Brain Aging Network for Cognitive Health

Purpose of the Study

This is a longitudinal study looking at the effects of aging on cognition in older adults. The purpose of the study is to

  1. gain a better understanding of the variety of processes that contribute to resilience and resistance in healthy aging, and
  2. identify the earliest changes associated with degenerative brain disease.

This study also refers healthy volunteers to other Memory and Aging Center projects they may be eligible for. For more information, please visit our Brain Aging Network for Cognitive Health website.

Study Details

Inclusion criteria: Aged 30+ with minor or no memory problems

Exclusion criteria: Significant memory problems or diagnosis of a neurodegenerative disease or other major health condition

What to Expect

Testing: A neurological examination, cognitive testing, fasting blood draw for genetic studies, interview with a study partner (someone who knows you well and can comment on any changes over time in your memory, thinking, personality, or behavior) and follow-up appointments every 12 months.

  • Lumbar Puncture: Lumbar punctures are vital to our research efforts at the Memory and Aging Center. CSF collected through lumbar punctures is a primary source to measure markers from the brain in living humans. We now have reliable CSF markers for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease processes for use in the clinic, and many more markers in exploratory stages to help us better understand how the brain ages and how neurodegenerative disease unfolds in humans. If you are interested in participating in an optional lumbar puncture as part of our research study, please read the FAQ below:

The Frequency of Visits: One visit (3–5 hours total) every 12 months longitudinally. An additional 2–3 visits (8–12 hours total) are common for participation in subprojects associated with the Brain Aging Program. These additional studies include MRI imaging, PET imaging, sleep actigraphy monitoring, and physical activity studies.

Materials Needed Prior to Evaluation: None

Costs: No costs will be charged for any of the study procedures. Parking will be validated for the 1625 Owens Street Garage or 1630 Third Street Garage at the UCSF Mission Bay campus for all study visits.

Reimbursement: There is no monetary compensation for participation. Your participation is entirely voluntary and is a donation of your time and energy dedicated to improving our understanding of the multitude of factors that impact the aging brain.

Join Our Study

If you are interested in joining the Brain Aging Network for Cognitive Health, please complete this online screen. After filling out the online screen, you may be contacted by the study coordinator, Valentina Diaz to discuss your eligibility. If you have any questions, please contact the study coordinator, Valentina Diaz, at [email protected] or 415.476.1820.

Additional Healthy Aging Program Studies

  • Aging and Cognitive Decline: a longitudinal study to identify the cognitive mechanisms and neural structures leading to a decline in executive functioning in both healthy aging and populations affected by mild cognitive impairment
  • Vascular Contributions to Cognitive Impairment and Dementia (VCID): a multisite consortium study whose mission is to study the interaction between cerebrovascular disease and neurodegenerative diseases and to develop biomarkers for use in clinical trials
  • PET Imaging in Aging Population: a study of protein aggregation in the brain as it relates to brain structure and function in healthy aging

Brain Aging Network for Cognitive Health Symposium

The annual Brain Aging Network for Cognitive Health (BRANCH) Symposium is designed to bring together leading researchers in brain aging to share the latest advances in the field. This full-day event highlights the most recent findings between collaborators of the UCSF Network for the Prevention of Age-Associated Cognitive Decline as well as special guest lectures from experts in the field of cognitive aging. The talks and Q&A panels at the symposium cover a wide range of topics designed to reflect upon prior knowledge and forge future relationships. This event usually occurs in the fall and is open to the public.