1. Due to the COVID 19 crisis, work is currently only carried out in the home office (HO) until further notice.
  2. This means that EEG measurements are currently not feasible and meetings are only possible virtually on the basis of video conferences ( VC) and telephone conferences with limited performance. The continuous exchange of information, which is so eminently important for our project in a small start-up, is severely restricted by this practice.
  3. In practice, the situation at our practice partner Rummelsberg is such that, according to the decisions of the Bavarian State Government and the Federal Government, access from outside to patients in the nursing home or old people's home is currently impossible. This also applies to hospitals.
  4. This is a very tough situation, especially for (demented) nursing patients, precisely because these patients require a great deal of personal closeness and direct contact with their relatives. Many dementia patients do not understand the situation at all, they become even more lonely than they already are. The nursing staff are also involved in the work of COVID-19 far beyond their capabilities and are now definitely at their limit. This means that in the further course of the COVID-19 crisis, these nurses will have even less time for nursing patients and even more for the intensive care of dementia patients.
  5. This situation will apparently not change until a vaccine becomes available. In other words, patients will not only be lonely and at risk of accelerating the cognitive decline process during this period, but they will continue to be at risk of a threat to their lives as members of the risk group in the event of COVID-19 infection. Even a marginal awareness of this will increase justified fears and worsen the patients' general health situation.
  6. If one is realistic, a tested vaccine can be expected in QI/2021 at the earliest. The vaccine must be administered to the patients in a suitable manner and in a timely manner, taking care to ensure that they can tolerate the vaccination. The Sars-CoV-2 virus will remain part of life on earth. Social immunisation is therefore without alternative. The problem is to protect the risk groups, which include dementia patients (75% of whom are cared for by relatives at home!), as much as possible in the meantime, which, according to the current state of affairs, means "isolation" with the consequences described above.
  7. The project partners have therefore intensively discussed the situation of the IASON project under these changed conditions. It will be urgently necessary to restructure the project and to expand it if necessary. Due to the situation described above, we will not be able to enter any nursing home/retirement home until next year, so we will not be able to interview patients (preliminary study) or take EEG measurements, as was planned for this year.
  8. Our practice partner Rummelsberg reported that due to the above mentioned situation the acceptance of video conferencing with patients and their relatives has strongly increased. It is therefore planned to integrate the possibility of video conferencing into the IT infrastructure "#dasgutenetz" being developed at Rummelsberg in order to give patients and their relatives the possibility to communicate at least within the framework of this platform. At the same time, the idea immediately came to us that this form of communication can or must be accompanied by the assistant to be developed, because a VC also represents a technical hurdle for the patients. Therefore the assistant ALOIS can and should enable, accompany and if necessary moderate the communication (anonymous or direct, according to your wishes). This makes sense in the current crisis situation and beyond and will be necessary with increasing call volume in order to relieve human personnel, which would also have to be used here e.g. as support for the patient to a certain extent. However, this time is usually not available for the nursing staff.
  9. In our opinion this would be a very strong application of the intelligent, empathic-emotional assistant ALOIS. From when this would be applicable is currently subject of the coordination processes between the project partners. For these coordination and planning processes, time is currently needed for project planning.
  10. Concerning the EEG measurements, the algorithm development is already quite advanced. Data from Spain and Italy could be obtained from other research groups, which enabled us to continue the software development for the IASON physician module, especially with regard to EEG analysis.
  11. We also want to understand the current situation as an opportunity to bring together in a suitable form (virtually) the various research groups in Europe, which according to our research have a considerable number of studies (EEG and others) of AD patients, MCI and other research groups in various studies. We want to propose to these groups to build up a kind of European database repository for EEG data of AD, MCI and further study groups together in a systematic way, so that the research can continue innovatively and in a distributed form even in COVID-19 times.
  12. Last but not least, a preliminary study is to be conducted next year within the framework of IASON, which also holds out the prospect of a positive silver lining on the horizon for the therapy of AD/MCI patients, the "Gamma Entrainment". This has already been researched with great success since 2016 at the MIT/Singer Lab in a mouse model. Since there is a large number of patients in Rummelsberg and we have already submitted the proposal of gamma-entrainment for a small subgroup of patients to the leading persons there before the COVID-19 crisis with great response, we see this as a real source of hope for AD/MCI patients, which, if successful, should lead to a larger study, which would be the first and only one of its kind in Germany. It would help the patients especially in this COVID-19 situation, which is still critical for them, in order to achieve, if possible, at least on one important front, the loss of memory, relief and perhaps also permanent improvement. It would also certainly be good for a COVID-19-prone dementia patient and his or her immediate environment if his or her dementia and thus his or her ability to judge would improve. This is one of our declared goals.