MIND Study

Purpose of the Study

The goal of this study is to find out how we can tell the difference between mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease and thinking problems due to HIV, called HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder. We hope that this information can be used to guide doctors in the future about early diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease in older people who are also living with HIV.

Study Details

Participation in this study involves a phone interview, a 6-hour in-person evaluation, MRI and PET imaging, lumbar puncture, and yearly follow up visits. Study visits take place at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center and UCSF Mission Bay Radiology & Biomedical Imaging.

  • Inclusion criteria: Participants must be 60 years old or older. HIV+ participants must be on a stable antiretroviral regimen and have an undetectable viral load. All participants should be free of illicit drug use (cocaine and methamphetamine) for the past 6 months. All participants must be willing and able to undergo testing procedures.
  • Exclusion criteria: Any identified treatable condition including neurosyphilis, vitamin B12 deficiency, thyroid disorders, HIV CNS escape or neurological or psychiatric conditions where treatment options exist, such as multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, uncontrolled epilepsy or recent and untreated major depression. Major recent head injury, stroke or major confounding cognitive factors. Unstable psychiatric condition.

What to Expect

Testing: At the first visit, participants will be asked to undergo cognitive testing, functional assessment, neurological examination, questionnaires and blood draw for clinical labs and other analyses. On separate days participants will be asked to undergo an MRI brain scan, PET/CT brain scan and lumbar puncture. At the yearly follow-up visits, participants will repeat cognitive testing, functional assessment, neurological examination, questionnaires, blood draw and MRI.

The Frequency of Visits: After the phone interview, the first study visit will be scheduled at the participant’s convenience. Visits for the brain scans and lumbar puncture will be scheduled for separate visits soon after if the participant is deemed to be eligible. There will be yearly follow up visits for those who are eligible.

Materials Needed Prior to Evaluation: None

Costs: No costs will be charged for any of the study procedures. Participants will receive $50 for the first visit to compensate for time, effort and travel expenses. Participants will receive payments of $50 for completing each of the brain scans, $100 for the lumbar puncture and $50 for completion of annual visits.

Contact Information

If you are interested in participating in this study or have any questions, please contact the study coordinator, Karen Chen, at [email protected] or 415.476.5484.