About the ADRC

The Alzheimer Disease Research Center at USC is supported by the National Institutes of Health to conduct research on memory problems and aging. Our studies include observational studies that follow participants over time while examining changes that may occur with age, and therapy studies such as exercise training, medications and vaccines. Our goals are to understand the biological changes that may precede worsening memory and to assess whether new treatments including drugs may be helpful in preventing memory or improving memory loss.

Please see our studies below and contact us for further information:
(323) 442 7600 or email us at adrc@med.usc.edu

Current Studies

Vascular and Genetic Risk Factors for Alzeimer's Disease

Seeking Volunteers for Research Study

The Program Project Grant for Vascular and Genetic Risk Factors for Alzeimer's Disease is seeking to understand how genetic risk factors affect

  • Blood Vessels
  • Brain Structure
  • Memory Function

You may be eligible to participate if you are:
Age 45-90
Male or female

Individuals with a family history of Alzheimer's disease are encouraged to participate.

For more information, please contact Nadine Diaz, DSW, MSW (Nadine.Diaz@med.usc.edu)
Direct (213) 821-7158
Clinic (323) 442-7600

Click to view our brochure English Spanish

Healthier Vessels, Healthier Brain Study (HVHB)

The purpose of this study is to learn how medical conditions affecting the blood vessels of the brain such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, or high blood sugar may be related to developing Alzheimer disease in the future. This study is designed to examine biological markers in the blood and spinal fluid, and changes in the brain’s structure. Our goal is to use the information collected from this study for future programs that will reduce the risk for memory loss or Alzheimer disease.

English- or Spanish-speaking men and women of 60 years or older are eligible for the HVHB study. Participants will receive medical examinations, tests of memory and daily function, MRI brain scans, blood tests, and a test of cerebral spinal fluid.

Study participants receive a small financial compensation for visits to USC.

Please contact Nadine Diaz, DSW, MSW at Nadine.Diaz@med.usc.edu or call us at 323-442-7600 for information..

Click to view our brochure

Brain Research Study

The goal of this study is to learn about the biological changes of normal aging, memory loss, and Alzheimer’s related conditions through brain donation and autopsy. Participants will generally visit us at USC every year for memory testing, a brief medical history, and review of function and medication changes. Participants in the Brain Research Study can be in our other studies as well and may receive brain MRI or PET scans.

Potential volunteers include older people with no memory impairments, mild impairments, or mild Alzheimer’s disease who are willing to visit us usually yearly and to donate their brain when the time comes. The autopsy focuses on the brain and provides us with scientific information about aging, other conditions such as atherosclerosis, inflammation, and mini-strokes.

We will send a report of our findings to a family member soon afterwards. The autopsy does not complicate a funeral or affect a viewing. There are no charges for the study procedures, autopsy, neuropathology report or discussions with the family.

If you are interested in becoming a participant in this very important study, then please contact John Danner LCSW at JohnJ.Danner@med.usc.edu or Nadine Diaz, DSW, MSW at Nadine.Diaz@med.usc.edu or call us at 323-442-7600 for information.

Estudio de la Enfermedad de Alzheimer en Jalisciences (EEAJ)

This NIH-funded study is focused on understanding Alzheimer’s in persons of Mexican Mestizo origin and its genetics as different types may respond differentially to treatments. In this study we apply the Human Connectome Protocol (HCP), a special kind of MRI procedure, to persons with or at-risk for genetic forms of AD and persons of Mexican descent. By applying the HCP protocol along with PET scans, we are testing to see whether the spread of an abnormal protein called tau is critical to the causes of Alzheimer’s and whether it is a special subtype of the illness. Participants will undergo approximately 4 days of assessment with cognitive evaluations, a neurological examination, 2 MRI sessions, a PET scan, and transcranial magnetic stimulation. They are compensated for the time involved and travel expenses.

For more information, please contact Lucy Montoya at (323) 723-2599 or Dr. John Ringman at (323) 442-0321.

ADNI 3 Imaging Study

The Alzheimer Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) is inviting volunteers to join our 800 current participants in the third phase of this multiyear study. ADNI 3 is studying changes in cognition, function, brain structure, and biomarkers.

To qualify one must be: over age 55, in good general health, cognitively normal, and fluent in English or Spanish. ADNI 3 will also be recruiting those with mild memory problems and those who have mild Alzheimer disease. Participants must be willing to undergo in-clinic assessments, memory testing and other test procedures, and have a study partner who can accompany them to clinic visits.

Qualified participants may receive physical and neurological exams, cognitive testing, MRI scans and PET brain scans.

For further information, please contact us:
Nadine Diaz, DSW, MSW (Nadine.Diaz@med.usc.edu)
(323) 442-7600

Click to view our PDF brochure.

Development of Novel Measures of Cognition and Function for Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention Trials (NoMAD)

This study is seeking volunteers without significant memory impairment to help develop new on-line measures of cognition and everyday function.

To qualify, one must speak English and be between the ages of 60-85. Participants must have a study partner who is willing to participate in the study.

Compensation is provided for time and effort participating.

For further information, please contact us:
Nadine Diaz, DSW, MSW (Nadine.Diaz@med.usc.edu)
(323) 442-7600

Click to view our PDF brochure

Escitalopram for Agitation in Alzheimer’s Disease (S-CitAD)

The Escitalopram for Agitation in Alzheimer’s study is being conducted to determine if a study drug, given as a pill, can safely and effectively reduce the symptoms of agitation and aggression in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

To qualify one must have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, experience frequent agitation or aggression, and be available for 6 months of follow-up. Participants must have a caregiver who spends several hours per week with him/her and is willing to accompany the participant to study visits.

Participants and caregivers will receive counseling and materials to help manage agitation.

For further information, please contact us:
Nadine Diaz, DSW, MSW (Nadine.Diaz@med.usc.edu)
(323) 442-7600

Click to view our PDF brochure

T2 Protect AD

The T2 Protect AD Study is a clinical trial testing the investigational drug Troriluzole for people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The USC Alzheimer Disease Research Center is testing how well a drug can protect against, or slow down, memory and thinking problems that increase as Alzheimer’s disease progresses. The research team is looking for volunteers (ages 50 to 85) who have mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease to join our study. A potential participant will first go through a screening process to see if they are eligible to take part in the clinical trial. If you eligible and choose to join the study, participation in the study will take 48 weeks. Study participants visit the study clinic 9 times after enrollment in the trial.

For more information, please contact the Project Director, Karen Dagerman at (323) 442-7600 or email at adrc@med.usc.edu .

The DHA Brain Delivery Study

This randomized clinical trial tests the effectiveness of omega-3 supplements in individuals at risk for Alzheimer’s. The study will help us advance our understanding of Alzheimer disease and propose methods to reduce cognitive decline in high-risk populations. We invite you or someone you know who is interested in participating to call us for more information. You may be eligible for this study if you are at least 60 years of age and not taking omega-3 supplements. The study compares placebo or 2 grams of DHA over two years. It involves measuring omega-3 blood levels, brain imaging, and memory tests in 5 visits during the two-year period.

To learn more or to participate, please contact us at (323) 489-4896 and ask for Laura Serna, Research Coordinator or Nicholas Choe, research assistant; or call Carlota Conant, MSW (323) 442-7603. You can also email the study at fishoilforbrain@gmail.com or reach Dr. Hussein Yassine directly at hyassine@usc.edu .

ALLO Clinical Trial

We are conducting an early phase study to evaluate the safety and effect of an experimental drug, allopregnanolone (Allo), on memory. This is a 16-week study to compare Allo to placebo. The appointments will consist of cognitive assessments, brain scans, and study-related care.

To qualify one must be age 55 or older, and diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or mild Alzheimer disease. Participants will receive physical examinations, cognitive testing and MRI scans (brain imaging), and assistance with transportation to appointments.

For further information: http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT02221622

Contact: USC Alzheimer Disease Research Center (ADRC)
Attn: Gerson Hernandez (gersonhe@usc.edu) or (323) 865-ALLO (2556) or (323) 442-7600.

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