• Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
  • 617-667-4074
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As life expectancy grows to unprecedented ages, diseases of age, especially Alzheimer’s and Dementia, are becoming more and more prevalent. Accordingly, understanding and combating this disease has become a major focus of many investigators. The CNU and the Berenson-Allen Center are exploring various therapeutic methods and imaging techniques geared towards alleviating symptomology and improving the quality of life of those suffering from these debilitating diseases.

Reliability of Repetitive TMS-induced Modulation of Cortical Excitability in Early Alzheimer’s Disease
The purpose of this study is to learn more about the brain plasticity of people with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD) who are known to have amyloid protein in the brain. Brain plasticity is the brain’s ability to change and learn through experience. This study uses non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate this. If you qualify for and take part in the study, you would undergo all study related visits and testing at no charge. The study requires up to 7 visits.

Gamma Induction for Amyloid Clearance in Alzheimer’s Disease
The purpose of this research study is to explore the effects of transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) on amyloid and tau, which build up in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Amyloid and tau are proteins found naturally in your body but can build up and form plaques and tangles that have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The main goal of the study is to see if tACS, a form of noninvasive brain stimulation, can decrease the amount of amyloid and tau in the brain by applying the tACS at a frequency of naturally occurring waves in your brain called gamma oscillations. If you are interested in joining this study, you will have some testing to see if you qualify, including memory and thinking tests and an amyloid Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan, as well as a tau PET scan. If you participate in the study, you will undergo 2 or 4 weeks of daily or twice daily tACS sessions lasting approximately 1 hours each followed by some repeat follow up testing.

The LeAD Study
The main purpose of this study is to see if a medication, levetiracetam (LEV), can improve cognition (thinking) in people with MCI and early AD. There is research that shows that people with memory problems can have brains that are more excitable than people without memory problems. It is thought that this increase in brain excitability could make memory problems worse. LEV is a medication that is commonly used to treat people with seizures. It is thought that LEV may be also be used to decrease brain excitability in people with memory problems. The hope is that this would help to improve thinking in people with MCI and early AD. If you qualify for and take part in the study, you would undergo all study related visits and testing at no charge. The study requires approximately 15 visits total. You will be compensated for your time and for parking at the hospital.

Brain Plasticity Measures in Mild Cognitive Impairment
The purpose of the brain plasticity research study is to explore brain plasticity in people with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Brain plasticity is the brain’s ability to change and learn through experience. The main goal of this study is to see if measuring brain plasticity with non-invasive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) can be helpful with early diagnosis of memory problems. If one takes part in the study, the participant will have several evaluations. For example, TMS, tests of learning and memory, and an amyloid PET scan. The participant can decide whether or not to know the results of the PET scan. The doctor may use the results along with other clinical information to better understand cognitive symptoms.

If you are interested in learning more about the above studies, please contact Molly O’Reilly at 617-667-0249 or email: moreill1@bidmc.harvard.edu.

Delirium as a Risk Factor for Dementia
Dr. Fong (in conjunction with her colleagues at the Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife) is examining long-term cognitive outcomes in individuals following an episode of delirium, as well as whether pre-clinical Alzheimer’s disease pathology is a marker of brain vulnerability to delirium.

For additional information, see the following staff bios:
Dr. Fong

Driving Ability in Dementia / Neurological Illness
Headed by the DriveWise team, examination of optimal predictors of safe driving in those with neurological illnesses have been the focus of study in a variety of individuals, including those with mild cognitive difficulties, Parkinson’s Disease, and the oldest old.

For additional information, see the following staff bios:
Ms. Hollis
Ms. Kapust