Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Brain Imaging Study of New Methods for Identifying Alzheimer Disease

Last Updated: Thursday, April 10, 2014

Principal Investigator: Tricia Thornton-Wells, Ph.D.


We are starting a new study to understand how aging and memory problems are related to brain structure, brain function and genes. We want to learn how we can detect brain changes that are related to dementia before any symptoms are present.

We will ask you to:

  • complete several tasks that measure your memory and attention.
  • tell us about your activities of daily living.
  • provide a blood or saliva DNA sample.
  • participate in a lumbar puncture procedure to measure proteins in your cerebrospinal fluid that are related to risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
  • lie still in a MRI scanner for 2 sessions using 2 different scanners that differ by their magnet strength. Both of these MRI scans present minimal risk to you, involve no radiation and no contrast dyes or injections.
  • provide a blood or saliva DNA sample.

If you are willing, we will also ask you to have a lumber puncture to measure proteins in your cerebrospinal fluid that are related to risk for Alzheimer disease.

Participant Criteria

Adults in 3 groups:

  • 60 years and older with memory problems or Mild Cognitive Impairment
  • 60 and older who have mild/early-stage Alzheimer Disease
  • 60 and older with NO memory problems or diagnosis of Alzheimer Disease


$20 per hour: The study will take approximately 9 hours total, which can be spaced out over 2, 3 or 4 days, at your convenience.

Visit Requirements

Participation in the study will require 2 to 4 trips to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.


Download Brochure

Contact Information

Genea Crockett
322-3111 or (888) 717-4319

Want to Participate in this Study?

Enter your name and contact information and this study's coordinators will contact you if there are openings available.