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What is this study about?
This study is about brain imaging and to learn about connections between certain regions of the brain. The two most common causes of dementia are Alzheimer disease (AD) and cerebrovascular disease. AD disturbs the internal chemistry of nerve cells (neurons), while cerebro-vascular disease reduces the blood flow that supplies neurons with their nutritional needs. This reduced blood flow may lead to a form of dementia known as subcortical vascular dementia (SVD). In this study, we hope to learn how connections between different regions of the brain may be changed in AD or SVD. A total of 60 subjects will take part in this study over a period of five years.

What will participation in this study entail?
You will be asked questions about your age, education, health, pacemaker or metal implants, and use of prescription and nonprescription drugs. You will be asked to have a magnetic resonance scan (MRI) of your head. You will be asked to return for a magnetic resonance scan (MRI) of your head after approximately two years. If you have already had an MRI taken as part of your clinical care, we request your permission to obtain a copy of this MRI for research study.

Who is eligible to participate in this study?
You can be eligible for this study if you are between 60 to 80 years old and have already completed clinical and laboratory tests that show that you fall into one of the following groups: 1) evidence of AD, 2) evidence of SVD, 3) evidence of a mild form of dementia referred to as mild cognitive impairment, 4) evidence of a mild form of vascular dementia, or 5) no evidence of dementia or memory problems and have agreed to be a normal control subject for this study.

How can I enroll in this study?
This study is currently enrolling volunteers. If interested, please contact:
Maya Slowinska (
University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine
Phone: (323) 442-7600

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