Research Studies

Clinical studies and trials are the force behind the treatment, cure and prevention of any disease. Through the volunteerism of patients and those affected by an illness, knowledge is advanced, and a promise for a cure becomes more of a reality.

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Memory Screening and Longitudinal Studies of Aging

Longitudinal Study of Normal Aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s Disease
Participants receive a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and are re-evaluated every year. The goal is to improve early diagnosis and better understand the clinical course and causes of age-related cognitive decline and AD.
For information, contact Thet Oo at 212-263-8088; thet.oo@nyumc.org 

Orexin (Hypocretin) and Tau Pathology in Cognitively Normal Elderly: A New Prevention Strategy for Alzheimer’s Diesease (TONE Study)
Our preliminary results suggest that tau pathological changes in the brainstem (years before the onset of clinical symptoms) disrupt the orexinergic system causing sleep disruption, changes in core body temperature (CBT) and further Alzheimer’s disease (AD) type neurodegeneration in a feed forward cycle. We will test this hypothesis in up to 19 cognitively normal older by performing a full clinical evaluation, a tau PET-MR scan, 2 nights of nocturnal polysomnography (PSG), during which we will measure CBT, and a lumbar puncture (LP) to obtain cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). We are currently enrolling male and female participants with normal cognition and 55-75 years of age, whose total sleep time (TST) is between 6-8 hours and absence of moderate to severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). For information, contact Margo Miller at 212-263-7563; Margo.Miller@nyumc.org

Sleep, Aging and Risk for Alzheimer’s disease (SARA 2.0 Study)
We are currently undertaking a 24-30 month longitudinal study of 124 subjects in order to analyze the relationship between two common sleep disorders and AD risk. Age-related sleep changes and common sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may increase amyloid burden and represent risk factors for cognitive decline in the elderly. Participants must be able to come to the first visit which will include a physical exam, cognitive testing, sleep interview, EKG, clinical labs, and blood sample. We will directly interrogate the brain using a 2-night nocturnal polysomnography (NPSG) and amyloid deposition using C-PiB PET/MR both at baseline and at the 24-month follow-up. We are currently enrolling adults located in the New York City area between the ages of 60 to 75 years old with normal cognition, both male and female, in good general health with approximately 50% having mild to moderate OSA. Participants receive results and are compensated for their time. For information, contact Margo Miller at 212-263-7563; Margo.Miller@nyumc.org

Blood pressure, cerebral perfusion and cognitive performance in hypertension
Hypertension (chronically high blood pressure) may lead to impaired blood delivery to the brain, which can cause brain shrinkage and cognitive decline. The NYU Center for Brain Health invites adults age 65-80, with or without hypertension, to participate in a research study. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of one’s current blood pressure on their brain, memory and thinking in the future. Your evaluation will include clinical exams, memory testing, bloodwork, ECG, carotid ultrasound, an MRI of the brain, and 24–hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. For information, contact Catherine Randall at 212-263-7563; catherine.randall@nyumc.org

Imaging Brain Inflammation using Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
We hope to learn whether high blood pressure is associated with increased levels of brain inflammation using the technique of Positron Emission Tomography (PET).  PET scanning measures brain activity by imaging small amounts of radioactivity emitted during scanning.  The type of PET scan used in this study is designed to help researchers learn about inflammation in the brain.  Inflammation is an important process that helps the body protect itself from infection and foreign substances, though inflammation can sometimes cause problems when it is excessive or inappropriate.  In addition to the PET scan, study assessments may include MRI and memory testing.  We are currently enrolling subjects with high blood pressure.  Participants are compensated for their time and effort. For information, contact Patrick Harvey at 212-263-7563; patrick.harvey@nyumc.org

Cognitive Detection of Preclinical Alzheimer’s: Validation Using Biomarkers
Detection of Alzheimer’s disease during its early (or preclinical) stage has become very important for developing treatments to slow down or prevent the disease. Biomarkers, such as a positron emission tomography – computed tomography (PET-CT) scan for detecting amyloid in the brain, have been developed to detect Alzheimer-related brain pathology, but these methods are invasive, expensive or both. This study will confirm new computer memory and thinking tests (known as cognitive tasks) that may detect memory problems in the preclinical stage of Alzheimer’s when there are no symptoms. Participants will perform the cognitive tasks and receive a PET-CT scan. Performance on the tasks will be compared to the scan results to discover if the tests can identify people who may have brain amyloid. You may join this study if you are between the ages of 60 to 85, inclusive and are in general good health. For information, contact Anaztasia Ulysse 212-263-5845; ADClinicaltrials@nyumc.org

Neurotrack Test Validation
Detection of Alzheimer’s disease during its early (preclinical) stage has become very important for developing treatments to slow down or prevent the disease. Biomarkers, such as the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan for detecting the shrinkage of brain regions, have been developed to detect Alzheimer-related brain pathology, but these methods are invasive, expensive or both. This study will validate new computer memory and thinking tests (known as cognitive tasks) that may detect memory problems in the preclinical stage of Alzheimer’s when there are no symptoms. Participants will perform the cognitive tasks and receive an MRI scan. Performance on the cognitive tasks will be compared to the scan results to discover if the tests can evaluate people at risk for developing Alzheimer’s. You may join this study if you are between the ages of 60 to 85, inclusive and are in general good health. For information, contact Anaztasia Ulysse 212-263-5845; ADClinicaltrials@nyumc.org