San Francisco VA Looking for Participants for Alzheimer's Study

August 12, 2005
News Office: Steve Tokar (415) 502-6397

Researchers at UCSF and the San Francisco VA Medical Center are looking for healthy individuals age 60 and older, with and without memory complaints, for a study on memory and Alzheimer's disease.

Using magnetic resonance imaging, known as MRI, and psychological testing, the researchers hope to identify neurological and psychological markers that will predict who will be most likely to develop Alzheimer's disease in the future.

"Drugs are being developed to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Michael Weiner, professor of radiology at UCSF and director of the study. "Once these drugs are ready for release, it's going to be important to know who is a candidate for future cognitive decline, so an individual can be screened and put on the right preventive drugs." Weiner is also director of the Center for Imaging of Neurodegenerative Diseases at SFVAMC.

The study will last for two years. Participants will be given a brain MRI and a battery of standard neuropsychological tests at the beginning of the study. They will receive an MRI every six months and psychological testing every year until the end of the study.

Participants will be compensated for their time, and travel expenses may be reimbursed.

The researchers are looking for individuals who live within easy travel distance of SFVAMC, which is located at 4150 Clement Street in San Francisco, and preferably for people who live in San Francisco, the southern North Bay, and the northern peninsula. People with pacemakers, surgical implants, claustrophobia, or brain or neurological diseases are not eligible to participate.

People who are interested should call (800) 773-4883 or (415) 221-4810 ext. 4385, or email Jessica Black at

The study is funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health that is administered by the Northern California Institute for Research and Education.

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