Your Brain Health
Cleveland Clinic Nevada and University of Nevada, Las Vegas are working together to study healthy brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease. We are seeking volunteers from small Nevada communities to participate in an important nationwide study.
Together, we will learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and ways we can improve brain health for you and your neighbors.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THIS STUDY?
If you are selected, you will meet with our research team in person at our facility in Las Vegas to learn more about your brain health.
We will evaluate your brain health annually until the completion of the study. Evaluations include pictures of your brain, blood tests, and tests of memory function. Some tests are optional.
A stipend will be provided as a courtesy for participation.
WANT TO HELP?
We need people without any memory issues and people who have memory problems, including Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment. You can participate if you:
Are 55 years of age or older.
Have at least 8 years of education.
Can identify and secure a study partner (someone who knows you well and can attend clinic visits with you).
Have fluency in English.
Are willing and able to undergo testing in person in Las Vegas. This may take 6-8 hours to complete.
Have not sustained a head injury or experienced a stroke or brain tumor.
If you have questions, please contact our recruitment specialist at 702.701.7944
Research Questionnaire: Tell us about yourself
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the goal of the study?
The goal of the Nevada Exploratory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (NVeADRC) is to increase the awareness and understanding of dementia in rural communities. We will develop a group of rural subjects diagnosed with different forms of dementia, including: healthy volunteers, those with mild cognitive impairment, and those with Alzheimer’s disease. Finally, we hope to better understand the gaps, barriers, and differences that individuals with dementia face in rural communities.
What are the risks of participating in this study?
Risks of study participation include brief discomfort or pain from specific study procedures (such as the blood draw or lumbar puncture), as well as more serious risks, such as infection or allergic reaction (lumbar puncture) or loss of confidential information. Our consent form outlines these risks in detail and we will discuss everything with you prior to the start of study participation.
How invasive is this study?
As part of the study, we will obtain information about your age, date of birth, medical history, and race. You will complete a brief physical and neurological exam; your vital signs will be measured; and biofluids will be collected. Because of the focus on rural health, we will also ask about your social history and access to healthcare services. You will complete assessments that examine your thinking skills, such as memory, language, and planning abilities. We will also ask about your mood and sleeping behaviors. At each visit, a study partner who spends frequent time with you will be asked to attend the study visit.
Are there any lab tests or medical scans involved? If so, who pays for them?
There are a few lab tests involved with participation, including a blood draw, an MRI scan, and Lumbar Puncture (LP). Both the MRI scan and Lumbar Puncture are optional. All study procedures are paid for by the study grant. Participants are not charged for any aspect of study participation. See below for details of each procedure.
Approximately 81.3 mL (about 5.5 Tablespoons) of blood will be drawn from a vein in your arm at each visit. You may be asked to fast for 12 hours prior to the blood draw. The blood sample will be used for obtaining genetic material (DNA) and extracting plasma or serum to measure certain proteins or other substances found in the blood. If laboratory testing is completed, the results will be placed in your medical record.The genetic testing described in this study is for research purposes only. Therefore, you will not receive results from these research studies.
You will complete an evaluation of your memory and thinking skills. You will also complete questionnaires and interviews regarding quality of life, sleep, depression, and anxiety. Cognitive testing may last up to 2 hours at the initial and annual visits.
Lumbar Puncture (Optional)
You will be asked to undergo a lumbar puncture (LP) to obtain cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). CSF is the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Studying this fluid may help researchers learn about what is going on in the brain. This procedure will be done at the initial and annual visits. At these visits, we may ask you to provide a blood sample before the LP is done to make sure you are not at an increased risk of bleeding.
For this procedure, the study staff will help position you either on your side or sitting up. First your skin will be cleaned with antiseptic. The study clinician will then inject a small amount of local anesthetic to numb the area. Once numb, a very thin needle will be inserted into the spinal canal in your lower back. About 1.5-2 tablespoons of spinal fluid will be removed. If possible, you may be asked to fast for 12 hours prior to the collection of CSF.
Study staff will call you the day following your lumbar puncture to discuss how you are feeling.
Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan (Optional)
An MRI is an electronic picture of your brain created using a strong magnet instead of x-ray energy. The MR scan time will be 45 minutes.
The 3 T MR scanner makes loud knocking noises. You will be provided with earplugs to dull the sounds. The MRI scan is performed for research purposes and it is not a complete diagnostic imaging examination. It should not be considered a substitute for a standard clinical MRI evaluation and no clinical report from this research scan will be put in your medical record. However, if during the process of reviewing the research MRI an unexpected abnormality is seen, it will be reported to you and your physician.
Can I receive my results from lab tests or medical scans?
As part of the study, clinical information about you will be obtained. This information could impact your clinical care. You will have the opportunity to sign a release of information that will allow you to release this information to you and your health care providers. Certain information collected in the study is considered experimental (such as genetic data) and will not be disclosed. Your decision regarding the release of clinical information will not impact your eligibility to participate in the trial. If routine laboratory testing is completed, the results will be placed in your medical record.
How long does the study last?
Depending on funding, we hope that your participation in the research study will last indefinitely. You have the right to withdraw from the study at any time without any negative consequences. You may be withdrawn at the investigator’s or sponsor’s discretion at any time if the investigator considers it to be medically necessary or dangerous to your health to continue.