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Institute for Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases

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What Are Brain Health Studies?

Studies, also knows as clinical trials, are essential for advancing our understanding of brain health and stroke prevention. They can also identify new treatments and therapies for rehabilitation, recovery and treatment post-stroke. They are the gold standard for evaluating the safety and effectiveness of healthcare moving forward. 

Brain health refers to the overall wellbeing of the brain, which is a vital organ that controls our thoughts, emotions, movements, and bodily functions. Maintaining good brain health is essential for maintaining cognitive function, memory, and mental well-being. The brain can be influenced by a range of factors, including lifestyle choices, genetics, and environmental factors. Engaging in regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and managing stress are some of the key ways to promote brain health. Additionally, avoiding harmful substances such as drugs and alcohol, and protecting the brain from injury through the use of protective gear during sports and other physical activities are also important. By taking care of the brain through these measures, individuals can support their brain health and reduce the risk of developing cognitive impairment and other neurological conditions later in life.

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How We All Benefit From  Brain Health Studies

We are studying new treatments to prevent stroke, improve mental health, manage post-stroke pain, and help with recovery and rehabilitation using lifestyle changes and medications. If you participate in a clinical trial, you can take an active role in your healthcare, learn more about your condition, and get more frequent and detailed medical care. This can lead to better health outcomes. There are resources available to help you find a study that fits your needs and you can help the medical community learn more about brain health and how to prevent and treat stroke!

Who Can Participate In A Brain Health Study?

It is important for clinical trials and studies to include diverse participants so that treatments can be effective for everyone. Researchers need to study a diverse group of people to make sure that the results apply to a larger population. This means including people from different ethnic and racial backgrounds, ages, and genders. This helps researchers understand the potential benefits and risks of a new treatment for different groups of people. It is critical to include diversity in clinical trials to learn more about medical treatments and make sure healthcare is fair for everyone.

Participants need to meet certain requirements and include factors such as age, gender, health status, ethnicity, medical history. It's important to carefully read the eligibility requirements and talk to your healthcare provider or contact us (information at the bottom of this page) if you have any questions or concerns.

How Can You Join A Brain Health Study?

Are you curious about your brain healthAre you interested in participating in groundbreaking research to advance our understanding of brain function? If so, we invite you to participate in our brain health study and receive a FREE brain scanIf you sign up, you will get a copy of your brain scan that can help you and doctor keep your brain healthy. Interested? Complete the SURVEY below, it only takes 2 minutes, and we will contact you. Your information will be kept confidential. We are here to answer any questions and ease any worries you may have about volunteering for a study. 

Concerned about Memory Loss?

If you're worried about forgetting things a lot or having trouble with your memory, it's important to talk to your doctor. They can help figure out what might be causing these problems and find ways to make your memory better. Doctors know a lot about how our brains work and they can give us special tests to see what's going on. It's important to tell them how you feel so they can help you stay healthy and remember things better. So, don't be afraid to speak up and ask your doctor if you're worried about memory loss because they're there to help you!

Here's a list of questions you can ask your doctor if you are concerned about memory decline, cognitive issues, and brain health:

  • What are the possible causes of memory decline and cognitive issues in older adults?
  • Are there any tests or assessments that can help determine the cause of my memory concerns?
  • What are the potential risk factors for developing cognitive problems or dementia?
  • Are there any lifestyle changes I can make to promote brain health and potentially reduce the risk of cognitive decline?
  • Are there any medications or supplements that can help improve memory or cognitive function?
  • What are the warning signs that may indicate a more serious cognitive problem or dementia?
  • Is there a difference between normal age-related memory changes and symptoms of cognitive decline?
  • Can you provide recommendations for mental exercises or activities that can help keep the brain active and healthy?
  • Are there any specific dietary recommendations or foods that are beneficial for brain health?
  • What are the potential benefits and risks of cognitive training programs or brain exercises?
  • Should I be concerned about any specific medical conditions that may contribute to cognitive decline?
  • Are there any social or community-based resources available for individuals experiencing memory decline or cognitive issues?
  • What are the available treatment options if my cognitive decline is caused by a specific medical condition?
  • Is there any ongoing research or clinical trials that focus on memory and cognitive health in older adults?
  • Are there any support groups or organizations that specialize in helping individuals and families affected by cognitive decline?


Click here to learn more about MARK VCID

With your help, we can learn what are the biological markers (or biomarkers) that can help distinguish healthy aging from dementia. We aim to enroll participants of diverse backgrounds living in the Houston area. Results from this study will provide recommendations for future clinical trials on dementia.

Is this study right for me? 

We are inviting women and men who are:

  • Aged 60 to 90 years
  • Hispanic, Black/African American, or non-Hispanic White
  • Currently living in the Houston area and able to attend study examinations 

What is expected of me if I join the study?

The study comprises an initial visit and three yearly follow-up examinations. Each study visit will include:

  • a blood draw
  • clinical and health questionnaires
  • tests of memory and thinking
  • a brain scan

Will there be compensation?

You will receive compensation for your participation in this study.

Each visit is compensated with $100. You will receive up to $400 if you take part in all the four study visits.

Who will have access to my information?

Your information will be maintained in secure databases and kept private.

To learn more contact:

David De Leon Garza

Research Coordinator II

Department of Neurology

(713) 500-7972



Click here to learn more about DIVERSE VCID 

Diverse VCID means researchers are looking for a diverse population to study: African American, Latino and Caucasian individuals. VCID stands for Vascular Cognitive Impairment and Dementia. This study will examine Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the brain. 

Is this study right for me?

We are inviting men and women who are:

  • Aged 65 and 90 years
  • Have noticed a decline in their memory or thinking over the last 1-3 years
  • African American, Hispanic/Latino, or non-Hispanic White
  • Can attend  3 visits to a center near you over a 3–-4 year period (you have the choice to opt out of the study at any point)
  • You are able to have an MRI (you cannot have any metal in your body)

What is expected of me if I join the study?

  • Answer some questions about yourself
  • Receive a medical examination
  • Review your medical history and current care plan
  • Complete a brain MRI and a blood draw
  • Complete memory tests and thinking

Will there be compensation?

You will be reimbursed $50 for your time upon undergoing the screening MRI. If it is determined you are eligible to participate and complete the remaining baseline study procedures, you will be reimbursed an additional $100 for each visit. If you complete all visits and MRIs, you will receive a total of $450.

Who will have access to my information?

Your information will be maintained in secure databases and kept private.

To learn more contact:

Heather Smith, MA, CCC-SLP, CBIS

Speech-Language Pathologist | Research Coordinator

Stroke Recovery Research

(713) 500-7909