Johns Hopkins Medicine

Alzheimer's Disease Research Center

Participate in Research

doctors performing research There are many different types of clinical research studies being conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins. This includes numerous studies on topics related to healthy aging, memory loss, mild cognitive impairment, and dementias due to Alzheimer's disease and related disorders.

Why are clinical research studies important?
Clinical research studies are designed to improve our understanding of healthy aging and diseases that cause memory loss and dementia; to find improved treatments for these diseases; to find ways of reducing risk for memory disorders; and to test interventions designed to improve the support and care received by persons with dementia and their caregivers.

What different types of clinical research studies are underway?
There are many different types of clinical research studies underway at the Johns Hopkins Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. These can be broadly classified into two categories:

  1. Observational research studies:
    Observational studies are designed to improve our understanding of healthy aging and diseases that cause memory loss and dementia, or the impact of these diseases on individuals, caregivers, and families. For example, the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center oversees a Memory and Aging study that follows individuals over time with annual evaluations of mental abilities and physical function, and includes procedures that allow for examining changes in the brain. These include:
    (1) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans that provide information about changes in the structure and function of the brain;
    (2) Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans that provide information about the accumulation of various proteins in the brain, and
    (3) collection of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) using a procedure known as a lumbar puncture (LP).
    Learn more about some of the observational studies underway at Johns Hopkins here.

  2. Intervention studies/clinical trials:
    Intervention studies, also known as clinical trials, are designed to test whether an intervention is beneficial. Intervention studies might test whether lifestyle changes (such as changes in physical activity, diet, or engagement in cognitive 'exercises') affect cognitive abilities; or whether different models of care improve how patients in the symptomatic phases of disease and their caregivers manage on a daily basis. Another example is a medication study that compares the effects of an active medication to a placebo (i.e., a sugar pill). For example, a medication study might test whether a drug delays or treats the symptoms of dementia. Learn more about some of the intervention studies/clinical trials underway at Johns Hopkins here.

Who can participate?
There are research opportunities for everyone, including:

  • individuals who have no problems with their memory;
  • individuals with mild memory problems;
  • patients diagnosed with dementia due to Alzheimer's disease or related disorders.

There are many studies of each type ongoing at the Johns Hopkins Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. The studies vary in terms of the criteria for who can be included.

How do I learn more about ongoing research opportunities?
We appreciate your interest in learning more about becoming a research volunteer with the Johns Hopkins Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. You can learn more about ongoing research studies associated with the ADRC by clicking on the links below, which also include the contact information for each study: