Powerful Purpose

Healthcare Providers

We work with healthcare providers to support their patients in research studies and clinical trials. The University of Southern Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center has a wide variety of opportunities for volunteers to participate in important research studies designed to discover ways to prevent, treat, and ultimately eradicate Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Please call us at (323) 442-7600

Treatment Studies

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These studies are either ongoing, no longer accepting new participants, or closed


PhytoSERMS for Management of Menopause and Age Associated Memory Decline (phytoSERM study)

The phytoSERM study is being done to test a food supplement product (a nutritional supplement is not a drug) that consists of three phytoestrogens including daidzen, genistein, and S-equol. Phytoestrogens are a group of naturally occurring compounds that come from plants but resemble the estrogen hormones in people and other animals. These compounds are found in food and food supplements made from soybeans and some other plant food.

The purpose of the study is to find the best dose, safety and tolerance of the phytoSERMs in healthy postmenopausal women who are experiencing hot flashes and/or a complaint about their memory. We hope to learn whether phytoSERMs are a possible non drug treatment for these problems and might have potential to prevent age-related cognitive decline.

The double-blind, placebo-controlled study is recruiting 78 women and lasts 16 weeks. It is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIA) and USC.

Volunteers should be women between 48 and 58 years of age, have a memory complaint, have a vasomotor-related symptom (hot flashes), should not be taking hormone replacement therapy, and be in good health.

For further information:

Attn: Nadine Diaz, MSW (ndiaz@usc.edu)
(323) 442-5775

Gerson Hernandez (gersonhe@usc.edu)
(323) 442-5775

CitAD Trial for Agitation

This study is designed to examine the efficacy and safety of citalopram as treatment for agitation in people who have Alzheimer’s disease. Over the course of Alzheimer’s disease many people develop agitation which is often difficult to treat. The safe treatment of agitation is very important but many treatments have limited effectiveness and better options are needed. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as citalopram, may be particularly helpful as a treatment for agitation based on previous laboratory and studies and a small clinical study.

Eligibility for this study includes having Alzheimer’s disease, agitation, having a primary caregiver, who spends several hours a week with the patient. Participants can continue to take their other medications prescribed for Alzheimer’s disease during this study. For those who are eligible, participation is at no cost.

For more information, please contact us:

USC Alzheimer’s Disease Research Ctr.
Attn: Mauricio Becerra (mjbecerr@usc.edu)
Nadine Diaz, MSW (ndiaz@usc.edu)
(323) 442-5775

Immune Globulin Intravenous (IGIV or “IVIG”)

The Gammaglobulin Alzheimer’s Partnership (GAP) Study – also known as the IVIG study – is designed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of gammaglobulin and to see if it may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and its symptoms.

Gammaglobulin is a form of immune globulin that is given intravenously (it is also called IgIV and IVIG for intravenous immunoglobin) that has been approved by the FDA for use with other conditions, and we are evaluating its effectiveness and safety when it is used for Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers believe that IgIV may act on some of the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s instead of just on Alzheimer’s symptoms. Because it contains anti-amyloid antibodies IgIV is being studied as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

The double-blind, placebo-controlled study, called the GAP Study is further examining the safety, effectiveness and tolerabilityof IgIV in AD patients. GAP is recruiting 360 participants at approximately 38 sites nationwide. The study will last up to 82 weeks.

Volunteers should have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, have a study partner in contact with the participant 10 hours/week or more. As with all studies there are some things that would prevent participation including ongoing use of anti-inflammatory drugs more than 3 times weekly and having received IgIV in the past. Patients continue to receive their usual care including any current Alzheimer’s medications they may be taking while they are in this study.

For further information:

USC Alzheimer’s Disease Research Ctr.
Attn: Mauricio Becerra (mjbecerr@usc.edu)
Nadine Diaz, MSW (ndiaz@usc.edu)
(323) 442-5775

Exelon Patch US44 Study

This study is designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Exelon® Patch 15 cm2 compared to the ExelonPatch 5 cm2 in patients with severe dementia of the Alzheimer’s type. It is hoped that data from this study will provide evidence for FDA approval in the US of the 15 cm2 patch in severe Alzheimer’s disease.

US44 is a randomized, double-blind study sponsored by Novartis pharmaceuticals. The study does not have a placebo group. All patients will receive either the Exelon® Patch 15 cm2 (high dose) or ExelonPatch 5 cm2 (low dose). At the end of the study, patients will be offered the opportunity to participate in an open label extension where they will receive the Exelon® Patch 15 cm2 (high dose) patch for 6 months. For those who are eligible, participation is at no cost.

Eligibility for this study includes having Alzheimer’s disease and a caregiver that is willing to be involved in the study and supervise treatment. Patients may not be taking other medications prescribed for Alzheimer’s disease during the study.

For further information:

USC Alzheimer’s Disease Research Ctr.
Attn: Mauricio Becerra (mjbecerr@usc.edu)
Nadine Diaz, MSW (ndiaz@usc.edu)
(323) 442-5775

The ABBY Study – Can an antibody against amyloid-beta peptides treat Alzheimer’s disease?

The ABBY study is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of an experimental drug MABT5102A (crenezumab) at slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The drug is an antibody that targets amyloid plaques that are composed of amyloid-beta peptide that may be responsible for or worsen Alzheimer’s disease. Therapies that reduce amyloid-beta levels may lessen memory and cognitive worsening and block further loss of nerve cells.

This double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial examines the safety, effectiveness and tolerability of MABT5102A (crenezumab) in people with Alzheimer’s disease. The drug is given intravenously over the course 18 months. The study is recruiting 372 participants at approximately 100 sites in the United States and Europe.

Potential participants would have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, have a study partner in regular face-to-face contact over 10 hours/week. Participants continue to receive their usual care including any current Alzheimer’s medications they may be taking while they are in this study.

For further information:

USC Alzheimer’s Disease Research Ctr.
Attn: Mauricio Becerra (mjbecerr@usc.edu)
Nadine Diaz, MSW (ndiaz@usc.edu)
(323) 442-5775