Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. This incurable, degenerative, and terminal disease was first described by German psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer in 1906. Generally it is diagnosed in people over 65 years of age, although the less-prevalent early-onset Alzheimer's can occur much earlier. An estimated 26.6 million people worldwide had Alzheimer's in 2006.

End-Stage Alzheimer's Research

Review and Approval
Renewal Date: 
2013, April 25

Frequently Asked Questions

Project summary

1. Why should I participate in research?

Not only is participating in research a great way to give back to the community and to help advance science, it can also be a good way to answer some questions you may have about your health. Most of our research programs offer memory evaluations free of cost to our participants. While these evaluations are not meant to replace clinical assessments you would have at your doctor’s office, they can be helpful in determining whether you need to seek further medical assistance.

2. Who is eligible?

Persons ages 50-90 in good health are candidates for our research. To determine if you meet eligibility requirements, please call our study coordinators at (310) 206-7392 or (310) 206-1319.

3. If I sign up for a study, how many times will I have to come to UCLA?

Our different studies vary in terms of time-commitment. Certain studies require only 2-3 visits, while others span a longer time frame requiring multiple visits to UCLA. If you have certain scheduling limitations, we will do our best to accommodate your requests.

4. Will I get paid to participate in research?

Yes, you will be compensated once you complete the study or decide to stop participating. Compensation amounts range from $99 to $300 depending on the study. Parking permits are also arranged for all research-related visits.

5. What are you studying?

The UCLA Longevity Center Research Laboratory (LCRL) conducts cutting edge research on a variety of explorative treatments and diagnostic tools related to memory loss. Focused on the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, the LCRL aims to find ways to diagnose signs of early memory impairment in hopes of inhibiting the progression of degenerative illnesses.

6. What is the difference between your studies?

Two types of studies are conducted at the LCRL. We offer Brain Imaging studies designed to improve diagnostic technologies for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. These studies focus on the diagnosis of memory problems. We also conduct Clinical Trials. These projects research the efficacy of supplements in improving memory or preventing further memory loss.

7. Do you give out study results?

Yes and No. While you will be given your memory assessment, MRI and lab results, other results are not distributed to participants. In particular, due to their experimental nature, PET scan or genetic testing results are not given out. Please be assured, however, that we will alert you if we discover anything that may require medical attention.

8. Will my data and personal information be kept confidential?

All information obtained from you during the course of the study will be kept strictly confidential and kept in a locked storage area to prevent access by unauthorized personnel.

Grand Rounds: New Diagnostic Criteria for Alzheimers Disease

John Ringman, M.D., M.S.
Interim Director, Easton Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research
Associate Clinical Professor Department of Neurology at UCLA

NEW--Podcast Preview available on the website,

Coffee will be served in the auditorium foyer beginning at 10:45 AM. As always, free continuing educational credits are available for Grand Rounds; please be sure that you have filled out the forms to receive credit for your attendance.

For information on upcoming Semel Institute Grand Rounds please visit:

Event detail
20 Sep 2011 - 11:00 - 12:30

Brain scan identifies patterns of plaques and tangles in adults with Down syndrome

In one of the first studies of its kind, UCLA researchers used a unique brain scan to assess the levels of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles — the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease — in adults with Down syndrome. Published in the June edition of the Archives of Neurology, the finding may offer an additional clinical tool to help diagnose dementia in adults with Down syndrome, a genetic disorder caused by the presence of a complete or partial extra copy of chromosome 21.

Stay Sharp

A Sept. 17 story in USA Weekend described potential ways to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and cited a UCLA study finding that older adults with little Internet experience were able to trigger key centers in the brain that control decision-making and complex reasoning after just one week of surfing the Web. Dr. Gary Small, Parlow-Solomon Professor on Aging, a professor of psychiatry with the Semel Institute and director of the UCLA Center on Aging, was quoted.

Brain, Behavior, and Aging Research Center

Brain, Behavior, and Aging Research Center

We are a research group investigating Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other dementias. We use neuroimaging procedures, such as PET and MRI, to understand how the brain is changed in dementia. We also test memory and other thinking skills, and interview our patients to understand what types of emotional problems they are having (such as depression or irritability).  We combine all of this information to help us understand the symptoms of dementia and the brain changes that contribute to the illness.

Our lab is also involved in treatment studies.  In these experiments, we prescribe medication(s), and then test patients to understand how the drug is helping. We are conducting clinical trials both for FDA approved medications and for a new investigational drug to treat AD.

David Sultzer
Alzheimer's and Dementia Research Group