The Longitudinal Study

Caucasian-coupleThe Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) at the University of California, Irvine is one of 30 NIH funded Centers that contribute data to a national repository.  The data are made available to researchers worldwide to advance knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease through research into the causes, progression, treatment, and prevention of this neurodegenerative disorder.

In this longitudinal study, we follow persons with and without memory problems annually until the end of life.  Through their lifetime commitment to research, our volunteers help us increase knowledge about memory and aging.  For example, they help us understand:

  • Differences between people who develop cognitive problems leading to Alzheimer’s disease and those who age successfully.
  • The role of lifestyle strategies, like regular exercise, in reducing risk for dementia.
  • Changes in biomarkers that foreshadow Alzheimer’s disease and could lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment.

What’s involved?

Expert clinicians conduct a comprehensive annual evaluation that includes:

  • Physical and neurological exams
  • Blood draw
  • Paper and pencil tests designed to assess your memory and thinking abilities
  • Interview with your study partner

Results are shared in a family conference and/or a report, as most appropriate.

Upon death, with the family’s permission, we perform a brain autopsy and provide final confirmation of the diagnosis.

All participants are asked to consider participating in additional studies, such as:

What are the benefits of participating in research?

As one of our longitudinal study participants, you will benefit from:

  • Free comprehensive annual evaluations with feedback and recommendations to the family and primary care physician from experts
  • Early detection of cognitive changes in healthy older adults that could signal the development of Alzheimer’s disease or another neurodegenerative disorder
  • Annual monitoring of cognition, behavior, and daily functioning in participants with Alzheimer’s disease or another cognitive disorder to track and aide the family in management
  • The gratification of helping advance knowledge of aging and how to better treat Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), Alzheimer’s disease, and other cognitive disorders

Asian-coupleAm I eligible to participate?

Our investigators currently seek participants who meet the following criteria to join our longitudinal study:

  • Age 60 or older
  • Aging normally, without any cognitive difficulties
  • Diagnosed with MCI, early Alzheimer’s disease, or another mild memory disorder
  • Have a close family member or friend who can answer questions about the participant’s daily living skills
  • Willing to participate in various research studies on memory and aging, including neuroimaging and cerebrospinal fluid research
  • Willing to donate the brain upon death (may be waived for religious or cultural reasons)

To determine eligibility, one of our Care Coordinators will interview you by phone and may ask you to complete some paperwork and/or come into the clinic for an in-person screening.

Is there any cost?

There is no charge to participate in any of our research studies.

How do I join?

If you are interested in joining our longitudinal study or would like more information, please call (949) 824-2382.