Telephone Cognitive Assessment for LOAD

The purpose of the Genetics of Late Onset Alzheimer’s Disease (LOAD) is to identify genes that may increase the risk for developing Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this article, we will share with you some of the details of this protocol and how you and your family members might be able to participate.

Changes in memory can occur at any time, and in some instances may be an early sign of possible AD. There has been extensive research by a number of different scientists who have sought to study these early memory changes. LOAD is eager to help scientists who want to better understand the relationship between normal memory changes and those changes that might precede AD or related dementias.

It is only through the active participation of families with AD or related dementias that we will be able to unravel the genetics of dementia. LOAD is very hopeful that the data we are able to collect through these memory tests will help increase the usefulness of the LOAD study samples.

To help scientists perform these studies, LOAD coordinators will be contacting family members who are over the age of 60 and have donated blood samples. Due to the large number of families involved with LOAD and the time required to complete the memory questions by telephone, we will be sending out notices to families on a rolling bases. So, individuals should not worry if they are not contacted immediately. Also, because this is part of a research study, we will not be able to provide individuals with results concerning their test performance or the performance of other family members.

We are asking family members who may or may not have some memory difficulty to consider completing these brief memory tests. These questions will typically take about 20-30 minutes to complete, and are best completed when the individual is in a quiet location and will not be disturbed while the questions are being answered. We are able to complete these phone interviews whenever the participant feels at their best; be it morning, afternoon, or evening.

The LOAD cognitive assessment is composed of the a few different sections. We first ask a series of short questions to go over medical history and talk about the current and past activities of the participant. We then move into the cognitive portion of the assessment and complete the interview by asking for a family informant who might be willing to answer a couple questions about the participant’s everyday habits.

If you are currently enrolled in the LOAD Study at Indiana University and have any questions, or if you would like to call for an update on when your next cognitive assessment will take place, please feel free to contact LOAD staff at 1-800-526-2839 or by email at If you are asking for an update, we may ask for your family number and/or your full name so that we may search our database.

Thank you!