Funding Source: National Institute on Aging; study is approved by the Institutional Review Board of Nova Southeastern University.
Principal investigator: Raymond L Ownby, MD, PhD, MBA (Professor at NSU)
Contact for referral or more information: Rosemary Davenport, RN, MSN. Phone: 954-262-1804.
Location: The study is being done at the Davie Campus of Nova Southeastern University. Study offices are in the Center for Collaborative Research, about two blocks east of University Drive and a bus stop. Free parking is available as well as valet parking on several days during the week.
What is the study about?
People with HIV often have problems with thinking, paying attention, and remembering things. This is a research study to find out if doing mental activities on a computer, with or without transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS, can help with these problems.
tDCS means having a small electrical current placed on the head in a spot where it may affect how the brain works. Other studies have shown that tDCS may help people learn faster and do other mental activities better. People in the study will either play a car racing game or watch educational videos on a computer.
The electrical current used for tDCS is small, 1.5 milliamps. That can compare that the current that lights up a flashlight bulb, which is 300 to 500 milliamps. Even though the current is small, many people can feel it and may not like it. It may feel like an itching, tingling, or burning. For some people, the feeling goes away after a few minutes, but some people feel it the whole time that it is on.
Who is eligible?
People who are 50 years of age or older, treated for HIV infection, and have problems with remembering, thinking clearly, or have slow thinking can be in the study. Participants must be right handed. Some medical conditions and medications will make the person not eligible. People are screened over the telephone for many issues.
What will people do in the study?
People who are interested can be screened over the telephone. After that, if it looks like they might be eligible to be in the study, we will ask them to come for testing. After testing, we will be able to tell the person whether they can be in the study. No matter what, the person will be paid $40 for coming to our offices.
If the person is eligible, they will come for 9 more visits. Visits 1, 8 and 9 will require 4 to 5 hours. We will ask the person to answer questions and complete some other psychological tests. For each of these visits, the person will be paid $80.
During the other visits (2 to 7), the person will interact with the computer (playing a racing game or watching educational videos) and receive either actual or sham tDCS. Participants are assigned to groups randomly. These visits take 30 to 45 minutes. For each of these visits, the person is paid $40.
Total compensation for people who complete the study is thus $520 dollars over about two months. Visits 1 to 8 must be completed in a three-week period, while visit 9 is about one month after visit 8.