The goal of our study is to compare three different online behavioral interventions aimed at improving function and quality of life in people with mild to moderate memory loss.

Who Is Eligible?

You are eligible to participate if:

  • You are 55 years old or older
  • You have been diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment or you think your memory has noticeably declined over the past year or so
  • You are fluent in English
  • You have a wireless internet connection at home
  • You are willing to travel to the SFVA Medical Center or UCLA for in-person assessments

Participants are not eligible if:

  • You have a severe visual or hearing impairment that would limit your ability to see or hear the instructor's directions on your computer or tablet
  • You are participating in another research study
  • You are claustrophobic, have metal implants not compatible with MRI, or have any other conditions that do not allow for an MRI


What will happen if I take part in this study?

Phone/Zoom Screener: 15-30 Minutes

We will describe the study to you and ask you a series of questions to determine if this study is right for you. This will take about 15 minutes, over the phone or Zoom.

You will take a brief cognitive screening test to determine if you are eligible for this study. This will take about 20 minutes, and must be done over Zoom.

If you are eligible for the study, the following things will happen:

Assessment 1, at your chosen site (SFVA Medical Center or UCLA): 2-3 hours

You will take some in-person additional tests of your physical functioning (such as walking), cognitive functioning (such as memory), and you will answer some questions about your feelings and quality of life. This will take approximately 1 to 2 hours.

You will then have a brain scan called an MRI. During the brain scan, you will lie on a narrow bed and be placed inside a tunnel-shaped magnet (that is 6 feet long by 22 inches wide and open at each end). You will be asked to lie quietly and as still as possible. You will be in and out of the scan in approximately 1 hour.

12-Week Course

You will be randomly assigned to one of three online classes: a Mindful Movement Class, a Tai Chi class, or a Health and Wellness Education seminar on healthy cognitive aging.

You will participate in your assigned class from the comfort of your home for 60 minutes, 2 days per week for 12 weeks.

You will be randomly assigned to one of the groups, like flipping a coin. You cannot choose which group you are in.

Assessment 2 at your chosen site (SFVA Medical Center or UCLA): 2-3 hours

The tests of your physical and cognitive function and questionnaires about your feelings will be repeated after approximately 3 months. After, the MRI of your brain will be repeated.

Assessment 3 at your chosen site (SFVA Medical Center or UCLA): 1-2 hours

The tests of your physical and cognitive function and questions about your feelings will be repeated after approximately 6 months. No MRI will take place during this session.


How long will I be in this study?

You will be in this study for a total of 35 hours over 9 months.  See the breakdown below:

Phone Screening:                     20 minutes

Cognitive Screening:                20 minutes

Consent:                                   30 minutes

Baseline assessment:               2 ½ to 3 hours

Baseline MRI :                          1 hour

Online Course:                          1 hour, 2 days a week for 12 weeks: 24 hours

12-week assessment:               2 ½ to 3 hours

12-week MRI:                           1 hour

36-week assessment:               2 ½ to 3 hours



Will I be compensated?

Compensation will be granted to participants through either check or debit card. Reimbursement will include parking and other expenses. 

The payment schedule will be as follows: 


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Is my participation confidential?

Yes. All research staff will be trained to maintain data in a secure manner and to not discuss study participants outside the research team. Research data will be stored in locked file cabinets or on password-protected computers or secure servers behind the VA and/or UCSF firewall. Study forms will be labeled using unique personal identification numbers (PIDNs) rather than personally identifying information whenever possible, and the code linking names with PIDNs will be stored separately and securely. If it is necessary to carry personally identifying information off-site (e.g., name and address for off-site assessment), the minimum amount of information necessary will be carried in a locked device (e.g., briefcase) and the information will be returned to SFVA as soon as possible and filed securely. We may communicate with prospective and enrolled participants via email using a VA email account. We will only use email to contact individuals with their permission. We have had some difficulty reaching participants during normal business hours via phone calls and have had requests from participants to communicate with them via text message. Therefore, we will offer participants the option of communicating with study staff in a manner that is preferred and convenient for them while maintaining privacy and confidentiality through the use of discreet messages.

Everyone must consent to video-recording of the live classes for quality control and training purposes. You will have the option to allow for (1) private viewing only – viewing limited to the research team, auditors, and monitoring committee, or (2) private and public viewing – viewing available to the public as videos will be included in the training manual, shown at research or educational meetings, and/or posted on the study website.

How many people will take part in this study?

A total of 80 people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or subjective memory complaints will take part in this study. Half of the participants will be from northern California and half will be from southern California.


What are my rights if I take part in this study?

Taking part in this study is completely your choice.

You may choose either to take part in the study or not take part in the study. If you decide to take part in the study, you may leave the study at any time, for any reason.

Who are the study investigators?

Who is this study funded by?

This study is funded by the Department of Defense, in collaboration with the San Francisco Veterans Affairs, University of California, San Francisco, University of California, Los Angeles, Together Senior Health, and the Northern California Institution for Research and Education.