for people ages 65-80 (full criteria)
Healthy Volunteers
healthy people welcome
at La Jolla, California
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
by Zvinka Z Zlatar, PhD
Photo of Zvinka Z Zlatar
Zvinka Z Zlatar



Physical activity interventions with older adults can improve brain health; however most interventions have been performed in gym-like settings that reach a small sector of the senior population. Since not everyone can access a gym, it is important to study whether brisk walking in real world environments can also help brain health. This study will use mobile health devices to help older adults independently walk for brain health, thus representing a critical step towards the dissemination of physical activity intervention programs aimed at preserving cognitive function in aging.

Official Title

A Novel Mobile Health Exercise Intervention in Aging: Brain Perfusion and Cognition


Physical activity interventions conducted in supervised settings (laboratories and group settings) with older adults have consistently shown improved cardiovascular and cerebrovascular health and improved cognitive function. What is lacking is the development of interventions that take place in real world environments and that take advantage of new technologies to help objectively track real time physical activity behaviors. Real world physical activity interventions have the potential to reach a larger segment of the population and to enhance maintenance after the intervention period ends. This study will develop a novel physical activity intervention using mobile health technologies to promote physical activity levels likely to affect cerebral blood flow and cognition in real world environments in cognitively normal older adults. A randomized controlled trial will be conducted with 30 participants being assigned to the mobile health physical activity condition (walking in free-living environments tracked via mobile health technologies) and another 30 to an education control condition (at home reading about healthy aging materials) for 3 months.


Physical Activity Aging Exercise Fitness Cognitive Aging Cerebral Blood Flow Brain Imaging Unsupervised Intervention Mobile Health Free-living exercise intervention Mobile Health Walking Condition Healthy Aging Education Condition


You can join if…

Open to people ages 65-80

  • Men and women between the ages of 65-80
  • Ability to obtain a signed physician's clearance for participation in this study
  • English-speaking as needed to complete cognitive testing and follow study procedures
  • Cognitively normal (based on comprehensive neuropsychological assessment)
  • No contraindications for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Must be ambulatory and able to walk independently

You CAN'T join if...

  • History of head injury involving loss of consciousness within the past 6 months and/or history of severe traumatic brain injury
  • Major neurological disorders (dementia, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, etc)
  • Chronic major psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, major recurrent affective disorder)
  • History of major vascular events (myocardial infarction, stroke, etc),
  • History of diabetes
  • History of falls in the last year resulting in hospitalization
  • Unstable or poorly controlled medical problems e.g. heart failure, diabetes (poorly controlled or on insulin), uncontrolled hypertension, pulmonary disease with hypoxia or hypercapnia, significant liver problems or renal failure, treatment of cancer in the past 2 years (other than non-melanoma skin cancer), HIV positive
  • Objective evidence of cognitive impairment based on neuropsychological assessment


  • University of California, San Diego accepting new patients
    La Jolla California 92093 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSD

  • Zvinka Z Zlatar, PhD
    Dr. Zlatar received her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Florida, with a focus on adult neuropsychology/geropsychology. She completed her APA-accredited clinical psychology internship at the University of California, Los Angeles (Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior), focusing on the neuropsychological assessment of older adults and Spanish-speaking adults.


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Diego
Study Type
Last Updated