A Study of Brain Aging in Vietnam War Veterans

“This Department of Defense funded project is the only one of its kind, aimed at determining if Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) cause Alzheimer’s disease. Vietnam Veterans with a history of TBI or PTSD are encouraged to join. I served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War, and I have personally undergone all the tests of this study myself.”

Michael Weiner, M.D.
Professor, ADNI Principal Investigator
Director, Center for Imaging of Neurodegenerative Disease
San Francisco VA Medical Center


Do Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Affect the Aging Brain in Veterans of the Vietnam War?

In 2012, the US Department of Defense (DOD) awarded funding for “The Study of Brain Aging in Vietnam War Veterans (DOD ADNI). TBI and PTSD are common combat related problems and may be associated with a greater risk of AD.

Alzheimer’s disease affects 50% of U.S. adults over the age of 85. TBI and PTSD are common combat related problems and may be associated with a greater risk of AD. Our purpose is to examine the possible connections between TBI and PTSD, and the signs and symptoms of AD on Veterans as they age.

The information collected in DOD ADNI will help us to learn more about how these injuries may affect Veterans of the Vietnam War as they grow older, as well as Veterans of the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, who also have these types of combat-related injuries.

The results of the DOD ADNI study will lead to greater efforts to develop treatment and prevention studies to help reduce these long term effects of TBI and PTSD injuries.


If you are a Vietnam War Veteran between 50-90 years old, you are eligible for the screening interview. This interview will help determine if you are eligible to continue with the clinical interview and clinic visits. Nationwide, approximately 1,000 may participate in the screening interview and 500 in the Clinical Telephone Interview. The clinical interview will help us identify approximately 400 Vietnam War Veterans who will be referred for the in-person clinic visits. Approximately 300 Vietnam War Veterans will be eligible to complete the entire study.

Will I be compensated?

As a token of our appreciation you will be paid at a rate of $30 per hour for the time you spend completing the screening and clinical telephone interviews. Depending on your eligibility and if you complete the interviews, you could earn between $15 and $120 for the two interviews for this year, and again for the 12 month follow-up. You may also be compensated for the procedures that you are eligible for and complete at the clinics, as well as some travel. If you are eligible and interested in continuing with the study the clinic staff will discuss this with you.

Will participating in this research affect my benefits?

No. Agreeing to participate in this study will not affect your ability to receive care or benefits from the VA. Whether or not you decide to participate, your standard of medical care through the VA will remain exactly the same.

For more information

Please contact Jacqueline Hayes at (415) 221-4810 x4593 or