Arizona Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC)


About this study

There is evidence that neurodegenerative changes precede clinical symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease by two decades (Villemagne et al, 2013). Early detection is critical for development of interventions to halt, slow, or even reverse these pathological processes. The promise of plasma biomarkers to identify early pathology is growing rapidly (Palmqvist et al, 2020), however it is likely that multiple converging biomarkers will be necessary to identify the earliest pathological changes, as subtle differences from healthy controls may fall within the margin of error for any given single biomarker measure. Here we propose that the evaluation of speech and language for both baseline (cross-sectional) and longitudinal changes (within-participant) may add significant value to early pre-clinical pathological changes in MCI and AD. This is bolstered by emerging evidence of the relationship between language characteristics and amyloid burden (Verfaillie et al, 2019) and the large literature that characterizes language-use differences and deficits across the spectrum of cognitive decline (e.g., Mueller et al, 2018). We propose to add a series of in-clinic language elicitation tasks that allow for automated assessment of relevant speech and language domains and to validate these measures cross-sectionally and longitudinally relevant to neuropsychological, blood, and PET biomarkers.

Participation eligibility

Participant eligibility includes age, gender, type and stage of disease, and previous treatments or health concerns. Guidelines differ from study to study, and identify who can or cannot participate. There is no guarantee that every individual who qualifies and wants to participate in a trial will be enrolled. Contact the study team to discuss study eligibility and potential participation.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Cognitively unimpaired persons, individuals with mild cognitive impairment or individuals with dementia who are at least 40 years of age.
  • Willing to undergo health and cognitive assessments, and collection and banking of blood with venipuncture for genetic research, biomarker research, and DNA banking.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Participants with a brain disease other than neurodegenerative or cerebrovascular are excluded. Participants with diagnoses of non-Alzheimer's Disease (AD) dementias are not excluded.
  • Participants whose primary diagnosis is cognitive impairment due to a penetrating or single severe closed head injury, major stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain tumor, metabolic or toxic encephalopathy, post-infectious (e.g., viral encephalitis, bacterial meningitis), paraneoplastic, primary psychiatric illness, or otherwise not deemed relevant to the intent of the Alzheimer Disease Center program are excluded.
  • Procedure specific exclusion criteria also apply but this does not impact the participants ability to be included in the study.
  • Participants are strongly encouraged to have a Study Partner, who is familiar with the participant’s daily functioning, enroll in the ADRC with the participant, but, recognizing the difficulty this may sometimes pose, not having a Study Partner is not an exclusion criterion.

Participating Mayo Clinic locations

Study statuses change often. Please contact the study team for the most up-to-date information regarding possible participation.

Mayo Clinic Location Status Contact

Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

Richard Caselli, M.D.

Open for enrollment

Contact information:

Cheryl Hubbell CCRA

(480) 301-6966

More information


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