Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center Research Studies
NYU Langone’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center is currently recruiting volunteers for the following research studies. If you are interested in participating in any of these studies, please contact us at ADClinicalTrials@NYULangone.org.
General Research Studies
We are seeking participants for the following general research studies.
Brain Fog Biomarkers Following SARS-CoV-2 Infection
Principal Investigator: Thomas M. Wisniewski, MD
The purpose of this study is to examine whether or not individuals who were previously diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19, have greater cognitive and biomarker changes over five years than those individuals who did not have COVID-19.
Participants will have demographic and medical history collected, along with cognitive testing, blood testing, gait measurements, olfactory testing, and a brain MRI. Participants will be tested every 12 months over the course of 5 years, and have a total of three brain MRIs. Each visit will last approximately 6 hours (interviews and cognitive testing), and each MRI is approximately 45 minutes.
Identification of Visual Biomarkers in Alzheimer’s Disease
Principal Investigator: Laura Balcer, MD
This study aims to examine if visual tests can help detect and/or determine the severity of Alzheimer's disease. We will be comparing vision, rapid picture and number naming, and structures in the back of the eye, using OCT (a device used for imaging of the eye), to patients with Alzheimer’s disease and determine if there are any differences from subjects who have no underlying conditions. This study will involve an estimated 75 participants, and will consist of 1 visit lasting for 1-2 hours. You may be asked to participate in this study if you have normal cognition, a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, or a diagnosis of mild Alzheimer’s disease.
Studies for the Prevention of Cognitive Impairment
We are seeking participants for several studies on the prevention of cognitive impairment.
Principal Investigator: Omonigho M. Bubu, MD, PhD, MPH
The purpose of this study is to test whether poor slow wave sleep, the most restful sleep stage, is one of the physiological factors that increase the risk for Alzheimer’s disease among African Americans when compared to White people. African Americans have a higher risk of both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, when compared to White people. Sleep characteristics vary between African Americans and White people. African Americans take longer to fall asleep, have shorter sleep duration, lower sleep quality, and less slow wave sleep duration than White people.
This research study is being done to collect information about sleep as a potential risk factor that may increase Alzheimer’s disease burden particularly in African Americans. We will do this through an in-lab sleep study and one tau PET/MR scan of the brain that requires the injection of small amounts of a radioactive PI-2620 tracer or MK-6240 tracer. These are investigational tracers. This means they haven’t been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use outside of studies like this. More information about this scan will be provided later in the consent form. Tau is one of the brain markers or lesions that can be found in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. We hope to identify the mechanisms by which age-related sleep changes contribute to brain loss in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and in cognitively normal older subjects.
Sleep, Aging, and Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease (SARA 2.0 Study)
Principal Investigator: Ricardo M. Osorio Suarez, MD
We are undertaking a 24- to 30-month longitudinal study of 124 subjects in order to analyze the relationship between 2 common sleep disorders and Alzheimer’s disease risk. Age-related sleep changes and common sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea may increase amyloid burden and represent risk factors for cognitive decline in older adults.
Participants must be able to come to the first visit, which includes a physical exam, cognitive testing, sleep interview, electrocardiogram (EKG), clinical labs, and blood sample. We will directly interrogate the brain using a two-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 60 and 75 years old with normal cognition, both male and female, in good general health, with approximately 50 percent having mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Participants receive results and are compensated for their time.
Principal Investigator: Ricardo M. Osorio Suarez, MD
Sleep AWARE is a research study funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Aging. We are examining how race, genes, and other factors impact an individual’s risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Poor sleep is thought to contribute to increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. African Americans in particular have lower quality sleep and less sleep duration and thus may be at greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers hope to compare sleep characteristics and their effects on Alzheimer’s disease risk among African Americans and non-Hispanic Whites.
We are seeking participants for the following imaging studies.
In Vivo Insights of Small Vessel Changes with Age Using Ultra-Small-Superparamagnetic-Iron-Oxide (USPIO)–Enhanced MRI
Principal Investigator: Yulin Ge, MD
This research study aims to develop a new imaging tool using an ultra-small-superparamagnetic-iron-oxide (USPIO) contrast agent. The objective is to characterize age-related microvascular changes on 3T and 7T MRI and better understand the source and basis of brain aging. This study will include a total of 130 healthy volunteers who will be asked to have a single 7T contrast-enhanced MRI. You may join this study if you are healthy and aged from 18 to 85 years.
Understanding CSF Clearance in Normal Aging and Alzheimer’s Brains Through Dynamic Sodium MRI
Principal Investigator: Yongxian Qian, PhD
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) plays a major role in cleaning waste proteins (including amyloid-beta) from the brain. Efficiency of CSF clearance may decrease with age, leading to accumulation of amyloid-beta and formation of plagues that are toxic to neurons and may interrupt communication between them. We use state-of-the-art sodium MRI to non-invasively measure the dynamics of CSF flow inside the brain and quantify its changes with aging and during sleep, as well as the difference in CSF flow between cognitively normal subjects and patients with Alzheimer’s disease. This study is funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). People aged 25 to 120 years, cognitively normal or diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s disease, are invited to participate in this study. Volunteers will be asked to have two MRI sessions: a 1-hour MRI in the morning and a 1.5-hour MRI in the afternoon with sleep monitored by electroencephalography (sleep EEG), with no injection of contrast material.