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The BEACoN (Biomarker Exploration in Aging, Cognition, and Neurodegeneration) group at UCI (PI: Dr. Michael Yassa) is looking for healthy adults aged 60 and older to participate in a study looking at the factors that underlie changes in thinking and memory with increasing age. We will test the usefulness of MRI, PET, and cognitive testing in detecting subtle changes in the brain that precede cognitive decline.

Time Commitment
This study involves 3-5 study visits to the UCI campus, each lasting up to 4 hours with meal breaks. If participating in the optional Tau PET imaging addendum to the main study, an additional 3 visits totaling up to 7 hours over a period of 1 year will be done.

You are eligible to participate in the study if you:

  • Speak English
  • Are 60 years of age or older
  • Are willing and able to participate for the duration of the study in all study procedures including MRI and PET
  • Are in good general health with no diagnosis of cognitive impairment

You will not directly benefit from participation in this study. This study will help researchers learn more about the biological changes that occur in the brain with aging and which factors are involved in cognitive decline. Further, this study seeks to evaluate which tools and techniques are most helpful in identifying very subtle changes in the brain before cognition is affected. It is hoped that this information will help in the early identification and treatment of future patients with diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Study Information
The procedures involved in this study include:

  • Computerized cognitive tasks
  • Assessments of memory and thinking
  • One blood sample (done during the PET scan procedure) and one saliva sample
  • 1 MRI brain scan and 1 Amyloid PET brain scan

If you agree to participate in a longitudinal addendum to the main study, you will complete two Tau PET brain scans and 1 additional MRI brain scan done over 1 year.

You will be paid $250 for your participation in the study, plus up to an additional $450 if participating in the optional Tau PET addendum study.


If you would like more information, or would like to do a brief online or telephone screening to determine your eligibility for this study, please contact the study staff at (949) 824-0904 or email beacon@uci.edu. You can also visit the study website www.beacon.bio.uci.edufor more information.