Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center

Physical Activity Levels and Brain Structure in Mild Cognitive Impairment

Physical Activity Levels and Brain Structure in Mild Cognitive Impairment

Overall Status: 
Active, not recruiting
Brief Description: 

This observational study will examine the relationship between physical activity levels, brain structure, and memory function in adults with mild cognitive impairment during 18 months. During this time, participants' physical activity levels will be measured regularly and related to both the thickness of the hippocampus (a brain structure important to memory and learning) and to performance on memory tests.

Patient Qualifications: 
Min AgeMax AgeGenderHealthy Volunteers
60 Years
89 Years
Inclusion Criteria: 
    • Diagnostic criteria for MCI: subjective memory complaints, Montreal Cognitive Assessment score of less than 26, and intact instrumental activities of daily living or subjective age-associated memory complaints
    • Living with an adult who can ensure correct usage of the physical activity monitors during the study and verify self-reports of activity levels
    • Adequate seeing and hearing abilities to allow neuropsychological testing
    • Screening laboratory tests and EKG without significant abnormalities that might interfere with the study; principal investigator may request clearance from primary care physician before subject continues in study
Exclusion Criteria: 
    • Comorbid conditions impacting mobility
    • Current, untreated depression (BDI-II score of greater than 13)
    • Diagnosis of probable Alzheimer's disease or any other dementia; evidence of other neurological or physical illness that can produce cognitive deterioration
    • History of head trauma, stroke, transient ischemic attack, carotid bruits, or lacunes on MRI scans
    • Contraindication to MRI scanning, including claustrophobia, metal in body, surgery within 60 days, certain medical implants or previous abnormal MRI results
    • History of cardiovascular disease; uncontrolled hypertension (systolic blood pressure of more than 170 or diastolic blood pressure of more than 100)
    • Current diagnosis of any major psychiatric disorder according to the DSM-IV TR criteria, including current alcoholism or substance addiction
    • Current use of marijuana; previous use of marijuana for at least 15 days in a month, initiating use during adolescence and continuing for at least 1 year
Detailed Description: 

Participants' physical activity will be tracked for 2 weeks using accelerometers at the beginning of the study and then every 6 months. Similarly, participants will undergo a structural magnetic resonance imaging brain scan to measure hippocampal thickness, as well as a neuropsychological evaluation to measure memory function. Investigators predict that participants with lower activity levels will have reduced total hippocampal thickness and worse memory performance than those with higher activity levels, after controlling for age, gender, and vascular and genetic risk.

Map Marker CityStateZip CodeStatusPrimary Contact

Geolocation is 34.070264, -118.4440562

Los Angeles
Lead Sponsor: 
University of California, Los Angeles
Collaborator Sponsor: 
Facility Investigators: 
David Merrill, MD, PhD
Principal Investigator
University of California, Los Angeles
Study Contact: 
Natacha Donoghue
Locations ID 
NCT02001441 (follow link to view full record on in new window)
Official Title: 
Physical Activity Levels and Hippocampal Sub-region Structure in MCI
Study Start Date: 
August 2013
Study End Date: 
August 2016
Disease Stage: