Receptor for Advanced Glycation Endproducts (RI Study)

Legacy Study: Closed for Enrollment

Much evidence suggests that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is caused by amyloid plaque deposits and tangles in the brain which lead to cognitive decline, memory loss and behavioral changes. Amyloid, one of the main components of plaques in AD, is known to bind to Receptors for Advanced Glycated Endproducts (or RAGE, for short) on the surface of cells (e.g. the brain’s nerve cells and microglial cells) and at the blood brain barrier. This binding may trigger inflammation and damage to nerve cells. However, by blocking Amyloid-RAGE binding, researchers have found that plaque formation was reduced in animal models.

An experimental drug was developed as a RAGE antagonist, a novel pathway for trying to treat AD. The drug has been tested in animals, in small Phase I safety studies in healthy volunteers, and in a preliminary short safety study in AD patients. It is now being investigated in this larger Phase II clinical study to determine its efficacy (e.g. if it will slow the progressive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease).

Douglas Galasko, M.D., Professor of Neurology at the University of California San Diego is directing the study. The study is taking place at more than 40 sites nationwide and seeks 399 volunteers with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease aged 50 or older to further test this novel approach. The ADCS is coordinating the 21-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study.

Physicians and nurses will monitor the participants during regular study visits and measure the severity and progression of disease using standard tests of memory and cognition. Two-thirds of the participants will receive study drug; the remainder will receive a placebo (inactive drug). To ensure unbiased results, neither the researchers conducting the study nor the participants will know who is receiving the study drug and who is getting the placebo.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • age 50 or older
  • have mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease
  • have not suffered from serious/unstable disease within the past three months
  • are not diabetic
  • have a study partner (caregiver, family member, friend) who can attend each study visit
  • are willing and able to participate in the 21-month study

Study Procedures:

  • physical and neurological exams
  • brain magnetic resonance imaging


  • all study procedures provided at no cost
  • remuneration for LP test provided
  • sites may provide compensation for parking, transportation and meals

To learn how to participate in the study, contact NIA’s Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center at 1-800-438-4380 or by email to To view a list of the research sites or for information on dementia and aging, go to

Clinical Study Research Sites participating in the RI Study


Site City Phone
Banner Alzheimer’s Institute Phoenix 602-239-6980
Baylor College of Medicine Houston 713-798-8093
Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston 617-732-8085
Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health Las Vegas  
Columbia University New York 212-305-7661
Emory University Atlanta 404-728-6541
Georgetown University Washington D.C. 202-687-3355
Howard University Washington D.C. 202-865-7895
Indiana University Indianapolis 317-278-8307
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore 410-550-9053
Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville Jacksonville 904-953-7103
Medical University of South Carolina Charleston 843-740-1592, ext 18
Meharry Neurology Clinic Nashville 615-327-6884
Mount Sinai School of Medicine New York 212-241-1514
New York University New York 212-263-5708
Northwestern University Chicago 312-908-9869
Oregon Health Sciences University Portland 503-494-9399
Pacific Research Network San Diego 619-294-4302
Rhode Island Hospital Providence 401-444-7691
Rush University Medical Center Chicago 312-563-4340
St. Mary’s Health Care Grand Rapids 616-685-5435
Stanford University Palo Alto 650-852-3287
Sun Health Research Institute Sun City 623-875-6526
University of California, Davis Sacramento 925-372-2464
University of California, Irvine Irvine 949-824-8726
University of California, Irvine, Brain Imaging Center Irvine 714-456-8517
University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles 310-794-6191
University of California, San Diego San Diego 858-622-5800
University of California, San Francisco San Francisco 415-476-0671
University Hospitals Case Medical Center Cleveland 216-844-6351
University of Kentucky Lexington 859-257-1412, ext 289
University of Michigan Ann Arbor 734-647-7760
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia 215-349-5903
University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh 412-692-2719
University of Rochester Rochester 585-760-6585
University of South Florida Tampa 813-974-4355
University of Southern California Los Angeles 323-442-7534
University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center Dallas 214-648-0255
University of Utah Center for Alzheimer’s Care, Imaging and Research Salt Lake City 801-581-4944
University of Washington Seattle 206-764-2339
University of Wisconsin Madison 608-256-1901, ext 11514
Wien Center Miami 305-674-2424
Yale University New Haven 203-764-8100