Center for Cognitive Neurology Research Studies | NYU Langone Health

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Center for Cognitive Neurology Research Center for Cognitive Neurology Research Studies

Center for Cognitive Neurology Research Studies

Research studies and clinical trials are the force behind the prevention, treatment, and possible cure of any disease. Members of NYU Langone’s Center for Cognitive Neurology are currently participating in the following research studies.

Memory Screening and Longitudinal Studies of Aging

The following studies are being conducted by members from the Department of Neurology and the Department of Psychiatry.

Longitudinal Study of Normal Aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), and Alzheimer’s Disease

The goal of this study is to improve early diagnosis and better understand the clinical course and causes of age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Participants receive a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and are re-evaluated every year. For information, contact Thet Oo, MBBS, senior program coordinator, at 212-263-8088 or thet.oo@nyulangone.org.

Principal investigator: Thomas M. Wisniewski, MD

Orexin (Hypocretin) and Tau Pathology in Cognitively Normal Elderly: A New Prevention Strategy for Alzheimer’s Disease (TONE Study)

Our preliminary results suggest that tau pathological changes that occur in the brainstem years before the onset of clinical symptoms disrupt the orexinergic system, resulting in sleep disruption, changes in core body temperature (CBT), and further Alzheimer’s disease–type neurodegeneration in a feed-forward cycle. We will test this hypothesis in up to 19 cognitively normal older adults by performing a full clinical evaluation, a tau PET/MRI scan, 2 nights of nocturnal polysomnography (during which we will measure CBT), and a lumbar puncture to obtain cerebrospinal fluid. We are currently enrolling male and female participants with normal cognition between the ages of 55 and 75 whose total sleep time is between 6 and 8 hours and who do not have moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea. For information, contact Margo Miller at 212-263-7563 or margo.miller@nyulangone.org.

Principal investigator: Ricardo M. Osorio Suarez, MD

Sleep, Aging, and Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease (SARA 2.0 Study)

We are currently 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 the elderly. Participants must be able to schedule an initial visit with us for a physical exam, cognitive testing, sleep interview, EKG, clinical labs, and blood sample. We will also conduct a 2-night polysomnography and amyloid deposition using 11C-PiB PET/MRI scanning both at baseline and at a 24-month follow-up.

We are currently enrolling healthy male and female participants in the New York City area between the ages of 60 and 75 with normal cognition. We can accept approximately 50 percent of participants with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Participants receive results of all testing and are compensated for their time. For information, contact Margo Miller at 212-263-7563 or margo.miller@nyulangone.org.

Principal investigator: Ricardo M. Osorio Suarez, MD

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 PET scans, which measure brain activity by imaging small amounts of radioactivity emitted from the brain. Inflammation is an important process that helps the body protect itself from infection and foreign substances, though it 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 or patrick.harvey@nyulangone.org.

Principal investigator: Mony J. de Leon, EdD

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 or prevent the disease. Biomarkers such as amyloid in the brain—which can be detected with PET/CT scans—have been developed to detect Alzheimer’s disease–related brain pathology, but these methods are invasive and/or expensive.

This study will confirm new computer memory and thinking tests, known as cognitive tasks, that may detect memory problems associated with Alzheimer’s disease before there are symptoms. Participants will perform the cognitive tasks and receive a PET/CT scan. Performance on the tasks will be compared with the scan results to discover whether the tests can identify people who may have brain amyloid. You may join this study if you are between the ages of 60 and 85 and are in good general health. For more information, contact Patrick Harvey at 212-263-7563 or patrick.harvey@nyulangone.org.

Principal investigator: Mony J. de Leon, EdD

Neurotrack Test Validation

Alzheimer’s disease–related brain pathologies like brain shrinkage can be detected using biomarkers or an MRI scan, but these methods are invasive and/or expensive. 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 disease when there are no symptoms. Participants will perform the cognitive tasks and receive an MRI scan. Performance on the cognitive tasks will be compared with the scan results to discover whether the tests can evaluate people at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. We seek study participants between the ages of 60 and 85 who are in good general health. For information, contact Anaztasia Ulysse, clinical trials coordinator, at 212-263-5845 or adclinicaltrials@nyulangone.org.

Principal investigator: Martin Sadowski, MD, PhD