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Participate in a Study

As Orange County’s only state and federally funded Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, UCI MIND is at the forefront of Alzheimer’s disease research. We have a variety of research participation opportunities for older adults with and without memory concerns. Click the tabs below to learn about our current research studies and clinical trials or contact our research team:

Phone: 949.824.0008


What is the AHEAD Study?

The AHEAD Study is the first research study that aims to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease by enrolling participants as young as 55 and using a tailored dosing approach.

The study looks at an investigational treatment aimed at delaying memory decline in people up to 20 years before the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease appear. Discovering a treatment that targets brain changes early means doctors may be able to one day prevent memory loss.

The AHEAD Study is made up of two different clinical trials testing the same investigational medication (BAN2401 (lecanemab)) aiming to reduce the amount of amyloid, in the brain. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, participants will receive tailored dosing, depending on which trial they qualify for based on brain amyloid levels.


Am I eligible?

You may be eligible if you:

  • Are a healthy, non-smoking adult, between the ages of 55 and 80
  • Have not been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease
  • Have elevated or intermediate levels of amyloid in the brain (a protein shown by brain imaging, as part of the study screening process)


How Do I Participate?

  • Study participants:
  • Make a four-year commitment involving in-person and telephone visits with study researchers every two to four weeks.
  • Have a close friend or relative, who sees and talks with the participant every week, who can serve as their study partner.
  • Receive $50 per visit they attend for their time.


Each study visit includes a discussion and assessment of:

  • Medications
  • General health


Some study visits also require an assessment of:

  • Memory and thinking abilities
  • Emotional and psychological state
  • Ability to carry out everyday activities
  • Blood tests
  • BAN2401 or placebo delivered by IV
  • Electrocardiogram
  • MRI scan
  • Amyloid PET scan (brain imaging)
  • Tau PET scan (brain imaging)


For more study details, please visit the study website at https://www.aheadstudy.orgcall 1-800-AHEAD-70 (1-800-243-2370) or inquire locally at or (949) 824-0008.

What is the VIVA-MIND Study?

The VIVA-MIND trial is designed to determine if the study drug, varoglutamstat, can stabilize or slow memory and thinking problems that increase in early AD. In early AD, a specific and toxic form of the amyloid protein accumulates in the brain. This toxic protein, called N3pE, appears to damage brain cells and surrounding tissues, and activates a strong inflammatory response. The amyloid protein N3pE is not found in healthy individuals and increases with AD progression. VIVA-MIND researchers suspect that N3pE may play a major role in the decline of memory and thinking skills in early AD. While many older adults feel as though their memory isn’t as good as it used to be, there are distinct differences between normal cognitive aging and the decline observed in people on the AD trajectory. People with early AD experience measurable decline in memory, verbal ability, decision making, and judgement.


Am I eligible?

You may be eligible if you:

  • Are between the ages of 50 and 89
  • Diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) due to AD or probable Mild AD
  • Stable on current FDA-approved AD medication(s) doses of (acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AchEI) and/or memantine) for at least four months prior to screening
  • Living in the community (not in a skilled nursing facility)


How Do I Participate?

  • Study participants:
  • Make a 20-month commitment involving 7-12 in-person visits with study researchers.
  • Take study drug twice daily
  • Have a close friend or relative, who sees and talks with the participant every week, who can serve as their study partner.


Each study visit includes a discussion and assessment of:

  • Medications
  • General health
  • Blood draw
  • Emotional state


Some study visits also require an assessment of:

  • Memory and thinking abilities
  • Ability to carry out everyday activities
  • Urine tests
  • Electrocardiogram
  • MRI scan


For more study details, please visit the study website at, call 1-844-234-7500, or inquire locally at or (949) 824-0008.


The Longitudinal Study follows people with and without memory problems annually until the end of life.  Through their lifetime commitment to research, our volunteers help us increase knowledge about memory and aging.  For example, they help us understand:

  • Differences between people who develop cognitive problems leading to Alzheimer’s disease and those who do not
  • The role of lifestyle strategies, like regular exercise, in reducing risk for Alzheimer’s disease
  • Changes in biomarkers that foreshadow Alzheimer’s disease and could lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment
What’s involved?

Expert clinicians conduct a comprehensive annual evaluation that includes:

  • Physical and neurological exams
  • Paper and pencil tests to assess memory and other cognitive abilities
  • Interview with a study partner
  • Blood draw and skin biopsy
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Genetic testing

Feedback is provided in a family conference and/or a report, as most appropriate. Upon death, with the family’s permission, we perform a brain autopsy and provide final confirmation of the diagnosis.

Am I eligible to participate?

Our investigators seek participants who meet the following criteria:

  • Age 60 or older
  • Are aging normally, without any cognitive difficulties, or have Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), early Alzheimer’s disease, or another dementia
  • Have a close family member or friend who can answer questions about the participant’s daily living skills
  • Are willing to participate in various research studies on brain aging that involve skin biopsy, neuroimaging and lumbar puncture
  • Are willing to donate the brain upon death (may be waived for religious or cultural reasons)

To determine eligibility, one of our research coordinators will interview you by phone and may ask you to complete some paperwork and/or come into the clinic for an in-person screening.

Is there any cost?

There is no charge to participate in any of our research studies.

What are the benefits of participating in research?

As one of our longitudinal study participants, you will benefit from:

  • Free comprehensive annual evaluations from experts, who will provide feedback and recommendations to your primary care physician, should you want them
  • Early detection of cognitive changes in healthy older adults that could respond to treatment or may signal the development of Alzheimer’s disease or another disorder
  • Annual monitoring of cognition, behavior, and daily functioning in participants with Alzheimer’s disease or another disorder to aid the family in management and planning
  • Access to treatments in development before they are widely available
  • The gratification of helping advance knowledge of brain aging aging and neurodegenerative disease
How do I join?

If you are interested in joining the Longitudinal Study or would like more information, contact 949.824.0008 or


Brain Aging and Dementia in Down Syndrome Study

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, under the direction of Dr. Ira T. Lott, are recruiting adults (age 18 and over, both female and male) with Down syndrome for the study, titled “Brain Aging and Dementia in Down Syndrome.” This study is funded by the National Institute on Aging. People with Down syndrome comprise a special populations of individuals at risk for Alzheimer’s disease type dementia. The purpose of this study is to improve our understanding of brain aging and dementia in Down syndrome.

Participation in this study will require yearly visits which consist of medical evaluation, neurologic evaluation, and assessments measuring your memory, thinking, and functional skills. The research visits will be conducted at the UC Irvine Institute for Clinic and Translational Science which has offices at both the UC Irvine campus in Irvine and the UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange. Participants can choose the research site of their preference. Each visit is expected to last approximately four to five hours. The evaluations in the study will be provided to participants at no cost.

There are no direct benefits of participation, however, the participant themselves, other individuals with Down syndrome, or the population as a whole may benefit from the conclusions drawn from the results of this study. Participants will not receive any compensation for their participation.

Biomarker of Alzheimer’s Disease in Down Syndrome Study

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine under the direction of Dr. Ira T. Lott, are seeking healthy adults with Down syndrome to participate in a research study about brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease. People with Down syndrome are at significantly increased risk to develop Alzheimer’s disease by age 40 years.

The study, entitled “Biomarker of Alzheimer’s Disease in Down Syndrome” will investigate biological factors that may be related to the development of Alzheimer’s disease in adults with Down syndrome. These biomarkers are likely to be important for the discovery of future therapies.

Approximately 100 adults with Down syndrome are sought to participate in the study. To be eligible, participants must have Down syndrome (with or without Alzheimer’s disease), and be age 40 or older. Study participants will be involved for a total of approximately 3 years of evaluations. During this time, participants along with their caregivers or family members will be asked to attend a total of 6-8 visits lasting 2-8 hours each over the study period.

The study includes:

  • Recurring cognitive and neuropsychological tests and questionnaires
  • Recurring medical evaluations including research blood tests
  • Three MRI scans of the brain (optional)
  • Two lumbar punctures for collection of cerebrospinal fluid (optional)

Participants in this study may not revive any direct benefit to participation. Medical evaluations will be available to the participant’s physician. This study parallels research in Alzheimer’s disease within the general populations with a specific focus on Down syndrome.

The evaluations in this study are provided to participants at no cost.

Participants will be compensated up to $310.

If you know someone who may be interested in participating, or would like more information about these studies, please contact the study coordinator:

Eric Doran at 714.456.8443 or
UC Irvine Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics


What is The 90+ Study?

The 90+ Study is a research study to examine successful aging and dementia in those aged 90 years and beyond.

Who can join?

People 90 years or older who live in Southern California and are willing to undergo study procedures.

What is involved?
  • One-time MRI and amyloid PET imaging of the brain
  • Examinations and clinical assessment every 6 months
    • One hour of testing your memory and thinking skills
    • One hour neurological and physical exam
    • Review of medical and family histories and medications
    • Examinations and clinical assessment every 6 months
  • Brain donation upon death
Where do I have to go?

Clinical exams take place in the research office in Laguna Woods, CA or in your own home. Brain imaging is done in centers in Irvine and Newport Beach, CA. Transportation is provided if necessary.

What will The 90+ Study cost?

There is no cost to you. The 90+ Study is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

What is Involved?

With your participation in The 90+ Study, we hope to learn ways to improve quality of life for people as they grow older. Your participation may help others reach 90 years of age and beyond in better health.

Contact us today to get started!

Study Website: Click here
Phone: 949.768.3635
Address: 24361 El Toro Road Suite 150, Laguna Woods, CA 92867