Participate In Research

Local, regional and national research studies are part of ongoing global efforts to better understand, manage and hopefully eventually cure dementia.


From time to time the Alzheimer Society of Calgary is notified about opportunities to take part in research on a variety of topics, from clinical studies to those that explore supports both for the person with the diagnosis and the family caregivers. The knowledge gained from these studies informs our understanding of dementia and helps to create new ways to diagnose, treat, and support those impacted by the disease.

The Alzheimer Society of Calgary only lists research studies that are being conducted through post-secondary institutions and that have received ethics approval.

Things to consider before you sign up for a study.

  • What are the goals of the study? Understanding the goals of the research can help in determining if the purpose of the study is in line with your own goals for care and support.
  • What are the benefits and risks of participation in the study? For example, some studies may allow for access to new medications, but there may be risks associated with trying new treatments.
  • What are the time commitments? Some studies may ask for only brief time commitments, while others are more intensive and involved. Consider how the involvement may impact your quality of life.
  • A study may require you to discontinue the use of current medications or treatments. If this is the case, it is a good idea to discuss with your physician about the change.
  • What follow-up care and support might be available to you after the end of the study if it is needed?
  • How will your confidentiality and privacy be protected, and will your personal information be shared with anyone beyond the research team?

Can Automated Cars Help People with Dementia Drive Longer?

Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and the University of Toronto are conducting an interview-style study to identify if automated cars could help people with mild to moderate dementia continue driving longer. 

The interviews are approximately two hours long and are conducted via video conferencing. Participants are compensated in the amount of two $50 gift cards. 

If you're interested in participating reach out to Hodan Mohamud, Research Assistant at (416) 597-3422 ext. 7887 or hodan.mohamud@uhn.c

Study for treating agitation in people living with Alzheimer’s disease

Dr. Zahinoor Ismail, of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, is conducting a study on the use of the antidepressant ‘Citalopram’ for treating agitation in people living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Message from Dr. Ismail:

Escitalopram for agitation in Alzheimer’s Disease

This study is a follow up to our seminal study, published in JAMA in 2014 that showed an antidepressant can safely treat agitation in dementia.

We took learnings from the original study to improve the protocol, and have incorporated the most current measurement approaches for agitation in AD.

We provide a comprehensive assessment of agitation in dementia, and then provide psychosocial interventions for the caregivers throughout the 15-week study. The families really love that part because they get education and support from us, and I spend time with them working through some of these issues.

* For those who don’t respond to the psychosocial interventions, they get randomized to study drug arm, which may be escitalopram.

Inclusion criteria:

  1.  AD or mixed AD dementia, MMSE>5
  2.  Agitation meeting the IPA criteria (any of excessive motor activity, verbal aggression, or physical aggression)
  3.  Caregiver to attend appointments


  1. On escitalopram or citalopram, or has failed trials of either.

More details about agitation (PDF)

Participants are seen at the Foothills Medical Centre campus. We have a free Uber account to transport participants and their caregivers to the Foothills if required, to avoid parking hassles, or for those that are uncomfortable driving.

For more information please call 403.210.7737 or email:


Hotchkiss Brain Institue

Hotchkiss Brain Institue has ongoing studies for those living with dementia, with mild cognitive changes and even for those who want to participate but don't have cognitive issues at this time.


Information on research projects in Calgary

  • Research projects/trials happening in Calgary 
    • Interested in participating? Here are the next steps
      • Identify researcher
      • Research project
      • Review study
      • Check entry criteria
      • Decide if you are willing to participate
Further Information