Research at the Alzheimer's Disease & Memory Disorders Center

Learn more about our research studies:
ADNI Study
Clarity Trial
Prevention Registry

You can also call 1-844-5-MEMORY
(1-844-563-6679) or
e-mail 
memory@lifespan.org 
for more information. 

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease and other degenerative memory disorders, but new treatments are available to help alleviate patients' symptoms and slow progression.

Important and innovative research studies are ongoing and continue to shed new light on these illnesses. We now know that the pathologic changes to the brain from Alzheimer’s disease begin many years, probably decades, before symptoms manifest.

Therefore, current clinical trials are using drugs aimed to slow progression of dementia in the prodromal phase called mild cognitive impairment, and even prevent the disease by treating those at greatest risk before any memory loss has occurred.

To conduct these major trials the center provides the most advanced facilities to maximize comfort, experience, and safety. Study participants will have access to private examination rooms, two infusion rooms, a waiting area, and a conference room. A state-of-the-art computer workstation is used for brain image analysis and driving video research. The on-site laboratory is used to handle research specimens from clinical trials as well as housing the Biospecimens Donation Bank containing blood and spinal samples that are stored and frozen for future research. 

A key component to the national efforts to reduce and prevent memory disorder diseases is also heavily reliant on previous areas of study. That is why clinical studies surrounding primary and secondary prevention, insulin and “type 3” diabetes, cognitive screening tests, vascular contributions, and biomarkers and brain imaging studies, among many others, are imperative to Alzheimer’s disease research. At Lifespan the research we do is an important component of our efforts to prevent and lessen the effects of memory loss diseases.  

Leadership at the Center

Brian Ott, MD is a leader in memory disorder research and he serves as the site’s principal investigator for numerous national clinical trials and studies currently underway at the center. He serves on the steering committees of the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study, a consortium of US National Institutes of Health-funded Alzheimer research centers that conducts clinical trials of new therapies for Alzheimer's disease, and the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, a consortium of research centers studying advances in brain imaging techniques and biomarkers to identify the earliest stages of the disease and map its course. He is also a site investigator for the Alzheimer Therapeutic Research Institute, another consortium of academic research centers conducting clinical trials for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as numerous pharmaceutical company-sponsored research studies of new medicines for mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.

Jonathan Drake, MD is the associate director of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center. His research interests center on healthy brain aging and modifiable risk factors for dementia. His specific areas of interest include identifying biomarkers for preclinical dementia and developing primary and secondary dementia prevention strategies using lifestyle interventions such as diet, exercise, and mindfulness-based practices. Additionally, he is an assistant professor of neurology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. 

Lori Daiello, PharmD, BCPP is a pharmacist and researcher, as well as assistant professor of neurology (research) at The Warren Alpert Medical School and assistant professor of health services, policy and practice (research) at the Brown University School of Public Health. Her research interests include medication effects on memory and functioning, surgery and cognitive impairment in older adults, and the treatment of behavioral symptoms in dementia. In addition to research, she also assists the team in clinical trial programs.