New Alzheimer’s Related Clinical Trials Open for Volunteers

  • Volunteers are needed for clinical trials and studies sponsored or co-sponsored by the National Institute on Aging. Some trials have been recently added to the NIA listing while other large studies are ongoing. Below are some options to consider. Volunteers for clinical trials are one major key toward finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, so pass the list on to relatives or friends who may be interested.


    1.      Cycling Exercise for Treating Alzheimer's Disease


    Brief description: This clinical trial will investigate the effects of a 6-month cycling exercise program on cognition and hippocampal volume in older adults with Alzheimer's disease. Researchers want to determine if the intervention can slow cognitive decline.

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    Inclusion Criteria:

    • Diagnosis of probable or possible Alzheimer's disease
    • Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score of 15-26 inclusive; Clinical Dementia Rating score of 0.5-2
    •  Community-dwelling (includes assisted living)
    •  English-speaking
    •   Approved to participate by primary care provider and cardiologist if there is significant cardiac history
    •  Alzheimer's drugs allowable if on stable dose for at least 1 month

    Exclusion Criteria:

    • Resting heart rate of ≤50 or ≥100 beats/minute
    •  Neurological or psychiatric disorder in the past 5 years
    •  Alcohol or chemical dependency in the past 5 years
    •  Contraindications to exercise
    •  New symptoms or diseases that have not been evaluated by a health care provider, for example hip fracture, ongoing and unplanned weight loss, severe shortness of breath, deep vein thrombosis, hernia, unhealed sores, joint swelling, pain, or trouble walking
    • Cardiac ischemia or serious arrhythmia shown by electrocardiograph during the screening exercise test

    2.      Pomegranate Juice and Memory


    Brief description: This study will examine whether drinking pomegranate juice daily for 1 year will benefit cognitive abilities in middle-aged and older adults without dementia. Researchers predict that participants who drink pomegranate juice will show better cognitive performance than those who drink a placebo.


    Inclusion Criteria:

    • Normal cognition or mild cognitive impairment
    •  Adequate seeing and hearing ability to allow neuropsychological testing
    • Screening laboratory tests and EKG without significant abnormalities that might interfere with the study; if tests show abnormalities, subject must obtain written clearance from primary care physician

    Exclusion Criteria (more on NIH/NIA site):

    • Diagnosis of probable Alzheimer's disease or any other dementia
    •  Evidence of other neurological or physical illness that can produce cognitive deterioration
    •  History of stroke, transient ischemic attack, carotid bruits, or lacunes seen on MRI scan

    3.      Alzheimer's Biomarkers in African Americans


    Brief description: This observational study seeks to determine the influence of Alzheimer's disease and vascular disease on memory and aging in African Americans through biomarkers. Results of brain scans and lumbar punctures for African Americans will be compared with those of white Americans.


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    Inclusion Criteria:

    • Normal cognition, diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, or diagnosis of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease
    •  Self-reported race of African American or non-Hispanic white
    •  Ability to undergo neuropsychological testing, lumbar puncture, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
    •  English speaking

    Exclusion Criteria:

    • History of stroke
    •  Diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or other progressive neurological disorder that may spare cognition
    •  Mini-Mental State Examination score of less than 17

    If you are interested in participating in future research studies, sign up with the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry at or call 1 (888)786-7259 for information. By signing up on the website you can receive updates about participating in future Alzheimer’s prevention trials. Anyone age 18 and older can join.


    Major Studies Still Recruiting

    • Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s Network (DIAN) -  DIAN Trial. Seeking adult children age 18 and older with a biological parent who has a known genetic mutation for Alzheimer’s.
    • Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial, Memory and Cognition in Decreased Hypertension (SPRINT-MIND). Recruiting volunteers age 50 or older with high blood pressure—systolic (upper) number of at least 130—who have a history of heart disease or chronic kidney disease or are at risk for heart disease, but with no history of diabetes or stroke.

    For more information about these and other Alzheimer’s clinical trials, visit Alternately, you can contact the ADEAR Center at 1-800-438-4380 or The ADEAR Center is a service of the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health.


    Remember the importance of volunteers, my friends. Without people who are willing to take part in these studies, progress will be slow. Every qualified person counts.


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Published On: May 27, 2014