Participate in Research

Be a part of science and become involved with the various studies taking place here at the UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging and Stein Institute for Research on Aging.

Lab assistant performing research

Current Research Opportunities

MEDEX Study
PI: Julie Wetherell, PhD

We are conducting a research study to find out how to improve memory and concentration in older people. If you participate, you will be randomly assigned (like flipping a coin) to one of four groups: Mindfulness meditation, Exercise, Mindfulness plus Exercise, and Health education. Each group will meet for 18 months. During four different occasions we will test your memory and concentration, fitness using a treadmill stress test, body composition (including bone mineral density), balance, and insulin sensitivity using an oral glucose test. We will also do a brain scan, ask you questions about you mood and daily life, and take blood and saliva samples to see how your immune system is working. For more information, please review the study's website and brochure.

Eligibility: You must be age 65-84 years old, concerned about your memory, and healthy enough for moderate exercise. Not currently meditating, attending health education classes, or exercising regularly.

Contact Information: If you are interested in participating or have any questions about this study, please contact Dr. Wetherell's team at: 858-534-8118 or medexstudy@ucsd.edu.

Sedentary Behavior Interrupted Pilot Study
PIs: Dorothy Sears PhD, and Jacqueline Kerr, PhD

We are conducting a research study on sedentary behavior. If you are eligible, you will participate in four study visits, seven hours each. At each visit, you will sit in a comfortable chair for 6 hours during which you will be intermittently interrupted to stand or walk for brief periods of time. This study involves 1 screening visit (1 hour) and 4 study visits (7 hours) to be completed in approximately 5 to 6 weeks. For more information, please review the study's flyer.

Eligibility: You must be a woman age 55 or older and post menopausal. You spend a lot of time each day sitting down.

Contact Information: If you are interested in participating or have any questions about this study, please contact the study team at: 858-534-8898.


The Shiley-Marcos ADRC Observational Cognitive Aging Longitudinal Study
Principal Investigator (PI): Douglas Galasko, MD

bigstock-Portrait-of-happy-girl-and-her-58858664.jpgThe purpose of this study is to learn more about Alzheimer's disease and related dementias by gathering information to help with early detection, accurate diagnosis, and directions for targeted treatment. We will follow the progression of these diseases to learn more about changes in the brain, risk factors, and causes of various dementias. If you participate, you will be asked to complete a brain MRI, lumbar puncture, and agree to a brain donation for autopsy purposes at the end of life. Strategies for healthy brain aging and feedback about annual performance on cognitive testing are provided. For more information regarding this study and a variety of other opportunities, please visit the Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research Center website.

Eligibility: You must either be 65 years of age or older and have no memory concerns and normal thinking abilities, or an adult of any age with a diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment or early dementia due to Alzheimer's, Frontotemporal Dementia, or Lewy Body Dementia.

Contact Information: If you are interested in participating or have any questions about this study, please contact Tracey Truscott at: 858-822-4800 or ttruscott@ucsd.edu.


Intervention Study for Parkinson's Disease and Cognitive Impairment
Principal Investigator (PI): Dawn Schiehser, PhD

iPad.jpgWe are conducting this research study to compare the effectiveness of two different interventions for Parkinson's disease. If you participate, you will be randomly assigned to either a cognitive rehabilitation program or a supportive care intervention. Each intervention program involves meeting in a group setting once a week for 10 weeks. You will be asked to complete pencil and paper tasks testing cognition, such as memory and attention, and we will ask you questions about your mood and other symptoms at an initial appointment and after the program concludes. For more information, please review the study's brochure.

Eligibility: You must be someone living with Parkinson's disease and 40 years of age or older. You are interested in research to help those with Parkinson's disease.

Contact Information: If you are interested in participating or have any questions about this study, please contact Celina Pluim at: 858-552-8585, ext. 5593.


Intervention Study for Healthy Aging of Individuals with Elevated Blood Pressure
Principal Investigators (PIs): Suzi Hong, PhD, and Laura Redwine, PhD

iPad.jpgThe purpose of this study is to find out whether participation in a Healthy Aging seminar series or Tai Chi classes has an effect on the physical and mental health of older adults with elevated blood pressure. If you participate, you will be randomly assigned to receive either 12 weeks of a free Healthy Aging seminar series or Tai Chi classes. You will also be asked to complete detailed cardiovascular assessments, laboratory blood tests, a bicycle exercise task, and questionnaires. You will be provided up to $345 in compensation and your laboratory test results will be provided to you at no cost.

Eligibility: You must be 60 years of age or older and have systolic (top number) blood pressure greater than 130 mm Hg.

Contact Information: If you are interested in participating or have any questions about this study, please call: 619-543-2861 and ask about the "HAPI-CHI" study.


Chocolate Consumption for Muscle Strength in Healthy Older Adults
Principal Investigator (PI): Deborah Kado, MD, MS

We are conducting a randomized controlled study to determine if consuming cocoa extract daily can improve your muscle strength and function. If you don't like to exercise, yet like chocolate, this is the study for you! If you participate, you will be randomly assigned (like flipping a coin) to one of two groups: cocoa extract or placebo. Potential benefits include increased cognitive and physical fitness awareness, knowledge of your bone mineral density and body composition, and up to $100 in compensation. For more information, please review the study's flyer

Eligibility: You must be age 65-80 years old, a non-smoker, currently engage in less than 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, not have any major diseases or mobility limitations, not be taking any dietary supplements, statins or steroids, and be willing to stop chocolate, red wine and tea consumption for 3 months.

Contact Information: If you are interested in participating or have any questions about this study, please contact the study team at: 858-534-9315.


Alzheimer's Caregiver Study
Principal Investigator (PI): Brent Mausbach, PhD

The purpose of this study is to help caregivers cope with the challenges that arise from caring for their loved ones. Specifically, we are interested in investigating if providing caregivers with coping tools will lower markers related to heart disease. Our staff will teach you ways to manage your stress. We will check your cardiovascular system and provide you with lab results at no cost. For more information, please review the study's website and brochure.

Eligibility: You must be the spouse of someone with Alzheimer's Disease, be living with them and you must be 55 years of age or older. You should not have any history of serious mental illness, stroke, or heart attack.

Contact Information: If you are interested in participating or have any questions about this study, please contact Jean-Loup Bitterlin at: 858-534-9479.


Dynamic Inflammatory and Mood Predictors of Cognitive Aging in Bipolar Disorder
Principal Investigator (PI): Lisa Eyler, PhD

This study compares the change of brain functioning by age and over time between patients with bipolar disorder and individuals without the disorder. We want to find out if inflammatory function markers called cytokines and different emotional states can predict cognitive change over time in bipolar patients. We will ask you about your medical history, administer clinical questionnaires, test memory, reading, and learning, and ask you to complete daily smartphone ratings and questionnaires (during course of two weeks). The study also includes having blood drawn. For more information, please review the study's website and flyer.

Eligibility: You must be age 35-60 years old. Free of any current mental disorder. No immediate family members who have: bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or depression. No uncontrolled diabetes or high blood pressure. Native English speaker.

Contact Information: If you are interested in participating or have any questions about this study, please contact Nana Kori at: 858-534-9439 or nkori@ucsd.edu.

 

Please check this page at a later time for additional research opportunities.

 


If you are affiliated to the Stein Institute for Research on Aging or Center for Healthy Aging and wish to include your study on this page, please contact Luz Pinto at llpinto@ucsd.edu. Please include an IRB approved recruitment flyer or brochure with your request.