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 StudiesPRESENCE
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.
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.
Neuroimaging and Biomarker StudiesExamination 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-763-2361.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.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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-615-2422. This study team sees participants in Ann Arbor and 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.Adaptive 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.Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative 3 (ADNI 3)
The purpose of this observational study is to determine 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.
Alzheimer's Prevention Trials (APT) Webstudy
The APT Webstudy is an online memory and thinking research tool aimed at accelerating enrollment into Alzheimer’s clinical trials by identifying and tracking individuals who may be at higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s. The study is looking for adults over age 50. Contact the study team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-858-877-3135, or visit https://www.aptwebstudy.org/welcome for more information about the study. This is a web-based study; a computer or mobile device with internet is necessary to participate.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: Courtney Goetz, 734-764-6169, email: email@example.comEnhancing 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 healthy adults over the age of 80 who live alone in the Detroit metropolitan area. 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.
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 email@example.com or 734-936-8332.STYLE Study: Characterizing Dementia Caregiving Styles
This study is investigating how caregivers manage care and the impact of that care on the caregivers’ mental and physiological health, as well as health services use. The study is looking for primary caregivers of family members or friends with a diagnosis of dementia to participate. Contact Brianna Broderick at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-232-0397.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 mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Contact the Wayne State University Connect Lab at email@example.com or 313-664-2670. This study team is recruiting for visits at Wayne State University in Detroit.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-494-6370. This study occurs via phone and computer (computer or mobile device with internet is necessary).
For a full printable list of our studies, click here.
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 email@example.com.
Please contact Stephen Campbell at 734-763-2361 with any questions or concerns.
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 734-647-7648 or visit the Michigan Brain Bank website.
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Lichtenberg PA, Ocepek-Welikson K, Ficker LJ, Gross E, Rahman-Filipiak A, Teresi JA. Conceptual and empirical approaches to financial decision-making by older adults: Results from a financial decision-making rating scale. Clinical gerontologist. 2018 Jan 1;41(1):42-65. doi: 10.1080/07317115.2017.1367748 PMID: 29077531 PMCID: PMC5766370
Lichtenberg P, Teresi JA, Ocepek-Welikson K, JosEimicke JP. Reliability and Validity of the Lichtenberg Financial Decision Screening Scale. Innovation in Aging. 2017 Mar 1, 00(00): 1–9. doi: 10.1093/geroni/igx003. PMID: 29034335 PMCID: PMC5637552
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Pressler SJ, Harrison JM, Titler M, Koelling TM, Jung M, Dorsey SG, Bakoyannis G, Riley PL, Hoyland-Domenico L, Giordani B. APOE ε4 and Memory among Patients with Heart Failure. Western Journal of Nursing Research. 2017, 39(4): 455-472. doi: 10.1177/0193945916670145 PMID: 27733670
Qian J, Wolters FJ, Beiser A, Haan M, Ikram MA, Karlawish J, Langbaum JB, Neuhaus JM, Reiman EM, *Roberts JS, Seshadri S, Tariot PN, Woods BM, Betensky RA, Blacker D. APOE-related risk of mild cognitive impairment and dementia for prevention trials: An analysis of four cohorts. PLoS Med. 2017 Mar 21, 14(3): e1002254. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002254. PMID: 28323826 PMCID: PMC5360223
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Archived StudiesImproving 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.NOBLE
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, firstname.lastname@example.org 734-736-9909Retaining 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.
Contact: Annie Hyrila, email@example.com, 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, firstname.lastname@example.org, 734-232-0393FYN
Principal Investigator (PI): Judith Heidebrink MD, MS
Project Description: The 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, email@example.com 734-736-9909BAN2401
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, firstname.lastname@example.org 734-232-2452