“On Sept. 10 and 11, Gershon will introduce the new NIH Toolbox for Assessment of Behavioral and Neurological Function to hundreds of researchers at a special National Institutes of Health (NIH) conference in Bethesda, Maryland. At the end of September, the resource will be made fully available to the research community and clinicians.
Gershon, an associate professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, has led an ambitious six-year NIH-funded study reflecting the efforts of 235 scientists around the world that provides the first common measurements for neurological and behavioral health. Currently, one researcher’s test to measure depression, for example, isn’t the same as another’s, so their study results aren’t comparable. Research is built on others’ findings so standardization will be of significant benefit.
The new set of tests — available in Spanish and English — slashes the number of questions and time required for study participants by up to 90 percent. The tests also are royalty-free (some other tests often have expensive royalties that hike the cost of research) and can be administered by anyone with a basic college education, a less expensive alternative to the Ph.D. level-person with specialized training now required to administer them.”