Participate in a Study

As Orange County’s only state and federally funded Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, UCI MIND is at the forefront of Alzheimer’s disease research. We have a variety of research participation opportunities for older adults with and without memory concerns. Click the tabs below to learn about our current research studies and clinical trials or contact our research team:

Phone: 949.824.0008


Do you believe you are at risk for Alzheimer’s disease?

The purpose of the EARLY trial is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of an investigational medication in people at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease dementia.

There are currently 5 million people living with Alzheimer’s disease. We are seeking to enroll 1,650 volunteers in this clinical trial. We hope you will consider taking part!

You may qualify for the EARLY clinical trial, if you:

  • Are 60 to 85 years old
  • Have generally normal memory function
  • Are not being treated for memory problems
  • Have a close friend or relative who can partner with you
  • Are willing to take an investigational medication

Site Investigator: Aimee Pierce, MD
Phone: 949.824.0008
Study sponsor: Janssen Research & Development, LLC

To learn more, please visit or call 1-844-903-EARLY (1-844-903-2759).


Lead researcher: Aimee L. Pierce, MD

Location: UCI Campus (UCI MIND Gottschalk Medical Plaza, ICTS in Hewitt Hall, Newport Diagnostic Center)

Purpose: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of an investigational medication to determine whether it can slow the progression of symptoms in early Alzheimer’s disease


  • 50 to 85 years of age
  • Experiencing symptoms that might be related to early Alzheimers’ disease, such as problems with memory or thinking clearly
  • Have someone who can be your study partner to accompany you to certain appointments and provide information about your health

Time commitment: If you are eligible for the treatment phase, you will receive placebo or the investigational medication and have 32 visits over the course of up to 78 weeks.

Compensation: If eligible, all study medication, examinations, and medical care related to the study will be provided at no cost to you. Reasonable compensation for time and travel may be provided.

Contact name: Beatriz Yanez, RN
Phone: 949.824.0008


Lead researcher: Aimee L. Pierce, MD

Location: UCI Campus (UCI MIND Gottschalk Medical Plaza, ICTS in Hewitt Hall, Newport Diagnostic Center, Newport Mesa YMCA, Huntington Beach Family YMCA)

Purpose: To evaluate whether 18 months of moderate to high intensity exercise will improve cognition in older adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).

Eligibility: Adult participants ages 65 to 89 years old who have been diagnosed with MCI

Time commitment: You will be asked to complete a total of 7 clinic visits over the course of the study and participate in a structured exercise program 4 days a week for 18 months. The total time commitment is 20 months.

Anticipated benefits: You will receive an 18 month membership to the YMCA. Participating in the exercise program may or may not improve your condition. The information collected from this study may increase knowledge regarding the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and help people in the future.

Compensation: You are eligible to receive the following compensation in cash during the course of this study:

  • $100 for each completed MRI scan; there are 2 MRI scans ($200 max).
  • $75 for each completed lumbar puncture (optional) ($150 max).
  • $75 for completing the baseline clinical visit, $50 for completing the month 12 clinical visit and $25 for completing the month 18 clinical visit ($150 max)
  • Total compensation for this study is a maximum of $500 in cash
  • Participants will not be reimbursed for travel-related expenses

Contact name: Beatriz Yanez, RN
Phone: 949.824.0008


Researchers at UCI and UCLA are conducting a new study to test whether high doses of nicotinamide (a component of vitamin B3) can halt or reverse neurofibrillary tangles in Alzheimer’s disease.

You may be eligible if:

  • You are age 50 years or older
  • You are experiencing symptoms that might be related to Alzheimer’s disease, such as problems with memory or thinking
  • You have someone who can be your study partner to accompany you to visits and provide information about your health
  • You are able to undergo a medical procedure called a lumbar puncture

If eligible:

  • You will be randomly assigned to receive placebo or the investigational medication at 4 visits over the course of 12 months
  • All study medication, examinations, and medical care related to the study will be provided at no cost to you
  • You will be compensated for your participation at the completion of each visit

For more information, please contact:

University of California, Irvine Huong Nguyen
Clinical Trials Coordinator UCI MIND ADRC
(949) 824-0008

University of California, Los Angeles Celine Ossinalde
Clinical Trials Program Manager UCLA Easton Center
(310) 794-6191

UCI IRB Approved: 10-16-2017 | MOD# 21596 | HS# 2016-3246


The Longitudinal Study follows people 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 do not
  • The role of lifestyle strategies, like regular exercise, in reducing risk for Alzheimer’s disease
  • 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
  • Paper and pencil tests to assess memory and other cognitive abilities
  • Interview with a study partner
  • Blood draw and skin biopsy
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Genetic testing

Feedback is provided 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.

Am I eligible to participate?

Our investigators seek participants who meet the following criteria:

  • Age 60 or older
  • Are aging normally, without any cognitive difficulties, or have Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), early Alzheimer’s disease, or another dementia
  • Have a close family member or friend who can answer questions about the participant’s daily living skills
  • Are willing to participate in various research studies on brain aging that involve skin biopsy, neuroimaging and lumbar puncture
  • Are willing to donate the brain upon death (may be waived for religious or cultural reasons)

To determine eligibility, one of our research 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.

What are the benefits of participating in research?

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

  • Free comprehensive annual evaluations from experts, who will provide feedback and recommendations to your primary care physician, should you want them
  • Early detection of cognitive changes in healthy older adults that could respond to treatment or may signal the development of Alzheimer’s disease or another disorder
  • Annual monitoring of cognition, behavior, and daily functioning in participants with Alzheimer’s disease or another disorder to aid the family in management and planning
  • Access to treatments in development before they are widely available
  • The gratification of helping advance knowledge of brain aging aging and neurodegenerative disease
How do I join?

If you are interested in joining the Longitudinal Study or would like more information, contact 949.824.0008 or


Down syndrome is the most common cause of genetically-determined intellectual disability in the United States, affecting approximately 1 in 700 live births.  An estimated 350,000 Americans have Down syndrome.   Also called trisomy 21, Down syndrome results from a tripling of all or part of the 21st chromosome.  The association between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease was established in 1948. Since then, we’ve learned that by approximately age 40, essentially all individuals with trisomy 21 have the characteristic amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles of Alzheimer’s disease.

For more information about the UCI MIND Down Syndrome Program contact:

Eric Doran, MS
Manager, Down Syndrome Program
UC Irvine Medical Center


What is The 90+ Study?

The 90+ Study is a research study to examine successful aging and dementia in those aged 90 years and beyond.

Who can join?

People 90 years or older who live in Southern California and are willing to undergo study procedures.

What is involved?
  • One-time MRI and amyloid PET imaging of the brain
  • Examinations and clinical assessment every 6 months
    • One hour of testing your memory and thinking skills
    • One hour neurological and physical exam
    • Review of medical and family histories and medications
    • Examinations and clinical assessment every 6 months
  • Brain donation upon death
Where do I have to go?

Clinical exams take place in the research office in Laguna Woods, CA or in your own home. Brain imaging is done in centers in Irvine and Newport Beach, CA. Transportation is provided if necessary.

What will The 90+ Study cost?

There is no cost to you. The 90+ Study is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

What is Involved?

With your participation in The 90+ Study, we hope to learn ways to improve quality of life for people as they grow older. Your participation may help others reach 90 years of age and beyond in better health.

Contact us today to get started!

Study Website:
Phone: 949.768.3635
Address: 24361 El Toro Road Suite 150, Laguna Woods, CA 92867