Brain Aging in Veterans (BRAVE)

Purpose of the Study

The New Approaches to Dementia Heterogeneity in Veterans is a non-randomized, natural history, non-treatment study designed to identify and implement effective and sustainable strategies to increase the recruitment and retention of Veterans in the UCSF ADRC, to improve efficient technology-based characterization of military-relevant risk factors for dementia, to expand the characterization of individuals at high risk of vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia (VCID), to measure novel biomarkers of vascular cognitive impairment and dementia, and to provide rigorous training opportunities in veteran-focused research.

The primary objectives of the BRAVE study are to:

  • collect longitudinal assessments and biomarker data in Veterans with cognitive impairment, dementia, and cognitively normal (CN) controls;
  • to explore the heterogeneous features of healthy aging, MCI, AD, FTD-spectrum disorders, and CJD in Veterans to better understand their clinical, genetic, and molecular underpinnings;
  • and to develop a method to efficiently capture military relevant risk factors.

Study Details

Enrolled participants must be a Veteran with mild cognitive impairment, dementia, or have no significant memory impairment. Approximately 50 participants with be enrolled at our site.

What to Expect

Cognitively impaired participants will take part in the study for 24 months; CN participants will take part in the study for 12 months. Participants will undergo annual longitudinal clinical and cognitive assessments, a blood draw and genetic tests, two PET scans (amyloid and tau), an MRI brain scan, and an optional cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collection.

What to Expect

Testing: Neurological and physical examinations; interview with study partner; cognitive testing; detailed family history; blood specimen collection for genetic testing and cell line generation; questionnaires for participant and study partner. Some participants may receive imaging and/or a lumbar puncture. Participants may be asked to participate in additional studies affiliated with this project.

The Frequency of Visits: Depending on the individual, there is typically one 8-hour visit split over a three-month period each year for up to 10 years.

Materials Needed Before Evaluation: None

Costs: No costs will be charged for any of the study procedures.

Contact Information

If you are interested in participating in this study or have any questions, please contact, Lisa Kritikos, Nurse Practitioner, at [email protected] or 415.476.1298.