Open Research Studies at the Penn Memory Center

toyama handout

The Toyama study will investigate the safety, tolerability and cognitive effects of the T-817MA drug on individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. This drug is not FDA approved and is investigational. Individuals 55 -85 years of age with a diagnosis of probable AD and who have been taking donepezil (Aricept) for at least 6 months may be eligible.

Download a one-page overview of this study including contact information.

AVID image

The purpose of the AVID study is to evaluate the safety and imaging characteristics of an investigational PET imaging agent that binds to a protein called tau. Being able to measure tau protein is of considerable importance for tracking brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

This new PET tracer has potential application as a marker for assessing disease severity and may be useful in selecting patients for therapy and for monitoring disease progression.

Individuals at least 50 years of age with Mild Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer’s disease or normal cognition may be eligible for this study.

Download a one-page overview of this study including contact information (for Individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment or Alzheimer’s disease).

Download a one-page overview of this study including contact information (for Individuals normal cognition).


Merck BACE 1 MCI Handoutimage

The Merck BACE-1 Study is a Phase III study for patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment testing the safety, tolerability and cognitive effects of the Merck BACE inhibitor drug. This study is for individuals 50-85 years of age with a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment.

This drug is not FDA approved and is investigational. As a BACE inhibitor, the drug inhibits the enzyme that produces beta amyloid plaques, deposits of which accumulate in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The study will assess the effects of the drug on cognition and the ability to perform everyday activities.

Participants must have a reliable study partner: a spouse, relative, or friend who knows the participant well and sees him or her often, who will attend all study visits, and who will provide information about the participant during the study.

Download a one-page overview of this study including contact information

Welcome to Penn Memory Center

November is National Family Caregivers Month

National Family Caregivers Month focuses on the challenges facing family caregivers. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, in 2013, 15.5 million caregivers provided an estimated 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care valued at more than $220 billion. The emotional care, of course, cannot be counted in dollars. NFC Month provides an opportunity to thank, support, and educate family caregivers. If you’re a caregiver, you can find resources and information to help support you at

Learn more about caregivers in the Penn Memory Center community by watching “I Am a Caregiver.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging also recognizes the commitment caregivers make to helping others. Take a look at the video they produced featuring Penn Memory Center caregivers.


The A4 Study is Now Enrolling at the Penn Memory Center

If you are a healthy older adult with normal memory, now is the time to join the fight to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

The A4 study is a historic clinical trial for older individuals who may be at risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The study aims to prevent the memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

You can read more about the study and the eligibility requirements at the A4 Study website.


Do you have a passion, talent, or skill that you would like to share with others?

Research tells us that cognitive stimulation and social engagement are key components to successful aging. The Penn Memory Center is pleased to provide a platform for our patients and community to come together and learn from one another. If you would like to volunteer to lead a book club or a discussion group, teach knitting, lead a yoga class, or share another skill with others at the Penn Memory Center, we are happy to host, promote and provide some administrative assistance to transform your interest into action.

Interested volunteers should contact Felicia Greenfield at 215-614-1828 or

News and Events

Saturday, November 8, 2014, was a day to honor Penn Memory Center research participants and their study partners. More than
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Kathleen Dunn of Wisconsin Public Radio interviewed Jason Karlawish, MD, Associate Director of the Penn Memory Center, to discuss his
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The University of Pennsylvania Institute on Aging (IOA) and Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center (ADCC) will fund up to six (6)
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Are you one of the 15.5 million caregivers in the U.S.? This month we thank you as part of #NationalFamilyCaregiversMonth.
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In the October 2014 issue of Medical Ethics Advisor, Jason Karlawish, MD, associate director of the Penn Memory Center, discusses
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Penn Memory Center in the Community

Click here to find out about the important work the Penn Memory Center is doing in the Philadelphia community.

 PMC in community

What does it mean to be a caregiver?

Click here to listen to the stories of caregivers from the PMC community.

I am a Caregiver


Questions? Please contact Tigist Hailu, Coordinator for Diversity in Research, at or 215-573-6095.