The Colorado Aging Brain Lab specializes in observational studies designed to investigate the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s Disease and cognitive decline. Our studies take a comprehensive approach to understanding the aging brain by including those with a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, atypical dementia, adults with down syndrome, and healthy older adults as study subjects. All research visits take place at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, CO.
What is Observational Research?
Observational research refers to research studies that collect data about participants over time without any interventions or treatments. Observational studies are important, foundational studies that help us better understand what:
- puts individuals at risk for Alzheimer’s disease
- predicts changes in memory and thinking as we age
- protects some individuals from showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
- predicts “atypical” symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, such as early changes in visual functioning or language functioning
- predicts healthy, successful aging
Observational research studies ultimately help us better understand risk factors and protective factors in late life, and provide important information about what factors might be targets for future treatment studies.
- Longitudinal Innate Immunity and Aging Study (LIIA)
- The purpose of this study is to learn more about how immune system markers, measured in the blood and spinal fluid, relate to the clinical features of aging over time. This research may ultimately help us better understand what puts individuals at risk for cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Recruiting healthy older adults who have not been diagnosed with a memory disorder
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- Longitudinal Biomarker and Clinical Phenotyping Study (Bio-AD)
- This study plans to establish a large bank of blood, cerebral spinal fluid, imaging and clinical data to research the causes of Alzheimer’s Disease, Down Syndrome, and other diseases that cause thinking and memory problems.
- Recruiting adults with a diagnosis of MCI, Down Syndrome, or Atypical Dementia
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- Immunity, mTBI, and Alzheimer’s Biomarkers (ImTAB)
- The goal of this study is to better understand how a mild traumatic brain injury in late life relates to inflammation, markers of Alzheimer’s disease related proteins and clinical features of aging over time. This research may ultimately help us identify the role of mild traumatic brain injury on long-term aging outcomes and clarify whether a mild traumatic brain injury puts individuals at risk for cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Recruiting healthy older adults who have had a mild traumatic brain injury (concussion) in the past 5 years and who do NOT have significant concerns about their thinking and memory.
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What makes our research relevant?
With the information we obtain from our studies, we ultimately hope to develop early identification tools to detect and prevent Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms ever start.