What does a typical research visit look like?
See an example schedule below!
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Many of our subprojects use brain structural imaging to better understand how a brain changes over time. We conveniently have an MRI scanner located in our research unit!
Neurology Exam
One of our physicians will collect your health history and physical and then perform a brief neurology examination.
Blood Draw
A main goal of our research is to find biomarkers in the blood that are diagnostic of neurodegenerative disease. We might ask you to fast for a blood draw, but will always give you a break immediately after to get something to eat.

Example Research Visit Schedule:

9am   Arrival & Consenting 

  • A study coordinator will walk you through all consent documents.

9:30am   Blood Draw

  • You may be asked you to fast prior to the draw - if so, we schedule a break immediately after

10-12pm   Cognitive Testing






  • This can be on a computer or tablet, or pen and paper- no right or wrong answers all we ask is that you try your best


12-1pm Lunch Break

  • We have lots of tasty food trucks and restaurants within walking distance of our center- ask your visit coordinator for some good recommendations! 

1-2pm Neurology Exam


  • Meet with one of our amazing neurology fellows!

2-3pm   Brain MRI

  • We provide ear plugs, headphones, and blankets to make sure you are as comfortable as possible


Studies may also include the following research procedures:

Lumbar Puncture

A lumbar puncture (spinal tap) is a procedure in which a small amount of the CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) that surrounds the brain and spinal cord is removed by inserting a needle between the L4/L5 vertebrae of the lower back.

  • A physician will first inject a local anesthetic (lidocaine) under the skin to numb the area. She/he will then insert a thin needle into the space that contains the CSF. This is well below the level where the spinal cord ends, so there is no risk to damage of the cord. 
  • About 2 tablespoons of CSF will be collected in a vial over 20 to 30 minutes. The body will replace this amount of CSF in about 2-3 hours.
  • We will ask you to lie down for 30-60 minutes after the procedure in order to minimize your risk of headache post-procedure.  

The Alzheimer's Society has a short video that explains the procedure and also show a lumbar puncture being performed. To view this video, click the following link: Lumbar puncture video 



Research is entirely voluntary, as is every component of your visit with us.

Schedules will vary depending on type of research visit.

Please always feel free to ask for breaks!

Study coordinators will provide you with a detailed schedule prior to your visit so you'll know what to expect.

Your study coordinator is here for you to answer any questions you have.