Copyright © 2018 UCSD ADRC.
All rights reserved.


Observational Longitudinal Study


Our investigators are seeking to better understand the transition from normal aging to AD by identifying healthy older adults and those who may be at high risk for developing AD. Studying normal aging enables the researchers to have the reference points necessary to reach valid conclusions about Alzheimer’s disease. We are able to provide testing to Latino spanish speaking individuals in English and/or Spanish.

Candidate Criteria

Participants must have a study partner, have stable health status, and must not have any history of major strokes.



Two major benefits are having access to staff members who evaluate your condition and will...

(1) inform you of the results of the evaluation and

(2) make suggestions and referrals for coping with any problems that you may have

Consultation with our social workers is also available as needed


There is no financial cost to participate in our longitudinal research study. The only cost to you is in travel, time, and effort involved in receiving an annual evaluation.


You may withdraw at any time. We would, however like a commitment of a minimum of five years in order to gather the optimal longitudinal data.


Annual visits that last one and a half days. The annual exam consists of three parts: a nursing exam, a neuropsychological assessment, and a neurology exam.

We also request that you agree to biomarkers research, including neuroimaging, blood draw and a lumbar puncture procedure*. A brain autopsy. This is critical to our research, since the pathological confirmation is the only definitive diagnosis for the disease. It also provides tissue for critical studies in the pathophysiology of the disease.

PI: Douglas Galasko, MD
CONTACT: Beata Santiago at (858) 822-4800
DESCRIPTION: Research into biomarkers – measurements that inform us about a disease process - is an increasingly important component of trying to understand the complex changes in the brain in aging, Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. We, and other researchers worldwide, are engaged in building a detailed picture of brain structure and biochemistry through the use of brain imaging techniques and the analysis of cerebrospinal fluid. These measures have helped to improve how we diagnose, follow, and evaluate treatment for Alzheimer’s. Measuring how biomarkers change over time is important in assessing interventions, and has helped us to more rigorously evaluate new approaches to treatment and even prevention. Researchers are trying to build a detailed map of brain changes on the trajectory to Alzheimer’s disease to determine who may be at risk and who might be protected. Participants in our longitudinal study have likely undergone a lumbar puncture procedure so that their cerebrospinal fluid could be analyzed for levels of biomarkers such as amyloid beta protein and tau protein. While this one time CSF collection is valuable since volunteers can be compared to one another, having more than one data point within an individual person is even more valuable, as it can enable us to understand patterns of change in biomarkers. Having longitudinal biomarker data can provide us with specific information about how those changes in CSF over time may relate to changes in imaging biomarkers and cognitive test data.

Dr. Galasko and colleagues at the ADRC would like to collect a follow-up sample of cerebrospinal fluid from all longitudinal participants who are willing to undergo a second lumbar puncture procedure. Many of the studies outlined below will use CSF data in their analyses and would benefit significantly from data that is collected in the same timeframe as the information gathered in their unique protocols. As with your previous LP, you will be compensated $100.00 for participation in this optional additional study procedure. Please contact Beata Santiago at the Shiley-Marcos ADRC to schedule this additional LP appointment at your earliest convenience (858) 822-4800.