The main goal of this project is to use imaging and biomarkers to identify cognitively
normal elderly people who are at increased risk for developing mild cognitive impairment
(MCI). MCI is the earliest clinically detectable evidence for brain changes due to
Alzheimer's disease (AD). The second goal of this project is to describe the
inter-relationships among anatomical biomarkers, cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers, and
cognition measures in those elderly people who develop MCI.
The goal of this project is to use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and cerebrospinal fluid
(CSF) biomarkers to identify cognitively normal participants who show the earliest
clinically detectable brain changes of Alzheimer's disease (AD).
The major hypothesis for this study is that CSF P-tau231 measurement improves the accuracy
of MRI and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) measurements in predicting mild cognitive impairment
(MCI). Validation of this hypothesis can lead to improved diagnostic tools for detecting AD
as early as possible.
This 5-year longitudinal study will involve a baseline exam and two 18-month followup exams.
Participants will undergo MRI scans, CSF collection and blood samples, neuropsychological
performance testing, and medical, neurological and psychiatric assessment. The screening
and diagnostic evaluations will be carried out by the New York University Alzheimer Disease
Core Center (ADCC) and the NYU Center for Brain Health.
This study will enroll a minimum of 80 cognitively normal participants, 60 to 80 years of
age, with English as their first language, with about 12 years of formal education, and who
are living in the metropolitan New York City area. All participants will receive baseline
and follow-up evaluations to rule out confounding medical, neurological, and psychiatric
conditions that could affect cognition. The study coordinator will maintain 6-month
telephone contact with all participants and their caregivers who are part of the project.
- Individuals of either sex, with a high school education, and between the ages of 60
and 80 years living in the New York City metropolitan area.
- Minimum of 12 years education.
- Participants will be classified as within normal limits on medical, psychiatric and
neuropsychological examinations (performance that is better than -1.5 sd of the NYU
norm based WMS-R delayed memory index).
- Participants will have a global deterioration scale (GDS)=1 or 2. Those enrolled in
the High-Risk group will have a GDS=2 and have a score of >25 on the Memory Complaint
Questionnaire (MCQ). In high risk memory loss cases, an informed family member or
caregiver will be interviewed to confirm that the participant can perform specific
- Past history or MRI evidence of brain damage including significant trauma, stroke,
hydrocephalus, lacunar infarcts, seizures, mental retardation or serious neurological
- Significant history of alcoholism or drug abuse.
- History of psychiatric illness (e.g., schizophrenia, mania, Post-Traumatic Stress
Disorder [PTSD], or depression).
- Any focal neurological signs or significant neuropathology.
- A score of 4 or greater on the Modified Hachinski Ischemia Scale, indicative of
- A total score of 16 or more on the Hamilton Depression Scale to exclude possible
cases of primary depression.
- Evidence of clinically relevant and uncontrolled hypertensive, cardiac, pulmonary,
vascular, metabolic or hematologic conditions.
- Physical impairment of such severity as to adversely affect the validity of
- Hostility or refusal to cooperate.
- Any prosthetic devices (e.g., pacemaker or surgical clips) that could be affected by
the magnetic field employed during MRI imaging.
- History of familial early onset dementia.