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. Our Center is deeply committed to this task. Building from the rich expertise present across the University campus, we strive 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 our 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.
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.
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 to get started. Once completed, please mail or email to Holly Bunker at email@example.com or 2101 Commonwealth Blvd, Ste D, Ann Arbor, MI 48105. Please contact Holly Bunker at 734-615-5319 with any questions. We thank you for considering participating in research!
Currently Enrolling Studies
University of Michigan Memory and Aging Project (UM-MAP): The University of Michigan Memory and Aging Project (UM-MAP) is the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center’s main observational, longitudinal study. The study investigates changes related to memory and thinking over time so that researchers can learn more about normal aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Participants in UM-MAP can be seen at both our Ann Arbor and Detroit locations. There is modest compensation for participation. All participants must have a family member or close friend as their study partner to accompany them to visits.
Medication StudiesA Study of LY3154207 in Participants with Parkinson's Disease Dementia (PRESENCE Study)
Evaluating the safety and efficacy of LY3154207 (positive allosteric modulator of the D1 receptor) on cognition in patients with mild-moderate Parkinson’s disease dementia. Study is looking for adults with Parkinson’s disease and dementia age 40-85, with well-controlled blood pressure and a reliable caregiver who is able to be present for certain visits. Contact Braden DeWeese at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-615-5495 for more information.Troriluzole Trial for Alzheimer's Disease (T2 Protect Study)
Evaluating the safety and efficacy of BHV-4157 in Patients with Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease. Study is looking for participants ages 50-85 with a reliable and available study partner to attend study visits. Eligible participants should be receiving a stable dose of FDA-approved AD medication(s) for at least 3 months prior to screening. For Ann Arbor, contact Courtney Graft at email@example.com or (734) 763-2211. For Lansing, contact Dennis Shubitowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-884-2286.Dementia with Lewy Bodies Phosphodiesterase Inhibitor Assessment (DELPHIA Study)
Evaluating the efficacy (as well as safety and tolerability) of E2027 on cognition in subjects with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). The study is looking for participants age 50-85 with probable DLB who have a reliable and available study partner to attend the 10 study visits over 22 weeks. Participants will receive either E2027 or placebo. Contact Jackie Dobson at email@example.com or 734-998-8400.Phase 3 Study of AVP-786
This study is evaluating the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of AVP-786 compared to placebo for the treatment of agitation in patients with dementia of the Alzheimer's type. Patients are enrolled for 16 weeks with up to 4 weeks for screening and 12 weeks of treatment (either placebo or AVP-786). At the conclusion of this study, patients are offered to continue in the next phase of the study to evaluate the long-term safety and maintenance of efficacy for AVP-786. The length is approximately 56 weeks and all patients are on varying blinded doses of AVP-786. This study is enrolling participants in Lansing. Contact Dennis Shubitowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-884-2286.
Memory Training StudiesPromoting 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 Julia Laing at email@example.com or 734-764-4709.Stimulation to Undermine Dementia (STUD)
Investigating the potential benefits of varying ‘doses’ of non-invasive electrical brain stimulation combined with cognitive rehabilitation. Study is looking for adults with mild cognitive impairment over the age of 55. Contact Rachael Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-936-7360.
Neuroimaging and Biomarker StudiesAlzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative 3 (ADNI 3)
Determining the relationships among clinical, cognitive, imaging, genetic, and biomarker characteristics of the entire spectrum of AD as it progresses from a preclinical stage to very mild symptoms to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to dementia. Study is looking for adults age 55-90 with normal cognition, MCI, or mild AD. Contact Lisa Zbizek-Nulph at email@example.com or 734-232-1199.Brain Relationships Among Information, Neuroprocessing, and Self-Management (BRAINS)
This study is looking at factors related to health information behavior, brain activity, and self-management in African American women. The study is looking for African American women 21-64 years of age diagnosed with hypertension and diabetes (or with elevated blood sugar levels). Contact Lenette Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-763-1371.Lewy Body Dementia Biomarkers
Investigating new brain imaging approaches that investigators hope will identify protein accumulations in the brain of individual patients with PD-related dementia. This study is looking for adults age 55 and older with Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD), Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB), or Alzheimer’s disease with at least one symptom of DLB. Contact Christine Minderovic at email@example.com or 734-998-8420.Ocular Imaging in Dementia
The purpose of this study is to determine if imaging of the eye can be used to provide investigators new information about diagnosing AD and FTD as well as monitoring the progression of these diseases. This study is recruiting adults age 45 – 80 who are cognitively normal or have been diagnosed with either AD or FTD. This study will take place at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center and University Hospital in Ann Arbor. Contact Dr. Omar Moinuddin, MD at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-232-8404.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 Lan Le at email@example.com or 734-615-2422. This study team sees participants in Ann Arbor and Detroit.Subjective Cognitive Impairment – A Sign of Incipient Alzheimer’s Disease?
Longitudinal study investigating functional and structural brain changes in healthy older adults with and without cognitive complaints. Study is looking for adults age 60 or older with worrisome memory complaints or a diagnosis of MCI. Contact the Wayne State University Connect Lab at firstname.lastname@example.org or 313-664-2670. This study team is recruiting for visits at Wayne State University in Detroit.
Lifestyle Intervention StudiesUniversity 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 Holly Bunker at email@example.com or 734-615-5319. This study team sees participants in Ann Arbor and Detroit.Advancing Reliable Measurement in Alzheimer's Disease and Cognitive Aging (ARMADA)
Testing a new set of measurements – the NIH Toolbox for Assessment of Neurological and Behavioral Function – for their ability to detect early signs of cognitive decline and to differentiate among cognitive health and cognitive illness. Participants must be part of – or willing to be part of – the University of Michigan Memory and Aging Project (UM-MAP) in addition to this study. The study is looking for adults with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment, or Alzheimer’s disease age 65-85. Contact Yonatan Kahsay at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-936-8281. This study team sees participants in Ann Arbor and Detroit.Developing a Personalized System to Assist Aging Drivers
The goal of this study is to understand driving behavior and factors that might influence how older adults drive. Being able to drive safely allows older adults to do many life-long activities that are important to them. Despite the importance of this topic, there has been little research studying factors that impact older adults in different driving scenarios. This study is designed to collect information on older adults’ driving over multiple days and on factors, such as physiological responses, that might influence their safe driving. This information will provide an important knowledge base for the future development of personalized systems to promote safe driving for older adults.
Eligible participants will be asked to complete appointments at the University of Michigan Neuropsychology Clinic (UM Neuropsychology) and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). First, you will be asked to complete one appointment at UM Neuropsychology where you will use a computer-based driving simulator and complete a brief computer-based assessment of thinking and problem solving. This appointment will take up to 2 hours. Next, you will be asked to drive your own vehicle for five separate days while we collect on-road driving data. To do this we will ask you to visit UMTRI each morning and evening. During the first visit to UMTRI, we will install an in-vehicle data collection device and a small camera system in your vehicle. You will then be asked to drive as you normally would that day, returning to UMTRI in the evening to allow study staff to turn the data collection devices off. On each of the remaining four driving days you will return to UMTRI in the morning to turn on the data collection devices and return in the evening to turn them off. You will be asked to complete a survey while the devices are being installed in your vehicle, a brief survey when you return to UMTRI each evening, and a short interview while the devices are being removed from your vehicle at the end of the fifth driving day. The first UMTRI appointment will take up to 2 hours and the remaining UMTRI appointments will take approximately 15 minutes. Finally, for the simulator appointment and on-road driving, you will be asked to wear a chest belt and a special set of gloves that will measure physiological data like heart rate. Participants will be paid a total of $250 – distributed across the study visits.
Participation criteria: Age 65 or older; have a valid driver’s license; have been actively driving for at least one year; drive at least three times per week; drive a car that is model year 1996 or newer; are able to visit UMTRI two times per day during the five days of on-road driving data collection in your own vehicle over a two-week period.
Contact: Natcha Srimaneerungroj at email@example.com or 734-764-6169.Encephalographic Computerized Assessment (ELECTRA)
Testing the utility of electroencephalographic (EEG) and computerized testing in identifying the first signs of dementia in at-risk African Americans. ELECTRA is a collaborative project between Wayne State University and the University of Michigan. Participants must be part of (or willing to be part of) the University of Michigan Memory and Aging Project (UM-MAP) in addition to this study. Eligible participants will be cognitively normal African Americans age 65 or older who are concerned about their memory and thinking. The study team sees participants in Detroit at Wayne State University; travel to Ann Arbor may be required as part of the UM-MAP study. Contact the ELECTRA study team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 313-577-1692.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 both healthy adults and those with MCI age 65 or older. Contact Jennifer Zakrajsek at email@example.com or 734-615-4740.Internet-Based Conversational Engagement Clinical Trial (I-CONECT)
Investigating potential benefits of social engagement in healthy older adults, using regular phone or video chat conversations to improve health and well-being. Study is looking for generally healthy adults over the age of 75 in the Detroit metropolitan area who are socially isolated or would like to have more opportunities to talk with others. Contact the study team at I-CONECT_UM@ohsu.edu or 734-647-2676. This study involves phone and video chat visits in the home.
Caregiver StudiesAdaptive Coping Engagement with Caregivers of Black Older Adults with Dementia (ACE Project)
The ACE Project is investigating caregiver mental health, physical health, and social supports with the aim of developing culturally tailored programming. This study is seeking African American/ Black caregivers of persons with dementia or cognitive impairments to complete a survey. Contact Dr. Sheria Robinson-Lane at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-764-9280. This study team will meet participants in the home.Tele-Savvy: An Online Psychoeducation Program for Dementia Family Caregivers
The purpose of this study is to test the psychoeducational program "Tele-Savvy”, which is an internet-based group education program developed from an in-person program called Savvy Caregiver. Study is looking for informal caregivers (family/friends) of persons living with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia over the age of 18. Contact Natasha Spoden at email@example.com or 503-494-6370. This study occurs via phone and computer (computer or mobile device with internet is necessary).
Brain Donation Program
There 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 Matthew Perkins at 734-647-7648 or visit the Michigan Brain Bank website.
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Østergaard SD, Mukherjee S, Sharp SJ, Proitsi P, Lotta LA, Day F, Perry JR, Boehme KL, Walter S, Kauwe JS, Gibbons LE; Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium; GERAD1 Consortium; EPIC-InterAct Consortium, Larson EB, Powell JF, Langenberg C, Crane PK, Wareham NJ, Scott RA. Associations between potentially modifiable risk factors and Alzheimer disease: A Mendelian Randomization Study. PLoS Med. 2015 Jun 16, 12(6): e1001841; discussion e1001841. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001841 PMID: 26079503 PMCID: PMC4469461
Fyock CA, Hampstead BM. Comparing the relationship between subjective memory complaints, objective memory performance, and medial temporal lobe volumes in patients with mild cognitive impairment. Alzheimers Dement (Amst). 2015 Jun 1, 1(2): 242-248. doi: 10.1016/j.dadm.2015.03.002 PMID: 26191540 PMCID: PMC4501028
Monsell SE, Dodge HH, Zhou XH, Bu Y, Besser LM, Mock C, Hawes SE, Kukull WA, Weintraub S; Neuropsychology Work Group Advisory to the Clinical Task Force. Results from the NACC Uniform Data Set Neuropsychological Battery Crosswalk Study. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2016 Apr-Jun, 30(2): 134-9. doi: 10.1097/WAD.0000000000000111 PMID: 26485498 PMCID: PMC4834278
Atkin G, Moore S, Lu Y, Nelson RF, Tipper N, Rajpal G, Hunt J, Tennant W, Hell JW, Murphy GG, Paulson H. Loss of F-box only protein 2 (Fbxo2) disrupts levels and localization of select NMDA receptor subunits, and promotes aberrant synaptic connectivity. J Neurosci. 2015 Apr 15, 35(15): 6165-78. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3013-14.2015 PMID: 25878288 PMCID: PMC4397610
Langa KM. Is the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia declining? Alzheimers Res Ther. 2015 Mar 26, 7(1): 34. doi: 10.1186/s13195-015-0118-1 PMID: 25815064 PMCID: PMC4374373
Jun G, Ibrahim-Verbaas CA, Vronskaya M, Lambert JC, Chung J, Naj AC, Kunkle BW, Wang LS, Bis JC, Bellenguez C, Harold D, Lunetta KL, Destefano AL, Grenier-Boley B, Sims R, Beecham GW, Smith AV, Chouraki V, Hamilton-Nelson KL, Ikram MA, Fievet N, Denning N, Martin ER, Schmidt H, Kamatani Y, Dunstan ML, Valladares O, Laza AR, Zelenika D, Ramirez A, Foroud TM, Choi SH, Boland A, Becker T, Kukull WA, van der Lee SJ, Pasquier F, Cruchaga C, Beekly D, Fitzpatrick AL, Hanon O, Gill M, Barber R, Gudnason V, Campion D, Love S, Bennett DA, Amin N, Berr C, Tsolaki M, Buxbaum JD, Lopez OL, Deramecourt V, Fox NC, Cantwell LB, Tárraga L, Dufouil C, Hardy J, Crane PK, Eiriksdottir G, Hannequin D, Clarke R, Evans D, Mosley TH Jr, Letenneur L, Brayne C, Maier W, De Jager P, Emilsson V, Dartigues JF, Hampel H, Kamboh MI, de Bruijn RF, Tzourio C, Pastor P, Larson EB, Rotter JI, O'Donovan MC, Montine TJ, Nalls MA, Mead S, Reiman EM, Jonsson PV, Holmes C, St George-Hyslop PH, Boada M, Passmore P, Wendland JR, Schmidt R, Morgan K, Winslow AR, Powell JF, Carasquillo M, Younkin SG, Jakobsdóttir J, Kauwe JS, Wilhelmsen KC, Rujescu D, Nöthen MM, Hofman A, Jones L; IGAP Consortium, Haines JL, Psaty BM, Van Broeckhoven C, Holmans P, Launer LJ, Mayeux R, Lathrop M, Goate AM, Escott-Price V, Seshadri S, Pericak-Vance MA, Amouyel P, Williams J, van Duijn CM, Schellenberg GD, Farrer LA.A novel Alzheimer disease locus located near the gene encoding tau protein. Mol Psychiatry. 2016 Jan, 21(1): 108-17. doi: 10.1038/mp.2015.23. PMID: 25778476 PMCID: PMC4573764
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We support the work of investigators and other professionals in a variety of ways. Please review our various methods of support below, and contact us if you have any questions. Please be sure to acknowledge the partial support of our funding in all work to which we contribute. Specific acknowledgement information is listed in the Acknowledgement & Logos section below.
Questions should be directed to Ari Bhaumik at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-936-8281.Recruitment Resources
Our Center promotes clinical research on memory and aging that involves direct use of research volunteers, biomarkers, and other clinical data collected through the University of Michigan Memory and Aging Project. We manage a well-characterized data set to facilitate recruitment for Center-supported projects and publications.
For more information, contact Arijit Bhaumik at 734-936-8281 or email@example.com.Clinical Resources
Investigators wishing to utilize the research volunteer database must complete the Clinical Resource Application (PDF).
For more information, contact Arijit Bhaumik at 734-936-8281 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Data Resources
For preliminary data requests, please complete and submit the Data Request Form.
For more information, contact Arijit Bhaumik at 734-936-8281 or email@example.com.Brain Tissue Resources
The Michigan Brain Bank is designed to support investigations of dementing disorders. The Michigan Brain Bank provides researchers who study Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders with access to well-characterized human brain tissue. To optimize research, the Michigan Brain Bank assists in the collection and storage of brain tissue from individuals who have been followed in research studies at the University of Michigan and other Centers. We are fortunate to have had many generous patients and families participate in this brain donation program. The most useful tissue for research comes from individuals with extensive clinical information, typically from those who have participated in clinical research projects. Tissues stored in the Michigan Brain Bank are extensively characterized by experienced pathologists and available to scientists on request. Michigan Brain Bank tissues have been used by numerous scientists here and at other Centers in the United States.
For investigators wishing to utilize tissues stored in the Michigan Brain Bank, please visit the Michigan Brain Bank website to download and submit tissue resource applications. Investigators may also download the Tissue Resource Application and submit it via mail.
For further information, please contact Matthew Perkins at UMHSbrainbank@med.umich.edu or 734-647-7648."Dementia for Scientists" Online Curriculum
The Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center was pleased to release the “Dementia for Scientists” online curriculum in September 2018. The curriculum is available to view on YouTube here. The goal of this curriculum is to provide a broad and current introduction to important aspects of dementias and dementia-related research. The target audience is junior investigators.
Why did we create this curriculum? Dementia research is highly diverse in content, ranging from basic biophysical research to social science. While investigators entering the field from diverse research backgrounds are well-trained in their own discipline, they may lack broader knowledge of the many aspects of dementia and dementia research that are important in understanding critical issues in the field. This curriculum aims to provide a relatively sophisticated introduction to critical aspects of dementias across the broad sweep of the field. The ultimate goal is to enhance the ability of junior investigators to read and understand relevant literature outside their own disciplines.
The curriculum consists of 7 modules, each of which addresses an important area in contemporary dementia research. Each module includes several presentations. The presentations are relatively concise, PowerPoint lectures that can be viewed when convenient.
The modules include the following topics:
- Dementia Definition and Evaluation
- Dementia Pathology & Pathogenesis
- Dementia Genetics
- Dementia Imaging
- Therapy Development in Dementias
- Health Services and Policy Dementia Research
- Research Performance in Ethnically Diverse Populations
We encourage users to view all modules, though many may wish to focus on topics outside their areas of expertise. Modules 1, 2, 5, & 6 might be said to constitute core elements that everyone should know.
We hope you find the curriculum valuable. This is our initial effort and we welcome all comments, criticisms, and suggestions. Please send all feedback to Erin Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to share the curriculum with others, a promotional flyer is available here: Curriculum FlyerWeb-based Certificate in Advanced Clinical Dementia Practice
Several Center faculty were involved in the creation of this University of Michigan School of Social Work certificate program.
This self-paced certificate is designed for healthcare professionals who deliver or plan to deliver person- and family-centered care to people living with memory loss or dementia, including: social workers; nurses; primary care physicians; physical therapists; occupational therapists; health educators; and administrators. Participants will gain clinical knowledge and skills in culturally-competent assessment, care planning, and state-of-the-art clinical intervention.
Learn more about the program here.Junior Investigator Mentorship Program
The Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center offers a mentoring program for junior investigators. The program aims to provide junior investigators entering the field of dementia research with a broad education about contemporary dementia research and provide junior investigators with mentoring by experienced investigators in developing competitive grant applications. The program lasts for two years and includes the following components:
- An online curriculum about contemporary dementia research to introduce mentees to the basic features of the dementias.
- An individually tailored mentoring committee of experienced investigators to assist mentees with preparation of competitive grant applications.
- Participation in the career development workshop jointly sponsored by the Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Research Center rand the University of Michigan Pepper Center. This workshop takes place in the spring and includes a mock study section and other career development activities.
- Mentees receive preferred (not guaranteed) access to Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Research Center resources and Pilot Project programs.
Eligibility Criteria Include:
Pilot Project Program
- Career commitment to dementia-related research. This covers the whole spectrum of research from social science work to basic biology.
- Post-doctoral fellow or junior faculty status.
- Realistic plans to submit a grant application within the next 2 years.
As we seek to understand and cure Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, we consider it among our highest priorities to support innovative, high impact research. Our Center’s Pilot Project Program provides “kick-starter” funds to investigators so that they can begin testing new ideas about the causes and treatment of dementias. We are committed to funding $35,000 pilot projects per year, open to any investigators at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, and the Ann Arbor VA.
More information on the previous pilot projects funded by our Center is available under the "More" tab above.Mezey Travel Award Program
The Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center is committed to promoting the advancement of dementia research skills in junior faculty through the provision of training resources. Established with the generous support of the Chawla family, the Isadore & Margaret Mezey award will pay for travel expenses for three junior investigators associated with their participation in national or international conferences focusing on the latest discoveries in neurodegenerative research and clinical practices. Awardees have a keen interest in advancing their careers in the dementia field and use the award for participation in annual meetings associated with major brain-related associations or societies.
Call for applications to the Mezey Travel Awards takes place twice per year.Acknowledgement & Logos
Please remember to acknowledge partial support from NIH/NIA grant 5P30AG053760 in your publications, presentations, websites, posters, and other dissemination efforts that are related to our Center’s research, development and training activities. Also, please include an approved Center logo.
Text must read:
This <project/study (choose one)> was partially supported by the NIH/NIA funded Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center (5P30AG053760).
For approved logos to use in posters and presentations, please contact Renee Gadwa at email@example.com.
The Pilot Project Program
As we seek to understand and cure Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, we consider it among our highest priorities to support innovative, high impact research. Our Center’s Pilot Project Program provides “kick-starter” funds to investigators so that they can begin testing new ideas about the causes and treatment of dementias. We are committed to funding $35,000 pilot projects per year, open to any investigators at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, and the Ann Arbor VA.
2018-2019 Funded Pilot Projects"Characterization of faster onset of Alzheimer’s disease within mild cognitive impairment patients by brain functional connectivity and genetic variants"
Eunjee Lee, PhD (University of Michigan) and Chandra Sripada, PhD (University of Michigan)
Goal: To uncover multi-model brain functional connectivity/gene markers of shorter conversion time from MCI to AD by constructing advanced Bayesian low rank models.
Dr. Eunjee Lee is a Research Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Michigan. Her research interests lie in developing statistical methods to explore biomedical data, such as brain imaging and genetic data. Her current work is focused on Bayesian methods for functional data analysis, matrix decomposition, and variable selection in high-dimensional settings.
Dr. Chandra Sripada is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan. His research examines agency, attention, and self-control from cross-disciplinary perspectives."Cortical Microstructural Changes in African-Americans with Alzheimer’s Disease"
Navid Seraji-Bozorgzad, MD (University of Michigan) and Rohit Marawar, MD (Wayne State University)
Goal: To examine the cortical microstructure as reflected by two novel MRI techniques, Neurite Orientation Dispersion and Density Imaging (NODDI) and Diffusion Kurtosis Imaging (DKI) in a cohort of African American and White patients with early Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Seraji-Bozorgzad is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan. The interaction of body and brain in disease state are of particular interest to him, both in terms of neurological manifestations of systemic disease, and effect of neurological disease on other systems. His research experience is in the field of MR imaging. He is interested in biomarkers of brain injury and repair, as it applies to various degenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Rohit Marawar is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Wayne State University. Dr. Marawar’s expertise and training is in the field of epilepsy. Recently, he transitioned his focus into hyperexcitable brain networks in cognitively normal and abnormal elderly – including those with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Dr. Marawar contributed to the development of the Geriatric Epilepsy Clinic at Wayne State University-Detroit Medical Center.“RNA binding protein sequestration in Non-Amyloid Dementia”
Peter Todd, MD, PhD (University of Michigan)
Goal: To leverage emerging technologies to identify novel repeat associated RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and then evaluate their roles in two common genetic forms of dementia: C9orf72-associated frontotemporal dementia (C9FTD) and fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS).
Dr. Peter Todd is the Bucky and Patti Harris Career Development Professor of Neurology and an Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan. His research explores the molecular mechanisms in neurodegenerative diseases with a particular interest in repeat expansion diseases such as the recently discovered C9ORF72 expansion underlying frontotemporal dementia. Dr. Todd is also a staff neurologist at the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center. He has worked in the field of Fragile X research for almost 20 years.“Inflammation, social stress, and racial disparities in cognitive aging”
Laura Zahodne, PhD (University of Michigan)
Goal: To test the overarching hypothesis that racially-patterned social stress (discrimination) partially explains disparities in cognitive health through its effects on inflammation. In addition, this study will test whether associations among race, social stress, inflammation, and cognition differ according to socioeconomic status and quantify effects of examiner-examinee racial discordance on cognitive performance.
Dr. Laura Zahodne is a clinical neuropsychologist and an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. Her research interests include psychosocial factors in aging and neurodegenerative disease, psychosocial factors and racial/ethnic diversity in cognitive aging, and statistical modeling of symptom trajectories in aging and neurodegenerative disease.
2017-2018 Funded Pilot Projects"Hippocampal Connectivity Along The Spectrum of Pre-clinical Alzheimer’s Disease"
Jessica Damoiseaux, PhD
Assistant in the Institute of Gerontology and the Department of Psychology at Wayne State University
Goal: To determine the difference in hippocampal functional and structural connectivity among older adults along the putative preclinical spectrum from healthy to subjective cognitive impairment (SCI) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and its association with objective cognitive performance.
Outcome: Project is ongoing."Determine The Role of the Novel EFhd2 Protein on Tau Oligomerization"
Irving Vega, PhD
Associate Professor of Translational Science & Molecular Medicine at Michigan State University
Research Assistant Professor of Neurology and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biophysics at the University of Michigan
Goal: To understand the role of EFhd2 as a putative modulator of tau oligomerization, in a collaborative effort between researchers at Michigan State University and University of Michigan.
Outcome: Project is ongoing."Leveraging Longitudinal Electronic Health Records for the Characterization of the Progression of Alzheimer's Disease"
Jenna Wiens, PhD
Assistant Professor in Computer Science Engineering (CSE) at the University of Michigan
Goal: The development of methods for leveraging University of Michigan Health System and VA Health Administration Electronic Health Record data for novel retrospective analyses of patient trajectories prior to and following a diagnosis with MCI and AD.
Outcome: Project is ongoing."Defining RNA-based Mechanisms of Neurodegeneration in FTLD-TDP"
Sami Barmada, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan
Goal: To determine the importance of TDP43’s RNA binding domains to neurotoxicity, and to define the TDP43 targets that most closely associate with neurodegeneration in frontotemporal dementia models.
Outcome: Project is ongoing.
This project is funded by the Erb Family Foundation Grant
2015 Funded Pilot Projects“Decision Making for Cardiovascular Therapy in Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)”
Deborah A. Levine, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Assistant Professor of Neurology
Goal: to develop, test, and disseminate strategies to improve the care and clinical decision-making of older patients with MCI
Outcome: Data from this study was incorporated into an R01 grant application with Dr. Levine as PI which was funded. They are still in the data collection and analysis phase. There are no publications at this time.“Screening for novel G4C2 hexanucleotide repeat expansions in neurodegenerative disease”
Outcome: They did not identify any novel repeat expansions as a cause of ALS or other disorders.
Publications: He F, Jones JM, Figueroa-Romero C, Zhang D, Feldman EL, Goutman SA, Meisler MH, Callaghan BC, Todd PK. Screening for novel hexanucleotide repeat expansions at ALS- and FTD-associated loci. Neurology Genetics. Volume 2, Issue 3, May 11th 2016, Page 71.“Novel approaches to measuring and facilitating the clearance of soluble amyloid from the brain”
Goal: To test the primary hypothesis that scalp cooling facilitates the glymphatic system and enhances clearance of soluble A-beta.
Outcome: Project is currently ongoing. Dr. Kotagal acquired a mentored VA grant this year.
Publications: There are no publications at this time.“Reducing subjective memory complaints in older adults through non-invasive brain stimulation”