Featured Studies

Participating in research can bring new ways to help families today, and build hope for a future without this disease. You may choose to find out more about the following featured studies:


The TANGLES research study is being conducted at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The purpose of this study is to examine how the tau protein is made, transported and cleared in the human body. Tau forms tangles in the brain found in several neurological conditions.

Understanding of these processes is important in designing treatments and diagnostic tools to target this protein.

You may be eligible to participate if you are:

  • Diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), corticobasal degeneration (CBD), or have a family history of FTD with the MAPT gene mutation
  • Not taking anticoagulant medications
  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Able to take food and drink by mouth safely

Study participation lasts for 4 months and includes:

  • 6 study visits (including 1 overnight visit)
  • Intravenous (IV) infusion and blood draws
  • Lumbar punctures (spinal taps)

Participants will be reimbursed up to $1200 for time and effort and travel expenses will be covered for the participant and family member.

Additional information from AFTD:
Each participant, accompanied by a care partner, will make six visits to the study site (Washington University in St. Louis) over the four-month study period. The first visit will require an overnight stay and will involve an intravenous infusion and blood draws. During each of the five subsequent visits, participants will undergo a lumbar puncture and have blood drawn.

Travel expenses for all visits, including flights, hotels, and ground transportation, will be covered for both the participant and care partner. The study team can assist participants with travel arrangements or transport needs such as wheelchairs.

Contact: Melody Li | 314-273-6062, slia@wustl.edu

Language in Primary Progressive Aphasia

The Language in Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) study aims to understand the behavioral, anatomical and physiological changes in people with PPA throughout the course of the illness. The researchers in this study want to increase awareness of PPA, educate others about this unique disorder, and to encourage more research to eventually develop therapies.

During the three-day research program, participants will be asked to undergo neuropsychological testing (paper and pencil tests that evaluate cognition), advanced imaging (MRI and PET), eyetracking experiments, and other computer and language testing batteries. Participants may be asked to return every two years to complete the same measures.

For participants not living near Chicago, IL, flights and accommodations (for both the person with PPA and their companion) will be covered by the study.

Additional information from AFTD:
During this three-day research program, participants will be asked to undergo neuropsychological testing (paper and pencil tests that evaluate cognition), an MRI (a non-invasive brain-imaging procedure), eyetracking experiments and other computer and language testing batteries. Participants may be asked to return every two years to complete the same measures.

The study will recruit approximately 15 participants with PPA per year. For participants not living near Chicago, IL, flights and accommodations (for both the person with PPA and their companion) will be covered by the study.

Contact: Christina Coventry, MS, RN | 312-908-9681, christina.coventry@northwestern.edu

Communication Bridge: A Person-Centered Internet-Based Intervention for Individuals With Primary Progressive Aphasia

The Communication Bridge study is an internet-based, speech therapy intervention for individuals with Primary Progressive Aphasia and their Communication Partner. A Communication Partner can be a spouse, relative, or close friend that will participate in the study along with the individual with PPA. The goal of the study is to understand how speech-language therapy affects communication abilities in people living with PPA. All study visits take place over the Internet in your home. We will provide you with a computer for the length of the study. We will connect through a video-chat program on the computer. The study lasts about one year. You will complete 5 evaluations with a licensed speech-language therapist, 15 one-hour speech therapy sessions with a licensed speech-language therapist, and home exercises on the computer we provide you. This study accepts persons all over the country, but they do have to be in the mild impairment stage of PPA, have a communication partner willing to participate, and sufficient internet connection.

Additional information from AFTD:
Participants with a diagnosis of PPA and their actively engaged care partners will be involved in the study for 12 months. There are no costs to participate in this study and compensation will be provided.

Contact: Libby Rogers, M.A. | 312-503-4012, libbyrogers@northwestern.edu
Contact: Emily Rogalski, Ph.D. | 312-503-1155, e-rogalski@northwestern.edu

Learn more at clinicaltrials.gov.


There is much to learn about Frontotemporal Dementia, especially when it comes to finding the best way to measure its symptoms and impact on individuals’ everyday lives.

If you have Frontotemporal Dementia, you may want to consider the FORWARD study.

What is the purpose of the FORWARD study?

This is an observational study designed to learn more about FTD and to find answers to important questions, such as “how do symptoms change over time?” Eligible participants will work with study staff over the course of a year to answer questions about their daily functioning, as well as participate in cognitive assessments.

Who can participate?

You may be eligible to participate in the FORWARD study if you:

  • Are 18 to 80 years old
  • Have been diagnosed with Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Dementia (bvFTD)
  • Other criteria may apply

To find out if you may be eligible to participate, please contact one of the currently recruiting investigative sites near you listed below. Additional information can be found on clinicaltrials.gov by navigating to this page: clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03088956

Site # PI Name Site City Postal Code Site Contact Site Contact Email Site Contact Phone #
103 Grossman, Murray Penn Memory Center Philadelphia, PA 19104 Courtney Igne Email 215-662-3596
104 Roberson, Erik University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, AL 35233 Emily McKinley Email 205-996-3659
105 Domoto-Reilly, Kimiko University of Washington School of Medicine Seattle, WA 98195-6424 Christina Caso Email 206-221-9038
106 Mendez, Mario UCLA Los Angeles, CA 90095 Diana Chavez Email 310-478-3711, Ext: 48176
107 Galvin, James Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL 33431 Marcia Walker Email 561-297-4984
108 Hales, Chadwick Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta, GA 30322 Attis, Tamara Email 404-712-6914
113 Crane, Monica Genesis Neuroscience Clinic Knoxville, TN 37909 Jackson, Jerica Email 865-888-9494


Other recent studies of note

Low-Dose Lithium for the Treatment of Behavioral Symptoms of FTD

A study sponsored by Columbia University in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation is seeking persons diagnosed with behavioral variant FTD, semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (PPA), or agrammatic, non-fluent PPA with behavioral symptoms, for a study to test the use of a drug to treat behavioral symptoms in FTD. The study, which will run over approximately 12 weeks, is recruiting volunteer participants at the Irving Institute at Columbia University Medical Center. A care partner (family member) will be required to provide information about the patient during interviews. The study will cover transportation costs as well as an additional stipend per participant. For more information, contact Hannah Silverman at: hs2971@cumc.columbia.edu or by calling 212-305-6284.

Clinical trials and studies aren’t the only way to participate in research! You may also wish to consider:

  • The FTD Disorders Registry features ways to participate in research, to spur innovation that will lead to effective treatments and therapies.
  • ARTFL Advancing Research and Treatment of Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration (ARTFL) is a natural-history study of FTD, open to anyone with an FTD disorder. ARTFL is funded by the NIH and is part of the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network.
  • LEFFTDS – The Longitudinal Evaluation of Familial Frontotemporal Dementia Subjects (LEFFTDS) conducts longitudinal studies of individuals who have mutations in the three genes most commonly affected in FTD:  MAPT, GRN, or C9orf72. A primary goal of LEFFTDS is to identify the most robust and reliable methods to track disease progression in familial FTD so that disease-modifying therapeutic trials can be designed appropriately.

PLEASE NOTE: AFTD is under no obligation to publicize any study, and may turn down such a request at any time. AFTD at no time “endorses” or “approves” any study, whether or not it chooses to publicize it.