Here is a list of the studies in which we are actively recruiting. For more information about a specific study, contact the Study Coordinator for that study.

HIV Studies

Functional Imaging Reserve in NeuroHIV (FIRN)

This study systematically characterizes brain efficiency and recruitment in virologically suppressed persons with HIV (PWH) and demographically similar HIV uninfected (HIV-) controls. This proposal collects advanced functional neuroimaging, quantitative measures of immune dysfunction in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and neuropsychological performance testing. Results of this study will provide powerful insight into the pathophysiology of disease and will reveal arenas for future possible interventions in PLWH who have impaired cognitive performance.

Contact Regina Thompson @ 314-747-8321 for more information

Cannabis, HIV and Mental Processing Systems (CHAMPS)

This study will evaluate if regular cannabis use increases peripheral and brain inflammation and is associated with reductions in brain structure and cognition in people with HIV (PWH and demographically similar HIV uninfected (HIV-) controls. Observed effects of cannabis use will be modulated by concentrations of THC and CBD metabolites with high exposure to THC associated with more deleterious effects on both cognitive and volumetric measures. These results could transform cannabis public policies for PWH and lead to substantial changes in recommendations for PWH in the clinic as HIV is a qualifying condition for legal medical cannabis.

Contact Pat Reid @ 314-747-1072 for more information.

Down syndrome Studies

Alzheimer’s Biomarker Consortium for Down Syndrome (ABC-DS)

Middle-aged and older adults with Down syndrome are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) than other, similarly aged adults. People with AD have changes in their brains that, very slowly over time, make it difficult to remember and do things that are a part of everyday life. In AD, these changes can start in the brain many years before any problems with memory and functioning begin, but once they start, they can get worse and worse as time goes on.

The purpose of this research study is to identify those things that can predict which adults with Down syndrome are most likely to develop AD. This is very important, because it could help us develop new therapies or give us an idea of how to prevent or slow AD in adults with Down syndrome. The information we learn could also be very helpful for everyone (not just adults with Down syndrome) at risk for developing dementia.

  • Participants: Adults with Down syndrome at least 25 years of age. 
  • Must have a “Study Partner” who is able and willing to provide information for Participant about medical status and abilities 
  • Follow up for 5-6 years
  • Memory Testing
  • Blood Samples
  • Brain Imaging: MRI and PET
  • Lumbar Puncture (Optional)

Contact Brittany Nelson @ 314-747-8425 for more information.

DS Umbrella Study

This study was created to capture individuals with Down syndrome who either don’t qualify or aren’t interested in our our studies. This is an a la carte study where you can pick and choose what you’d like to do. Do as little or as much as you’d like!

  • Participants with Down syndrome ages 18 and older
  • Must have Study Partner
  • Questionnaires
  • Minimal Cognitive Testing
  • Blood Work
  • Stool Sample

Contact Brittany Nelson @ 314-747-8425 for more information.

Lifestyles and Alzheimer Disease in Down Syndrome (LADDS)

The overall goal of the study is to understand if difference in lifestyle effect aging and risk and timing of Alzheimer’s disease in Down syndrome. The study is focused on four aspects of lifestyle – physical activity, sleep, cognitive stimulation (or activities requiring concentration and thinking), and social interactions. We want to know if differences in these lifestyle factors are related to differences in cognitive functioning and brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Our long-term goal for this research is find ways to potentially change lifestyle to improve aging experiences in Down syndrome. 

  • Caregiver Questionnaires
  • Participant and Caregiver 7-day diary about daily activities and sleep quality
  • 3 Study sessions
  • Actigraphy – a device you wear, that tells us how much you moved around that day and how much you slept
  • Oxygen Monitoring
  • Must be enrolled in the ABC-DS study to participate

Contact Brittany Nelson @ 314-747-8425 for more information.

Down syndrome COVID-19 Study

This study assesses the physical, emotional, and social strain due to COVID-19 and the potential for accelerated aging in persons with Down syndrome and their Caregivers

  • Participants with Down syndrome and their Caregivers
  • Ages 18+
  • Questionnaires – Phone or Online
  • Follow up questionnaires approximately every 3-4 months for 1-2 years.

Contact Olga Del Rosario @ 314-747-1035 or Brittany Nelson @ 314-747-8425 for more information.

Alzheimer Disease Studies

Falls: A Marker of Preclinical Alzheimer Disease

Conversion to symptomatic Alzheimer disease (AD) is not an immediate process; rather, it develops slowly over a series of preclinical stages. Although symptomatic AD is characterized by progressive cognitive problems, growing evidence suggests that functional mobility abnormalities and an increase in falls may precede these memory issues. 

Falls are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the older adult population. Even though older individuals with AD have more than twice the risk of falls compared to the general population, everyday functional measures are not currently included in the evaluation of cognitively normal individuals with preclinical AD. This study will look at the relationship between falls, mobility and cognition/memory.

  • Must be enrolled in a study at the Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC)
  • >65 yo
  • No history of Parkinson’s Disease
  • Annual, in-home visits with an occupational therapist scheduled at a convenient time for you
  • Tests of balance and strength
  • Monthly reporting of any falls you pay experience

Contact Rebecca Bollinger @ 314-273-4119 or Regina Thompson @ 314-747-8421 for more information.