Research is a chief mission of the Penn Memory Center. We offer a wide range of studies for older adults with memory problems and those with normal cognition. These include:

ADC Logitudinal Research Study

NACC (pronounced ‘nack’)

The largest, most comprehensive longitudinal (conducted over time) research effort in the US aimed at better understanding AD, MCI, and lifelong brain health.

Those with normal memory and thinking, MCI, or early to moderate AD may be eligible. One visit, running 2-3 hours, annually.

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

Diagnostic Studies

The EmPCAD Study

The purpose the EmPCAD study is to develop inexpensive, noninvasive cognitive screening tools which help to detect the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s disease pathology in people before they have symptoms of the disease. This study will evaluate several memory tests in cognitively normal older adults to determine if they are sensitive to evidence of Alzheimer’s disease brain changes based on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis.

Individuals 60-89 years of age who are cognitively normal may be eligible, and no study partner is required.

The EmPCAD study seeks participants already enrolled in the Penn Memory Center longitudinal cohort of the NACC study or participants who have completed equivalent testing.


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


Nine MRI scans of woman's brain (Digital Enhancement)
The ASL-PET Study

The purpose of the ASL-PET study is to determine the value of a special MRI scan that measures cerebral blood flow (called Arterial Spin Labeled MRI) in the diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment. We will compare this measure with other more established tests: brain imaging with Postiron Emission Tomography (PET/CT) and a lumbar puncture (LP) procedure, which allow researchers to evaluate the quantity of proteins associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Individuals 55-89 years of age with a diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or normal controls may be eligible.
Download a one-page overview of the study including contact information

Treatment Trials

A4 Handout image
The A4 Study

The Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s study (A4 for short), is a clinical research study for older individuals who may be at risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The A4 study is investigating a drug intervention, solanezumab, and Individuals 65-85 years of age with normal cognition may be eligible. The study requires infusion visits every four weeks, for a total of 42 infusion visits over three consecutive years.


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

Interview Studies