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Study Details

The purpose of the Northwestern University Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (NUADRC) study is to support clinical and basic research on memory and aging by collecting, storing, and disseminating clinical data. These data and samples include memory and thinking tests, brain imaging scans, blood samples, and brain donations. We collect these data and samples from study participants who are experiencing healthy aging and those who suffer from dementia or Mild Cognitive Impairment. This study is a longitudinal, observational trial meaning that research participants will be observed over time, and data will be collected, but there is no attempt to alter the symptoms or course of disease (an intervention). Participants attend annual visits that typically last one to three hours. If participants can no longer attend in-person visits, we will continue to follow them through telephone visits with a designated study partner.

This study is a multi-site study meaning Northwestern University is one of 33 sites in the United States. Research data is shared with a national database. There are currently over 15,000 participants in this study nationally with approximately 500 of them enrolled at Northwestern University. Once they enroll, most participants are referred to other research studies being led by investigators within the Mesulam Center or the greater Northwestern University scientific community.

The Northwestern University Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (NUADRC) Clinical Core study enrolls individuals with diagnoses of Mild Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer's disease or other dementia (frontotemporal dementia, primary progressive aphasia, Lewy Body disease and others) as well as healthy individuals with no cognitive impairment. See below for specific eligibility criteria.

Patients Diagnosed with Dementia or Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

  • 18 years or older
  • Must have had a clinical evaluation with the ability to provide medical records and doctor’s notes
  • Speaks fluent English
  • Ability to provide reliable study partner (someone who knows you well to provide up to date information about how you are functioning)

Healthy Volunteers

  • Over the age of 55, but some exceptions can be made, especially if there is a strong family history of dementia
  • Cognitively normal, based on an absence of significant impairment in cognitive functions or activities of daily living
  • Living independently in the community
  • Visual and auditory acuity adequate for neuropsychological testing
  • Good general health with no diseases expected to interfere with the study
  • Speaks fluent English
  • Ability to provide a reliable study partner

All participants are asked to engage in research brain imaging scans, including MRI and PET. Certain surgical implants and/or devices, claustrophobia, or previous high radiation exposure may make you ineligible to participate in brain imaging scans.

All in-person visits take place at Northwestern University’s downtown Chicago campus and participants can receive free parking if they park on Northwestern University’s campus. Additional compensation is determined by participation. Please contact the study coordinator for questions.

Vassar, Robert JVassar, Robert J
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