Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

These are questions that are commonly asked about becoming a participant in our current research study. If this page does not adequately address your question, please email us.

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What is the study about?

We are trying to develop new and better ways to diagnose memory disorders, in particular Alzheimer’s disease, using electroencephalograms.

An electroencephalogram involves recording your brain waves as you perform some simple memory tests. We’re looking for differences and similarities between people who have memory problems and people who don’t in order to reach a better understanding of what Alzheimer’s disease does to the brain. This will hopefully help us create more accurate ways of diagnosing and predicting it.

What have you found so far?

Using the data we have collected, we were able to develop tests that could diagnose and predict Alzheimer’s disease with 80% accuracy.

We’d like to improve on this by collecting more data from additional areas of the brain and from a larger sample of people.

What is the study like?

You will come to our lab in Meliora Hall on the River Campus at the University of Rochester.

We will greet you outside of our building and take you to the laboratory, where you’ll be fitted with an electrode cap. We’ll spend some time squirting electrode gel in between your head and the cap; the gel increases conductance between your skin and the cap so we can get the best reading possible. Then you’ll go into a booth with us and perform some computerized memory tasks. We may have you come back for a second time on a different day to perform some pen and paper neuropsychological tests, which include tests of memory.

How long will it take to participate?

The EEG will take approximately 2-3 hours.

You will need to wash your hair afterwards as the electrode gel is very messy. The neuropsychological testing, which is done on a different day from the EEG, will take about 1-2 hours.

Are there any benefits to me? Will I be paid?

The benefit is experiencing our research and participating in helping to further our understanding of how the brain changes with aging and Alzheimer’s disease.

Unfortunately we are not able to provide you with monetary compensation.

Are there any risks to me?

The only slight risk would come from the electrode gel.

It could cause a small amount of mild skin irritation, which would be very similar to what you might experience from everyday cosmetics such as hairspray or hair styling gel. The EEG itself is non-invasive. No skin will be pierced and the EEG merely measures the electrical signals from your brain; the electrodes do not transmit any electricity themselves.

Can you provide transportation?

We are unable to provide transportation due to legal aspects.

If you are not able to drive yourself to the lab, we encourage you to find a family member or friend who is able to drive you. Your companion is welcome to come into the lab with you and wait while you complete the EEG or neuropsychological testing.

How do I park on the River Campus?

We have a reserved parking space directly in front of the building for your convenience – you do not have to pay to park.

Our parking space is located in Meliora Lot, a small parking lot with about a dozen spaces located just off of Intercampus Drive. We will meet you at your car when you arrive and provide you with a parking permit to place on your dashboard, and then lead you inside to the laboratory.

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