Current Research Opportunities

Open Studies

Hypertension, Intracranial Pulsatility and Brain Amyloid-beta Clearance (HIPAC) Trial

Study Doctors: Rong Zhang, Ph.D., Wanpen Vongpatanasin, M.D., David Zhu, Ph.D., Ann Stowe, Ph.D.

Purpose of this study
  • Having high blood pressure (hypertension) in the middle and early-old age increases the risks of Alzheimer disease (AD) and other types of dementia later in life.
  • This study is to determine if lowering blood pressure with medication can reduce brain damage from high blood pressure and amyloid in the brain. Amyloid is a substance known to be high in the brain of older adults with dementia.

We will recruit 80 older adults with high blood pressure and 40 older adults with normal blood pressure for comparison

Do I qualify?

The participants should be 55-79 years old, with or without high blood pressure.

Should NOT have the following conditions:

  • History of stroke or other severe cerebrovascular disease
  • Clinical diagnosis of dementia or other neurodegenerative diseases, traumatic brain injury
  • Major or unstable heart disease, chronic kidney disease
  • Neurological and other severe medical conditions
  • History of drug or alcohol abuse within the last 2 years
  • Uncontrolled Diabetes (Hgb A1C >7.5%)
  • Regular cigarette smoker within the last one year
  • Having a pacemaker or other implanted metallic devices
  • Anticipate pregnancy
How will it work?

Compensate for time and effort.

Baseline visits:

After passing screening, you will visit our office 3 to 4 times to complete physical exam, blood draw, paper-and-pencil tests, ultrasound test, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and etc. With your permission, samples of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) will be collected through a lumbar puncture.


We will provide you high blood pressure drugs to treat your high blood pressure if you have it. Your health condition will be monitored closely.

12-month follow-up visits:

If you have high blood pressure, we will repeat the tests as during baseline visits.

For more information, please contact our recruitment team:

Phone: 214-648-2968 or 214-648-5940

Dynamic Vasomotor Reactivity (DVR) in Alzheimer Disease

(IRB 2018-0218)

The Dynamic Vasomotor Reactivity (DVR) in Alzheimer Disease study is collecting blood flow information of older adults who are either cognitively normal, or with mild cognitive impairment, or with mild Alzheimer's disease. Researchers would like to know if the change in participants’ blood flow correlates with the change shown on study tests and brain imaging over the course of 3 years.

Study procedures include:

  • Medical and Family History Interview
  • Neurological Exam
  • Memory and Blood Tests
  • MRI and PET-Scan
  • Dynamic Vasomotor Reactivity: Non-invasive exams of your blood flow
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT) and Pupillometry: Non-invasive techniques to scan your pupil and retina

Basic qualifications of this research study are:

  • Ages of 55-85, fluent in English
  • Have a close family member who can serve as a study partner and answer questions about your memory and your problem-solving ability
  • Women must be at least two years postmenopausal or surgically sterile
  • No pacemaker or metal fragments in your body, or claustrophobic for an MRI
  • No history or ongoing major depression, bipolar disorder, stroke, or transient ischemic attack (TIA) 
  • No alcohol or substance abuse/dependence within the past 2 years

For more information on this study, contact Hsin-Fen Yang at 214-645-0375,
or email

This study is conducted at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and is funded by the National Institute on Aging. Participants will be compensated for their time.