Observational Research Studies
Observational research studies are designed to improve our understanding of healthy aging and diseases that cause memory loss and dementia, or the impact of these diseases on individuals, caregivers, and families.
Participants in clinical research can include:
- normal control subjects
- individuals with mild memory problems
- patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease or related dementias
The following observational research studies are underway:
Principal Investigator: Marilyn Albert, Ph.D.
The goal of this study is to obtain longitudinal clinical, neuropsychological, neuroimaging and biomarker data from three groups of subjects: (1) elderly normal controls, (2) subjects who meet criteria for mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and (3) patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
The imaging data consists of both magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) scans. The biomarker data are obtained from both blood and cerebrospinal fluid. Subjects are evaluated every 6 months for 5 years. Approximately 40 sites across the U.S. are participating. The Principal Investigator of the overall study is Dr. Michael Weiner at UCSF. The Principal Investigator of the Johns Hopkins site is Dr. Marilyn Albert.
For more information regarding this study, please call Nicole Johnson at 410-502-6161 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Principal Investigator: Constantine Lyketsos, M.D.
The Memory & Aging Study
The Memory & Aging Study of the Johns Hopkins Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center is an ongoing study that is designed to learn more about the differences between normal aging, mild memory problems, and memory disorders, such as Alzheimer’s Disease.
Annual Evaluation and Follow-up
The Center enrolls a variety of individuals for evaluation and follow-up, including:
– persons without memory or other cognitive problems,
– individuals with mild memory problems, and
– patients with a diagnosis of dementia due to Alzheimer’s Disease or related disorder.
Participants are evaluated annually. An individual who knows the participant well must also be available to contribute information annually. These evaluations are given in a standard manner so that new information about diagnosis and treatment can be obtained. We are currently focusing on the very earliest stages of disease.
More details about the Memory & Aging Study can be found in the study brochure.
Participants are seen once a year. To participate, you must have a study partner (a spouse, family member or close friend) who can provide information on how you are functioning in daily life. The annual exam takes approximately 2-3 hours. The visit includes: an interview to obtain information about your daily function, brief medical, neurologic and psychiatric evaluations, and tests of mental ability (such as memory). Additionally, blood is drawn to examine potential markers related to memory loss. You may also be asked to participate in other procedures that provide insight into changes that might be occurring in your brain. These include the collection of:
(1) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans for providing information about the structure and function of your brain, and
(2) the collection of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), using a procedure known as a lumbar puncture (LP), for providing information about alternations in levels of proteins, fats and other substances in the brain.
Anatomical and biochemical study of the brain after death is also important in helping us understand more about disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. A staff member will discuss brain autopsy options with you.
Other clinical studies conducted in association with the Center will be described to you, including:
– studies that examine how individuals think and organize information,
– studies that use brain imaging,
– intervention studies/clinical trials involving lifestyle factors or medications that seek to delay or treat symptoms of dementia, and
– studies about genetic factors that influence the development AD.
For more information regarding this study, please contact Carol Gogel, RN at 410-550-9029 or email@example.com.
Principal Investigator: Joseph Coresh, M.D.
The goal of this study is to determine if late-life cognitive impairment and dementia are associated with midlife vascular risk factors. This is a multidisciplinary, multi-center prospective study of 15,792 black and white, men and women, who were aged 45-64 when they were first examined in 1987. The proposed study emphasizes the impact of mid-life vascular risks on subsequent mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia because of the potential that risk-modification may lower the prevalence of MCI or dementia in late life.
For more information contact Joseph Coresh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Principal Investigator: Marilyn S. Albert, Ph.D.
The goal of this study is to examine changes in cognition, brain structure and brain function during the earliest phases of Alzheimer’s disease. Evaluations include: clinical and cognitive assessments, blood draws, brain imaging (magnetic resonance imaging scans and positron emission tomography scans) and collection of cerebrospinal fluid. Information about lifestyle factors, such as leisure activities and sleep, are also examined. Participants are cognitively normal when they are enrolled, and are followed annually, in order to track changes in these measures over time.
For more information, contact Maura Grega at 410-446-6161 or email@example.com.
Principal Investigator: Susan Resnick, Ph.D.
In this project, neuropsychological testing, structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and positron emission tomography (PET) scans are collected annually from a subset of subjects from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging (BLSA) of the National Institute on Aging (NIA).
The goals of this project are to address the following questions:
1. Do prior psychological and physical characteristics predict changes in brain structure and function and neuropsychological changes later in life?
2. What is the rate of change in brain anatomy and physiology in men and women after the age of 60 years?
3. Do rates of longitudinal change in brain structure and function predict cognitive decline and impairment?
4. Is amyloid accumulation, as measured on PET scans, associated with cognitive performance or future development of cognitive decline?
This project will provide critical information for researchers and clinicians on the predictors of normal and pathological cognitive aging in relation to brain abnormalities, which will enhance our understanding of changes in health and diseases of the elderly, such as Alzheimer’s Disease.
For more information, please contact Susan Resnick, PhD, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Principal Investigator: Arnold Bakker, Ph.D.
The goal of this study is to examine alterations in brain connectivity in cognitively normal individuals with and without subjective memory concerns, compared to persons with mild cognitive impairment. The study will be examining network function in several brain regions and their relationship with cerebrospinal fluid measures.
For more information contact Carrie Wagandt at email@example.com or call 410-955-5057.
Principal Investigator: Hanzhang Lu, Ph.D.
The goal of this study is to compare several novel brain MRI measures that are sensitive to changes in the blood vessels of the brain, in order to determine which may be most useful in future clinical trials aimed at reducing cognitive decline due to brain vascular disease. Participants receive a clinical and cognitive assessment and a blood draw, in addition to completing a magnetic resonance imaging scan.
For more information, contact Kaisha Hazel at 410-614-1716 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Principal Investigator: Marilyn S. Albert, Ph.D.
The goal of this study is to examine how health and lifestyle factors are associated with age-related cognitive decline, with the aim of personalizing interventions to optimize brain health in older persons. Evaluations include: cognitive assessments, physical assessments, blood draws, and brain imaging (magnetic resonance imaging scans). The Principal Investigator of the overall study is Dr. Carol Barnes at the University of Arizona. The Principal Investigator at the Johns Hopkins site is Dr. Marilyn Albert.
For more information, click here.
The Richman Family Precision Medicine Center of Excellence in Alzheimer’s Disease aims to utilize clinically available information in medical records, such as brain scans, to improve the quality of care of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Research supported through this center also includes studies of blood biomarkers and stem cells. For more information click here.
Learn more about Intervention Studies / Clinical Trials.
If you are interested in being contacted about opportunities to participate in research studies on aging and memory loss associated with the Center, please complete the ‘Participate in Research’ form.