Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center

Brain Alterations and Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults with Heart Failure

Brain Alterations and Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults with Heart Failure

Overall Status: 
Active, not recruiting
Brief Description: 

Cognitive impairment is a widely recognized problem in older adults with heart failure, but little is known about specific brain changes in this population. In this observational study, researchers will study the relationship between brain-scan (MRI) results and cognitive impairment in older people with heart failure and without dementia.

Patient Qualifications: 
Min AgeMax AgeGenderHealthy Volunteers
65 Years
85 Years
Inclusion Criteria: 
    • Diagnosis of heart failure, as defined by New York Heart Association classification I-IV
    • Ability to speak and write in English
    • Stable medication regimen for at least 4 weeks prior to enrollment
Exclusion Criteria: 
    • Mini-Mental Status Exam score of 24 or less
    • Current diagnosis of neurological illness or movement disorder (for example, Alzheimer's dementia, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy)
    • History of substance abuse or substance-abuse treatment
    • Untreated depression
    • History of stroke
    • Hepatic insufficiency, severe renal failure, or untreated anemia
    • Left ventricular assist device
    • History of the following within 3 months of study enrollment: acute myocardial infarction, unstable angina, coronary artery bypass surgery, percutaneous transluminal angioplasty, or biventricular pacemaker insertion
    • History of pacemaker, metal implants, or other conditions that would prevent MRI
    • Pregnancy
Detailed Description: 

Cognitive impairment is a widely recognized problem in older adults with heart failure, yet little is known about the exact relationship between physical brain changes and cognitive changes in this population. In this study, researchers will examine the results of MRI brain scans in adults 65 and older with heart failure to determine how they relate to changes in cognition. Investigators will compare 40 adults with heart failure with 40 healthy controls. Participants will undergo MRI brain scans and neuropsychological tests during 1 year.

Investigators hypothesize that older adults with heart failure will have certain brain changes compared with controls, specifically, increased white matter hyperintensities, decreased grey matter volume, and decreased perfusion in the temporal lobe and prefrontal cortex. They predict that these changes will correlate with poorer performance on tests of memory and executive function by the participants with heart failure, compared with controls.

Map Marker CityStateZip CodePrimary Contact

Geolocation is 43.0772547, -89.430773

University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics
Lead Sponsor: 
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Collaborator Sponsor: 
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Facility Investigators: 
Lisa C. Bratzke, PhD
Principal Investigator
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Study Contact: 
Lisa C. Bratzke, PhD
Locations ID 
NCT01821638 (follow link to view full record on in new window)
Official Title: 
Brain Alterations and Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults With Heart Failure
Study Start Date: 
April 2013
Study End Date: 
February 2016
Disease Stage: