Clinical Trials

Scientists can learn a tremendous amount about dementia and the brain from the study of healthy individuals as well as those who have been diagnosed with memory disorders. At the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC), our research goals are not only to improve diagnosis, delay progression, and enhance the well-being of those with Alzheimer's disease, but also to learn more about the normal process of aging.

All of the research conducted at the ADRC takes place at our Upper East Side campus. Clinical studies currently under way at the ADRC include:

Based on experiences unique to our lives and our cultures, music and other pleasant activities are often associated with strong memories and meaningful experiences from within our lives. In patients with memory problems, music therapy, music and other activities may play a role in improving quality of life.

In collaboration between The Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine and the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, this 12-month study will assess the role of pleasant activities, home-based singing and music therapy in patients with Alzheimer’s disease or Mild Cognitive Impairment, ages 55 and older. This study does not involve investigational medication. For more information, please contact the study coordinator at (212) 585-4617. Co-Principal Investigators: Mary Sano, PhD, Joanne Loewy DA, LCAT, MT-BC. GCO: 19-0243-00001-01-PD. GCO Expiration date 03/07/2020.

This is a research study for people who have been diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and suffer from poor sleep habits. The study is being conducted to test if light treatment in homes benefits memory and metabolism. Metabolism refers to how nutrients such as glucose and fats are used by our bodies. Lack of sleep can worsen metabolism and individuals with early Alzheimer’s or MCI have an increased risk of developing diabetes. In previous studies it was observed that light treatment improves sleep and memory in patients with Alzheimer's disease. In this study, we will investigate if light treatment that mimics daylight in the homes of individuals with MCI improve memory and metabolism and reduce depression.

We are recruiting individuals with a diagnosis of probable early Alzheimer’s Disease or Mild Cognitive Impairment and sleep disturbance to test if light treatment in your home improves cognition and metabolism. You are not eligible if you require insulin, have urinary incontinence, are blind or suffer from severe eye disease. Participants will be randomly assigned to either bright or dim light in their home on a daily basis for 6 months. The duration of the study is about 12 months. There will be 6 visits total for the completion of the study visits (between ADRC at Mount Sinai and Mount Sinai St. Luke’s). You will receive the light fixture for a total of 24 weeks and you will have at least four visits at Mount Sinai. Visits will include blood and urine testing, assessment of sleep and light exposure via a wearable watch, and a 3-hour test of how your body uses sugar. There is no cost to participate in the study. You will be reimbursed for the time you spend participating. For more information, please contact the AD research center at 212-241-8329. PI: Christoph Buettner. IRB# 18-00824; GCO 17-2685. GCO Expiration date 09/24/2020.

The PEGASUS study is a research study for people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). The study is being conducted to confirm the safety and tolerability of the drug AMX0035, which is a combination of two drugs, Phenylbutyrate (PB) and Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid (TUDCA). In studies of mice, PB and TUDCA, when used together, were found to protect neurons in the brain from dying and reduce beta-amyloid deposits. Scientists believe an increased amount of amyloid in the brain plays an important role in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Both PB and TUDCA were found to be safe and tolerable in people with neurodegenerative diseases, including ALS and Huntington’s Disease, when used individually.

This is a placebo-controlled trial, and we are recruiting participants between the ages of 55-89 who have a diagnosis of probable Alzheimer’s disease or MCI. Participants will take medication on a daily basis and the length of the study, which involves 6 visits to Mount Sinai and 2 phone calls, is 8 months. There is no cost to participate. For more information, please contact the ADRC at 212-241-8329. PI: Judith Neugroschl, MD. IRB GCO 18-01284, 18-2125. GCO Expiration date: 10/14/2020.

We invite you to participate in a study exploring the link between haptoglobin (a blood protein that works with hemoglobin) and memory and thinking problems in African American patients with type 2 diabetes. We are recruiting non-Hispanic African Americans between the ages of 65-85 who are interested in learning about their memory and who are interested in participating in a research study. This is a non-invasive study with two study visits, one to complete paper and pencil testing and meet with a physician, and another visit to complete a Carotid Doppler. Participants will receive results from all study visits and will be compensated $50.00 upon completion of the study. For more information, you can contact the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at 212-241-8329, our office is located at 1425 Madison Ave, 6th fl, Room 6.40. The Principal Investigator on the study is Dr. Laili Soleimani. PI: Laili Soleimani, MD. IRB GCO 16-1894 approved through 7/10/2020.

Studies suggest that diabetes may cause or worsen memory problems in older adults. We are looking to compare memory functioning in older adults with diabetes and those without the disease. We are recruiting individuals over age 50 from minority backgrounds—because this group is often at highest risk for diabetes and is frequently understudied—who are not experiencing severe memory problems. To learn more, contact Kirsten Evans at 718-584-9000 ext. 1704. Principal Investigator: Corbett Schimming, MD. Study Sponsored by: The National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health. ISMMS GCO #84-119 HSM #14-01098; IRB approved through 1/26/20.

Riluzole is FDA-approved for the treatment of ALS (Lou Gerhig’s Disease) and previous research suggests Riluzole may also be effective for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Riluzole, an oral medication, helps to regulate a chemical in the brain called Glutamate, which normally sends signals between neurons in the brain for memory and learning.

This is the first study investigating Riluzole as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. We are recruiting patients between the ages of 50-95 who have a diagnosis of mild Alzheimer’s disease and who are interested in participating in a clinical trial. This is a placebo-controlled trial and participation involves taking the medication on a daily basis for 6 months and coming to Mount Sinai for monthly visits. For more information please contact the ADRC at 212-241-8329. PI: Ana Pereira, MD. IRB GCO 18-0623, 18-0664 approved through 1/15/20.

EXERT is a phase 3, multi-center 18 month trial examining the effects of low intensity stretching, balance, and range of motion exercises verses high intensity aerobic exercise on cognitive function and on biological markers of Alzheimer’s Disease in older adults with mild memory loss. Participants will exercise at a participating local YMCA under the supervision of a personal trainer; they will complete their assigned exercise program four times per week for 18 months. In the first twelve months of the study, two of the four weekly sessions will be supervised by the trainer. In the final six months, participants will continue to complete their assigned exercise program at the YMCA without supervision. We are looking for people who are experiencing mild memory loss or lapses, are between the ages of 65 and 89, have a study partner available, and would be able to travel to either the Harlem YMCA on 135th St. or the Vanderbilt YMCA on 47th St. Interested parties should call our research coordinator at 212-241-8329. GCO #16-2044 approved by 2/20/20.

Nicotine has been proven to stimulate an area of the brain important for memory and thinking. The Memory Improvement through Nicotine Dosing (MIND) study is looking at whether or not a daily dose of nicotine, through a transdermal patch, will have a positive effect on early memory loss. The study will consist of 12 visits over a 2-year period. Participants will receive either daily nicotine or placebo patches.

We are looking for non-smoking adults ages 55-90 who notice changes in their memory or whose family members notice changes. Participants must also have a study partner who has regular contact with the participant and can attend all study visits. There is no cost to participate in this study.

For more information, please contact Allison Ardolino at (212)-241-0438 or by email at allison.ardolino@mssm.edu. Principal Investigator: Clara Li, PhD.; GCO#91-0208(30), HSM# 17-00245; ISMMS IRB approved through 4/20/2020.

The Grape Seed Extract Study is assessing the effect of grape seed extract in people with Alzheimer’s to determine the safest and most effective dose. Grape seed extract is a natural product that has been shown in laboratory studies to block the formation of brain toxic proteins involved in Alzheimer’s disease. Participants will either receive the active compound or a placebo.

We are looking for older adults who are experiencing memory loss that may be due to Alzheimer’s disease, who are fluent in either English or Spanish, and who have someone who can act as a study partner. There is no charge to participants. For more information, contact our research coordinator at 212-241-8329. Principal Investigator: Hillel T. Grossman, MD. ISMMS PPHS approved through 11/30/19. (GCO #09-0307)

This national study of healthy elders and those with memory problems examines how memory disorders affect cognitive abilities and daily functioning. For those willing to be followed on a yearly basis, we provide free memory and medical evaluations to both healthy elders over age 74 and those of any age who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or related diseases including Mild Cognitive Impairment. Participation does not include treatment.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 212-241-8329.

In addition to the above studies, the ADRC has several active studies that are no longer recruiting new participants. These are:

The TANSNIP study is an observational study that will include taking pictures of the brain to see if there are any brain changes present in those who have the risk factors for heart disease, or who have normal to mild cognitive impairment. The purpose of this study is to determine the presence of risk factors for heart disease such as high level of fat in the blood, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, and clogging of the arteries in people who have difficulty with memory, attention, and/or concentration. In addition we will determine if these risk factors for heart disease also cause problems with activities of daily living, motivation, depression symptoms and the likelihood to keep a healthy lifestyle. The study team is seeking healthy participants between the ages of 60 and 85, who can attend study appointments with a study partner and are not taking any Alzheimer’s disease medications. Participants will not have to pay for investigational diagnostic procedures, and will be reimbursed for certain traveling expenses needed to attend clinical visits throughout the study. This research will take place at Mount Sinai’s Upper East Side campus. For more information about the TANSNIP study, please contact a study coordinator at 212-659-8883. PI: Valentin Fuster MD, PhD, MACC; GCO#: 14-0701(0003); HSM#: 15-0538; ISMMS IRB approved through 7/27/2019.

Scientists believe Alzheimer's disease is caused by the build-up of a protein in the brain called beta-amyloid. The EARLY study is investigating whether a new medication (JNJ-54861911) can delay or prevent memory loss in older adults with elevated levels of brain beta-amyloid before they have symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. This is a placebo-controlled trial, in which participants will be randomly assigned to receive a low or high dose of the medication or a placebo. The EARLY study is recruiting healthy adults between the ages of 60-85 who are worried about developing Alzheimer’s Disease. Participation requires taking the medication by mouth every day for 5 years, regularly attending follow up safety visits at Mount Sinai, and having a close friend of family member who can act as a study partner. For more information, please contact Emily Lampshire at (212)-659-8301 or by email at emily.lampshire@mssm.edu. Principal Investigator: Mary Sano, PhD. GCO#: 17-0707; HSM#: 17-01385. ISMMS IRB approved through 4/3/2019.

This study evaluates the efficacy and safety of a drug (aducanumab or BIIB037) in individuals who are experiencing Alzheimer’s disease related symptoms such as cognitive impairments and memory loss due to elevated levels of amyloid protein in their brains. Scientists believe an increased amount of amyloid in the brain plays an important role in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

We are looking for participants between the ages of 50-85 with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) due to Alzheimer’s disease. It is required that participants have a study partner who can provide information about the participant’s health and attend appointments. There is no cost to participate in this study and participants can receive reimbursements for specific costs. For more information, contact Allison Ardolino at 212-241-0438 or allison.ardolino@mssm.edu. Principal Investigator; Amy Aloysi, MD; GCO# 16-1623:HSM#-16-00912. GCO Approved 8/9/17-8/8/18

The purposes of this study are to examine two genes to see if they provide insight into someone’s likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease and (2) to test a drug called pioglitazone (AD-4833), which may slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease in those who show no signs of the condition.

Principal Investigator: Judith Neugroschl, MD; GCO#: 13-1688; HSM#: 13-00720; ISMMS IRB approved through 11/18/2015.

This study investigates the safety, tolerability, and effectiveness of an insulin nasal spray administered to people with Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment. Participants either receive the insulin nasal spray or a placebo nasal spray for 12 months; for the following six months, all participants receive the insulin nasal spray.

We are looking for volunteers who are 55 years of age or older, are diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease, are fluent in English or Spanish, can attend all study visits, and have a study partner who can also attend all study visits. There is no charge for participation and we serve lunch at some visits. For more information, contact Michael Kinsella at 212-241-8329. Principal Investigator: Hillel T. Grossman, MD. GCO#: 91-0208(0017); HSM#: 13-00768; ISMMS IRB approved from 10/29/2016 – 10/28/2017.

Our study looks at the ability of a drug (LY2062430 or solanezumab) to delay Alzheimer’s disease-related memory loss in older people who have elevated levels of amyloid or beta amyloid proteins in their brain but are not yet displaying symptoms of the disease. Scientists believe these proteins play a key role in development of AD-related memory loss.

We are looking for healthy participants between ages 65-85 who have a study partner who can provide information about the participant’s health, attend appointments, and assist with correctly taking study medication. There is no cost to participate and participants will be paid for certain clinical visits. For more information, contact Kelly Pun at 212-241-8329. Principal Investigator: Mary Sano, PhD; GCO#: 91-0208(0018) and 91-0208(0019); HSM#: 14-00067; ISMMS IRB approved through 03/18/17 - 03/17/2018.