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
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 email@example.com.