Dr. Ashford was an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine between 1985 and 1990, where he helped to establish an NIA-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center. There he published the first study of Modern Test Theory in the field of Medicine, “Item-Response Theory” analysis of the Mini-Mental State Exam (Ashford et al., 1989). He was an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, Davis during 1991 and 1992, based at the Martinez, VAMC and Chief of the Mental Hygiene Clinic. He was Professor in Psychiatry, Neurology, and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, and Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Psychiatry to continue his research on Alzheimer’s disease. There, he proposed a “Time-Index” method to measure Alzheimer dementia severity (Ashford et al., 1995; Mendiondo et al., 2000; Ashford and Schmitt, 2001), which was used in the UK Nun study (Butler, Ashford, Snowden, 1996), and to study loss of cerebral perfusion in Alzheimer patients (Ashford et al., 2000). With Dr. James Geddes he showed the crucial role of paired helical filament pathology in destroying neuronal processes (Ashford et al., 1998). He worked at the University of Kentucky from 1992 to 2003 as a tenured Associate.
From 2003 to the present, Dr. Ashford has been a Senior Research Scientist at the Stanford / VA Aging Clinical Research Center and is now the Director of the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center the VA Palo Alto Health Care System and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University (affiliated). He is Chair of the Memory Screening Advisory Board of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America and Clinical Editor of the Journal of Alzheimer’s disease. He is currently developing early detection and measurement methods for Alzheimer’s disease.
MemTrax is a screening test for the detection of learning and short-term memory issues, particularly the type of memory problems that arise with aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), dementia and Alzheimer's disease. The MemTrax approach is a more intensive evaluation of memory in a novel format. In addition to percent true positives and true negatives, there is also a reaction time. The test can be given in many versions and repeatedly over a long period of time.
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Palo Alto Health Care System
Selection of publications:
- Ashford JW, Gere E, Bayley PJ., Measuring Memory in Large Group Settings Using a Continuous Recognition Test, J Alzheimers Dis., IOS Press, 2011 Sep 9.
- Martin, R., Rose, T. L., Kaib S., Vogelman, J., Wetherell, A., Ashford, J. W., Reliability of Online MemTrax Digital Photo Recognition, Word Recognition and H-Scan Screening Tests, Northern California Alzheimer Association, Stanford University, June 28, 2011
- Rose, T. L., Martin, R., Kaib S., Bayley, P. J., Ashford, J. W., Analysis of a continuous recognition test using photographs: Test-retest reliability and variability, inter-test consistency, and signal-detection theory parameters, Northern California Alzheimer Association, Stanford University, June 28, 2011
- Ashford JW, Screening Tools for MCI, international conference on alzheimer's disease (ICAD), 2010
- Ashford JW et al. Screening for Memory Disorders, Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease, Aging Health 4(4), 2008, 399-432
- Ashford JW et al.Should older adults be screened for dementia? It is important to screen for evidence of dementia!