Memory and Aging Study
The Memory and Aging study is a longitudinal study of the relationship between aging and memory loss. Our main goal is to identify early indicators of problems with memory. Secondary goals include:
- Developing novel and non-invasive approaches to study changes in memory function;
- Identifying genetic factors that affect rate of progression in patients with mild cognitive impairment or mild Alzheimer's disease;
- Validating an MRI technique for diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment and/or Alzheimer's disease.
The study will involve genetic, imaging, psychiatric and neuropsychological investigation of memory loss during aging. We will do this with pencil-and-paper questionnaires of your memory, mood and health history; a blood sample for genetic analysis; and various MRI scans.
Additionally, the MRI scans and a smell identification test will be used to investigate problems with sense of smell in early Alzheimer's disease.
You may be eligible to participate in the study if you:
- Are between the ages of 60 and 85.
- Have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or mild cognitive impairment
- Have no history of stroke, head injury or other neurologic or psychiatric disorder
- Do not have a pacemaker or other metal object in your body
- Have no conditions that affect your sense of smell
- Have not had surgery for a brain aneurysm
- Are not claustrophobic
- Do not smoke
- Are not pregnant
The study also needs healthy volunteers without symptoms of cognitive impairment or memory problems.
For information, contact David Gallagher at 717-531-5858 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aerobic Exercise, Brain Function, and Daily Activities
- We would like to see if routine physical exercise for 25-45 minutes, 3 times per week, helps with memory problems.
- We administer pencil-and-paper pre- and post-exercise questionnaires of your memory and mood.
- This project was developed in collaboration with Dr. Fang Yu of the Pennsylvania State University School of Nursing and Country Meadows retirement community.
Cognitive Rehabilitation Study
- We would like to investigate the benefits of cognitive training and exercises for MCI and mild AD memory difficulties.
- We plan to create a program with 1-hour sessions, meeting 2 days per week, lasting at least 12 weeks in which different techniques for better learning are implemented.
- We would like to see if assisted learning will in turn enhance memory processes.
- Different techniques would be used, and standardized memory tests will be used to determine the effectiveness of the techniques.
- We hope to determine specific cognitive rehabilitation techniques that are beneficial in maintaining functional independence and delaying progression of AD.