July 12, 2016


  •  join-a-study

     The Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center conducts and supports innovative memory and aging research that seeks to:

    • identify disease modifying treatments

    • understand disease mechanisms in AD and other dementias

    • define biomarkers for early and accurate detection

    • devise effective coping strategies for individuals with memory loss and their care-partners

    Despite tremendous recent advances in understanding Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, there’s still much we do not know about the causes of dementing disorders and how to slow down or prevent them altogether.  Clinicians and scientists alike need to take a broad, fresh view of the causes of dementia and the potential routes to better therapy.  The MADC is deeply committed to this task. Building from the rich expertise present across the University campus, the MADC strives to foster cutting-edge research toward a better understanding and better treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body Disease, frontotemporal dementia and other related disorders.

    Areas of research emphasis include investigations of the quality control machinery that counters aggregated proteins in dementia, imaging studies that seek to improve our ability to diagnose disease earlier and more accurately, and explorations of the interplay between metabolic disorders (e.g. obesity, diabetes) and Alzheimer’s disease.  A key part of the MADC mission is to make connections – linking scientists to scientists, clinicians to scientists, volunteers to studies, even programs to programs.  Through these connections, we can lower the barriers to solving the challenging problems associated with dementia.

  • Drug Treatment Studies


    Investigating a new drug targeting amyloid in the brain with the aim of slowing memory loss and other cognitive functions associated with Alzheimer’s disease.  Study is looking for healthy adults ages 65 to 85.  Contact Jaimie Ziolkowski at jziolkow@med.umich.edu or 734-647-7760.


    bohnennicolaas_advertisement_flyerThis is a Phase 2, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover study evaluating the effect of RVT-101 on gait and balance in people with Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia, or Parkinson’s disease dementia ages 55 to 89. Contact Christine Minderovic at cmindero@med.umich.edu or 734-998-8420 or Francesca Picotte at fpicotte@med.umich.edu  or 734-998-8400. 

    Brain Stimulation Studies

    Enhancing spatial navigation using non-invasive brain stimulation (SPiRE)

    Examining the benefits of electrical brain stimulation on spatial memory.  Study is looking for healthy adults and those with mild cognitive impairment over the age of 50.  Contact Alina Lesnovskaya at askaya@med.umich.edu or 734-764-4709.

    Promoting adaptive neuroplasticity in mild cognitive impairment (Merit)

    Examining the benefits of two types of treatments for memory impairment – cognitive rehabilitation and electrical brain stimulation.  Study is looking for adults with mild cognitive impairment over the age of 50.   Contact Oliver Calhoun at occ@med.umich.edu or 734-764-7282.

    NeuroRehabilitation Study

    Examining cognitive rehabilitation techniques, including transcranial electrical stimulation (TES) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, to see the benefit on cognitive abilities.  This study is looking for adults 50 years of age and older with or without cognitive complaints.  Contact Alina Lesnovskaya at askaya@med.umich.edu or 734-764-4709.   

    Neuroimaging and Biomarker Studies

    Examination of the earliest symptoms and biomarkers of FTLD MAPT carriers

    Investigating the earliest clinical features of frontotemporal dementia in an effort to improve early detection of the disease.  Study is looking for adults age 18 and older with a family member who has frontotemporal dementia.  Contact Stephen Campbell at stepcamp@med.umich.edu or 734-763-2361.

    Risk Evaluation and Education of Alzheimer’s Disease – the Study of Communicating Amyloid Neuroimaging (REVEAL-SCAN)

    The purpose of this study is to learn about the best ways to communicate educational information about amyloid imaging brain scans and risk information about the chance of developing AD. Study is enrolling cognitively normal adults ages 65 to 80, have/had at least one first-degree relative (i.e., parent or siblings) with Alzheimer’s disease. Contact Brent Doil at bmdoil@umich.edu or 734-763-2881.

    Lifestyle Intervention Studies

    University of Michigan Memory and Aging Project (UM-MAP)

    Investigating changes in cognitive functioning over time to learn more about normal aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Study is looking for adults with or without cognitive changes over the age of 55.  Contact Stephen Campbell at stepcamp@med.umich.edu or 734-763-2361.

    Community Urban Electroencephalography Study (CUES)

    Investigating new markers for detection of the earliest signs of cognitive changes in healthy African Americans who may be at risk for developing memory or other thinking problems.  Study is looking for African American adults age 65 and older. Contact Stephanie Nava at senava@med.umich.edu or 734-615-0612.

    Mind ‘n MOTION

    Investigating the use of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and multifactorial balance control training as a method for reducing fall risk. Study is looking for adults with mild cognitive impairment age 55 and older.  Contact Laura Rice-Oeschger at lerice@med.umich.edu or 734-936-8332.

    Enhancing Safe Mobility among Older Drivers

    Investigating how older drivers might change their driving behavior over time and what influences any changes that might occur.  Study is looking for healthy adults age 65 or older.  Contact Jennifer Zakrajsek at jzak@umich.edu or 734-615-4740.

    ACT-OUT (Participation in ACTivities and Places OUTside the Home of Older Adults with Dementia)

    This study takes place at Wayne State University and is investigating participation in activities and places outside the home of older adults with dementia to examine what people do and where they participate in everyday life as they age.  This study involves completing a survey and answering interview questions.  The study is looking for adults over the age of 55 who are living with dementia.  Contact Susan Lawrence, PhD at susan.lawrence2@wayne.edu or 313-577-1217

    Caregiver Studies

    Caregiver Studies Health-Related Quality of Life in Caregivers

    Investigating important issues associated with health-related quality of life for care partners and caregivers of individuals with mild cognitive impairment and the effectiveness of a widely used caregiver intervention.  Study is looking for care partners and caregivers (spouses, family members, or friends) of someone with mild cognitive impairment age 18 and older.  Contact Kaley Angers at kangers@umich.edu or 734-763-1356.

  • Join a Study

    Now is the time to join our research team. Research participation is a generous gift – a gift that can be shared with future generations as we pave the way to new discoveries in treatment and prevention.

    Research participation contributes to the discovery of new ways to diagnose, treat and support people with Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder. The University of Michigan Memory and Aging Project (UM-MAP), our primary memory and aging study at the MADC, aims to enhance our understanding of the earliest signs of memory or thinking changes. This study simply evaluates naturally occurring changes in behavior and health status of research volunteers over a period of time. Once you are enrolled in UM-MAP, our study coordinator can connect you to other observational, imaging and clinical drug trials that best fit your interests and needs.

    We are currently seeking research volunteers experiencing early signs of memory changes as well as healthy older adults. We understand that participating in research is not always an easy decision. Individuals and their families should carefully consider all of the possible benefits and risks before agreeing to participate.

    If you are interested in participating in research, please complete a Research Volunteer Form and mail or email to stepcamp@umich.edu.

    Please contact Stephen Campbell at 734-763-2361 with any questions or concerns.

  • brain-bank-long

    image sizeThere are over 13 million Americans living with a brain disease or disorder. To find treatments and cures, researchers must study the human brain. The Michigan Brain Bank provides individuals and families an opportunity to contribute to this research effort.

    Donated brains are collected and stored by the Michigan Brain Bank to help scientists around the world advance the understanding of brain disease and disorders. You can make a difference and help future generations by generously donating your brain to the Michigan Brain Bank.

    If you are interested in donating to the Michigan Brain Bank or would like more information, please call 734-647-7648 or visit the Michigan Brain Bank website.


  • 2015 Select Publications

    The prevalence of mild cognitive impairment in diverse geographical and ethnocultural regions: the COSMIC collaboration


    Results from the NACC Uniform Data Set Neuropsychological Battery Crosswalk Study


    Is the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia declining?


    Trajectory of cognitive decline after incident stroke


    US prevalence and predictors of informal caregiving for dementia


    Financial decision-making abilities and exploitation in older African Americans: Preliminary validity evidence for the Lichtenberg Financial Decision Rating Scale (LFDRS)


    The Paulson-Lichtenberg Frailty Index: evidence for a self-report measure of frailty


    Autonomic, behavioral, and subjective pain responses in Alzheimer’s disease


    Factors associated with cognitive evaluations in the United States


    Patient mood and instrumental activities of daily living in Alzheimer disease: Relationship between patient and caregiver reports


    Trajectory of cognitive decline after incident stroke


    Dual-tasking gait variability and cognition in late-life depression


    RAN translation at CGG repeats induces ubiquitin proteasome system impairment in models of fragile X-associated tremor ataxia syndrome


    Associations between potentially modifiable risk factors and Alzheimer disease: A Mendelian Randomization Study


    Loss of F-box only protein 2 (Fbxo2) disrupts levels and localization of select NMDA receptor subunits, and promotes aberrant synaptic connectivity


    A novel Alzheimer disease locus located near the gene encoding tau protein


    Structural neuroimaging genetics interactions in Alzheimer’s Disease


    Gene interactions and structural brain change in early-onset Alzheimer’s disease subjects using the pipeline environment


    Amelioration of toxicity in neuronal models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by hUPF1


    Post-mortem evaluation of amyloid-dopamine terminal positron emission tomography dementia classifications


    Educational attainment and motor burden in Parkinson’s disease


    Patterns of effective connectivity during memory encoding and retrieval differ between patients with mild cognitive impairment and healthy older adults


    Comparing the relationship between subjective memory complaints, objective memory performance, and medial temporal lobe volumes in patients with mild cognitive impairment


    Hippocampal plasticity during the progression of Alzheimer’s disease


    Evidence for mitochondrial UPR gene activation in familial and sporadic Alzheimer’s disease


  • Archived Studies

    Improving Alertness During Long Drives: A Driving Simulation Study

    Principal Investigator (PI): Bruno Giordani, PhD
    Co-PI: Carol Persad, PhD

    Project Description This study involves the use of a computerized driving simulator to find out if engaging in simple game-like tasks could promote alertness and improved driving performance in fatigued drivers. The study will take place in 2 separate sessions that will last approximately 2 hours each. Participants will be compensated for their time spent in the study.

    Participation Criteria:  Persons aged 55-65 years with a valid driver’s license over the past 2 years and driving in past 6 months.


    Principle Investigator (PI): Judith Heidebrink MD, MS

    Project Description: The purpose of this research study is to determine whether an investigational drug, T-817MA (also called “T-817”), is safe and beneficial in delaying or altering the decline in memory and daily functioning when given to people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We will also be studying the effect of T-817 on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved T-817 for the treatment of AD and we do not know whether daily use of T-817 can change the course of the disease.

    Participant Criteria: Male or female 55-85 years old; have AD and are experiencing memory problems; currently taking a medication (donepezil [Aricept®] or rivastigmine transdermal system (Exelon® Patch)  or donepezil or Rivastigmine and memantine [Namenda™]) for the treatment of AD; have brain MRI or CT result consistent with Alzheimer’s disease; residing in the community with a designated study partner who will accompany the patient to all clinic visits and participate in the evaluations (see protocol details). You may NOT qualify for participation in this study if you use any drug other than donepezil or Exelon Patch (with or without memantine) for Alzheimer’s disease, including galantamine (razadyne); have other neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, or cerebral tumor; have history of untreated thyroid disorder, Type I diabetes, and insulin-dependent, or uncontrolled Type II diabetes, as determined by the PI (except non-insulin controlled Type II diabetes, whose HbA1c value must be below 8.0 %).

    Contact: Kathryn Steen MA, kesteen@med.umich.edu 734-736-9909

    Retaining Identity: Creativity and Caregiving

    Principle Investigator (PI): Anne Mondro, MFA, Elaine Reed, BFA

    Project Description The goal of our study is to better understand the role of art in the support network of adults with memory loss and their care partners.  In the first four weeks, caregivers will learn how to use art materials, explore their creativity, develop a basic understanding of art and design principles, and build communication skills for working with persons with memory loss through art making and guided discussions.  Respite care will be available.  In the following four weeks, the caregiver will teach the same projects to their care recipient.  Facilitators will help guide the caregiver in how to structure the projects for their partner and aid in providing ways to communicate successfully in leading their partner through the art making.  A guided discussion with the group will follow.  All sessions will be held at the Turner Senior Resource Center in Ann Arbor.  Free, close to the building parking is available.  Materials and supplies are free to all participants.

    Participation Criteria: Diagnosis of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease; 50 years of age or over; fluent in English; a study partner/caregiver is required.

    ContactAnnie Hyrila, hyrilann@umich.edu , 734-763-3534
    Retaining Identity:  Creativity and Caregiving brochure (PDF)

    The WeCareAdvisor Tool to Assist Families Living with Dementia

    Principal Investigator (PI): Helen Kales, MD

    Project Description Our study is currently seeking family caregivers to test the WeCareAdvisor, a customized, easy-to-use, internet-based tool that aims to assist in better understanding and managing behavioral symptoms that are a part of dementia.  Participants will be interviewed by telephone and then in their home.  If it is determined that the study is right for the caregiver and their family member with dementia, they will be randomly assigned to one of two groups that will test the WeCareAdvsior tool for a one-month period.  Group A will receive the WeCareAdvisor and begin their trial testing immediately.  Group B will test the WeCareAdvisor after a one-month waiting period.  During the one month testing period of the WeCareAdvisor participants will also receive weekly check-in phone calls from a research team member.  Participants will be compensated for their time spent in the study.

    Participation Criteria:  The in-home primary caregiver for a person living with dementia, 21 years of age or older, managing behaviors the caregiver finds challenging and comfortable with technology.

    Contact:  Molly Turnwald, turnwald@umich.edu, 734-232-0393


    Principal Investigator (PI):  Judith Heidebrink MD, MS

    Project DescriptionThe purpose of this research study is to determine whether AZD0530 is safe and effective in slowing decline in brain metabolism, memory and daily function in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers believe that AZD0530 works by protecting your brain cells from the damage caused by amyloid protein. Amyloid protein is known to be associated with the development of AD. We will use imaging tests to see if AZD0530 affects brain structure and function, and also look at certain proteins in the blood and spinal fluid (the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord) that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

    Participant Criteria:  You must be male or female between the ages of 55-85 and have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.  You must be in good general health and be on stable medications.  You must have a study partner who is willing to accompany you to your study visits and monitors your study medication and how you are doing on a day to day basis.

    Merck 19

    Principle Investigator (PI):  Judith Heidebrink MD, MS

    Project Description: The purpose of the study is to test the safety and efficacy of MK-8931 in the treatment of individuals with amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The study will assess the effects that two doses of MK-8931 have on disease progression.

    Participation Criteria:  Male or female between the ages of 55 and 85; Mild Cognitive Impairment due to Alzheimer’s Disease; a spouse, friend, relative, or caregiver who is willing to accompany them to all of the study visits, monitor them while they are taking the study drug and communicate changes in the patient’s health status over the period of this study.

    Contact: Kathryn Steen MA, kesteen@med.umich.edu 734-736-9909


    Principal Investigator (PI):  Nancy Barbas MD, MSW

    Project Description The purpose of the BAN2401 research study is to find out if BAN2401 has a positive effect on a person’s cognitive ability based on a series of specialized cognitive tests. The purpose of this research is also to find out if the study drug is safe and well-tolerated in people with early Alzheimer’s disease. People with Alzheimer’s disease have a build-up of abnormal protein known as amyloid in their brains. BAN2401 is thought to reduce the amount of this abnormal protein.  The study drug will be given by injecting it into a vein. Analysis will be performed to find out how much of the study drug is in the blood at different times after the injection.

    Participation Criteria: Diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or mild Alzheimer’s disease, male or female between the ages of 50 and 90, and ability to provide written consent

    Contact: Amanda Rasnake BSN, RN, CCRP, arasnake@med.umich.edu 734-232-2452