Biomarker research in aging dogs (BioRAD): A brain aging study in dogs

Background and purpose of the trial

Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias in humans are predicted to be the second leading cause of death within the next decade in the United States, according to the World Health Organization. We know that neurodegenerative disorders are associated with the accumulation of disease-specific misfolded proteins that leads to irreversible loss of neurons. This has been seen not only in humans but in the canine equivalent, canine cognitive dysfunction. Currently, there is not an accurate tool to diagnose nor a single treatment that is effective for “doggie dementia.” Therefore, the goal of this study is to learn about how dogs age and what types of changes happen in the brain of older dogs, compared to healthy younger dogs, by examining the blood, spinal fluid, and imaging (MRI) of the brain.


  • To understand more about your dog’s environment and health, we will have you perform yearly surveys.
  • All dogs will be required to return every 6 months throughout the study.
  • At each appointment, dogs will have routine bloodwork performed, along with blood collected for biomarker testing and undergo a series of cognition tests which consist of treat-finding activities.
  • At the initial appointment and annually thereafter, dogs will undergo a brain MRI and spinal tap.


Free blood panel twice per year along with an annual $500 credit applied directly to your VTH account, which can be used for appointments at the hospital, medications, and certain foods (depending on availability through the pharmacy).



eligibility information

We are studying dogs of ALL AGES! Any dog over the age of 1 year old with no major disease processes can participate in this study. Ideally, we will enroll dogs for their lifetime, or for as long as you and your dog are willing to participate.

Enrollment Deadline

Enrollment ends December 31, 2030

contact information

If interested in enrolling, please please email the neurology clinical trials team at with your name, your pet’s name, your pet’s age, and contact information for the primary care veterinarian your pet has seen.

CSU ram head with green background
Neurology Clinical Trials
Study Coordinator: Breonna Kusick