Brain Disorder Research and Clinical Trials

Research plays a critical role in helping us understand the disorders we treat, and ultimately in finding a cure

Our Brain Health and Memory Disorders program focuses on customizing the diagnostic process and management for each individual patient and their loved ones.

We encourage involvement in research and note that this does not affect the care that you receive from our clinical team.

Our program shares space with the UC San Diego Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (SMADRC), which offers a wealth of research opportunities. 

Because our neurologists also serve as investigators in clinical trials, we can help direct patients to the trial that is most appropriate for them.

Memory Disorder Research Programs

  • Clinical trials test the newest therapies designed to treat or prevent Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. Find out more about our clinical trials offered by the Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at UC San Diego.
  • Observational studies aim to find out more about ways to assess symptoms and stages of progression, and to study biomarkers and risk factors. For example, the longitudinal study of the National Institute of Aging-funded Alzheimer's Disease Research Center follows people at all stages of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders, including people without cognitive problems.

Research Partners

We are active participants in a number of national and international groups that focus on Alzheimer's disease and other conditions. These include:

  • ADNI – Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative – a study across the US to assess neuroimaging, blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers across different stages of Alzheimer's Disease.
  • ALLFTD – a study to assess change in clinical measures, brain imaging and blood and CSF proteins in people with different types of frontotemporal degeneration
  • LEADS – a study of people with younger onset (before the age of 65) of Alzheimer's disease, to assess progression and genetic risk factors.
  • DLB consortium – an international collaboration of researchers interested in learning more about dementia with Lewy bodies who hope to discover a biomarker for DLB to improve the diagnosis, care and treatment of patients with this disease. 
  • PPMI - a study of people at risk for Parkinson's disease or those with very mild symptoms of Parkinson's, to develop ways to track disease progression over time.