Cogstate score? Where will the scores post?

Cogstate scores will be processed within about a week of completing the assessment, and you will receive notification when your scores are available by email. You will be able to find both your CFI and Cogstate scores under My Dashboard once you sign into your account.

What do my CFI and Cogstate scores mean?

CFI scores range from 0 to 15. A CFI score of zero is normal and increasing scores over time may indicate a possible decline in subjective cognitive function. A progressively worsening score, a few points increased over each testing session, may reflect worsening function. 

If your Cogstate score falls between -10 to +10, it is considered normal. A score of zero could be considered as performing in the average range for that subtest compared to people of similar age. When you hover over a specific timepoint dot on the graph (in My Dashboard), you should see all four subtest scores. A negative score on the test means that your performance was lower than average, and a positive score means your performance was higher than average. Higher positive scores (for instance, 0.2 becoming 0.5) may indicate slightly better performance and higher negative scores (for instance, -0.4 becoming -0.8) may indicate slightly worsening performance. 

Under My Dashboard, where your scores are posted, you will see different colors on the Cogstate graph. These indicate individual scores associated with the four Cogstate subtests (i.e. Detection, Identification, One Card Learning, One Back). Below is an explanation of the subtests:

  • The Detection subtest: measures processing speed. The on-screen instructions ask: “Has the card turned over?”. A playing card is presented face down in the center of the screen. The card flips over so it is face up. As soon as the card flips over the participant should indicate “Yes”.
  • The Identification subtest: measures attention. The on-screen instructions ask: “Is the card red?”. A playing card is presented face down in the center of the screen. The card flips over so it is face up. As soon as it flips over the participant must decide whether the card is red or not. If it is red the participant should indicate “Yes”, and if it is not red the participant should indicate “No”.
  • The One Card Learning subtest: measures visual memory. The on-screen instructions ask: “Have you seen this card before in this test?”. A playing card is presented face up in the center of the screen and the participant must decide whether they have seen the card before in this subtest. If the card has been seen before the participant should indicate “Yes”, and if it hasn’t been seen before the participant should indicate “No”. 
  • The One Back subtest: measures working memory. The on-screen instructions ask: “Is the previous card the same?”. A playing card is presented face up in the center of the screen. The participant must decide whether the card is the same as the previous card. If the card is the same the participant should indicate “Yes”, and if it is not the same the participant should indicate “No”.

**Please note that a single CFI and/or Cogstate score at any given time is not thought to have as much clinical meaning as a change in score over time. As you progress in the APT Webstudy, we will be able to monitor changes which we believe will be useful in predicting individuals at increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. A change in score over time is thought to have a predictive value that would be confirmed by in-clinic evaluation. Of course, should you have concerns about your memory, you should consult with your personal physician.** 

Can I retake my assessments if I don’t feel I did well on them?

The goal of the APT Webstudy is to monitor a person’s memory and thinking performance overtime. While we can’t delete any of your tests, one bad score will not completely skew your overall status that we see. We’ll be looking at all of your scores, so we’ll notice if one doesn’t seem right especially if it was your first time taking the assessments.

I received an email letting me know that it’s time to take the CFI and/or the Cogstate again. Where do I go to do this?

Log in to your APT Webstudy account. Navigate to My Memory from the menu of options you should see.

If it’s time to take your next set of CFI and/or Cogstate assessments, they will be “unlocked” and you should be able to click on the blue “Take CFI Assessment” or “Take Cogstate Assessment” button(s). If it is not quite time yet, you should see the date of the next availability to retake.