Additional Info for Each Visit

Visit # 1:Cardiovascular

Location:Department of Kinesiology and Health Education;
Address: Belmont Hall, University of Texas at Austin, located at the corner of 21st St and San Jacinto St.
Duration: 3 hours
Before the Visit:

  • Fast for at least 8 hours (no food and no beverages except water)
  • avoid exercise and consumption of caffeine and alcohol for 24 hours prior.
  • read and fill out the paperwork that we mail to you prior to this visit and bring them with you.

What will be done:

    1. A 15 ml (about 1 Tablespoon) blood sample will be taken after an 8-hour fast to
      get information on your cholesterol, lipids, blood sugar levels, insulin levels,
      and markers of inflammation, and exposure to certain viruses.
    2. Approximately 3 ml (about 1 teaspoon) of your saliva will be collected to test for the presence
      of certain genes.

      • If you agree to allow a small portion of this blood and/or saliva sample to be de-identified and stored for future genetic analyses, you will be asked to sign a separate consent form giving this permission.
      • *Participation in the genetic analysis portion of the study is optional.*
    3. Your heart rate and blood pressure will be measured non-invasively by the cuff technique (as in your doctor’s office).
    4. Your waist and hip circumference will be measured with a tape measure.
    5. Your body weight and height will be measured with a beam balance scale to calculate body mass index (BMI).
    6. Hardening of your arteries will be measured non-invasively by:
      • placing an ultrasound probe on the skin of the carotid (neck), brachial (arm), and cerebral(head) arteries
      • placing a pencil-like device over carotid, brachial, and cerebral arteries. An ultrasound probe is the same instrument that is used in a hospital to check a baby’s development during pregnancy.
    7. Your blood pressure regulating system will be measured in response to breathing medical grade air mixture of 95% oxygen and 5% carbon dioxide. Heart rate, blood pressure, and cerebral (head) arteries will be measured non-invasively during this procedures.
    8. Your body fat percentage will be measured non-invasively by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). This procedure involves lying down for approximately five minutes on a padded table while a small arm emits X-ray in order to measure tissue density. There is a small amount of radiation (less than 1/20 of a chest X-ray) associated with this procedure. DEXA will be performed by personnel who have been properly trained by the manufacturer’s representative.
    9. The ability of your vascular system to adapt to stress will be tested by inflating a cuff that is placed on the arm to block blood flow to the hand for five and ten minutes. During these tests, an ultrasound probe will be placed on the skin of your arm and you will be asked to either relax or squeeze a ball in your hand. Your body’s response to the stress will be measured (by the ultrasound probe placed onthe arm) before and immediately after the cuff is released.
    10. A submaximal aerobic test will be performed while you walk or run on a treadmill. During the test, the treadmill slope is gradually increased until you cannot continue or the researcher stops the test. You will wear a chest strap to monitor your heart rate and a mouthpiece to collect your expired air.
    11. Three-day dietary record will be explained and discussed for you to complete at home in order to control for the effect your diet has on the study’s measurements. We will ask you to keep a record of all the food you eat for three days. We will provide you with a diet record that you can complete on paper or electronically.

Visit # 2: Cognitive/MRI visit

Location:Department of Psychology
Address:We are located at the northwest corner of Dean Keeton (26th Steet) and Speedway Location:SEAY Building, University of Texas at Austin, located at the corner of Dean
Keeton (26th St) and Speedway St.
Parking: Speedway Garage, located directly north of Psychology Department on Speedway Street. You can park in the garage for the duration of your cognitive visit and bring us your ticket so we can validate that for you.
Note:Please avoid parking in spaces where there’s a sign for university vehicles only, etc.
Duration of visit: 3-4 hours.
Note:This visit has two parts: Cognitive (conducted in Clinical Neuroscience Lab) and MRI. After we complete the Cognitive portion of the visit, we will walk with you to UT Imaging Research Center for the MRI portion of the visit.

What to expect:

  • You will be asked to provide a brief self-report of memory function and complete a battery of paper-and-pencil measures of memory, attention, visuospatial skills, and mood.
  • You will complete the UT IRC safety screening form on paper or securely encrypted computer or iPad.
  • You will be asked to change into medical scrubs and store your personal items in a locker.
  • You will be asked to lie on a table that will be slid into the MRI scanner so that your head and upper body are inside the magnet tube.
  • You will not be required to spend more than one and a half hours inside the scanner;
  • You will be given earplugs to reduce the noise made by the MRI scanner (the magnets can make very loud noises)
  • You will have foam pads placed around your head to help you hold your head still during the MRI scan, so that the scans will be clear
  • You will have your hands resting on plastic response pads
  • You will lie still throughout your time in the MRI scanner
  • You will view various visual stimuli and/or listen to sounds. You may be also asked to make judgments, recall certain words or pictures, or make finger, hand,or eye movements.
  • Your heart rate may be monitored with a finger cuff.

More about the MRI Session:

  • In each MRI session, anatomical images (images that show us the structures in your brain) will be obtained for about 6-10 minutes.
  • Functional images will be obtained for about 24 minutes. Functional images are scans that show us how the brain works by illustrating what the brain is actively doing while you view various stimuli and/or perform particular tasks.
  • The researcher will tell you before you enter the scanner exactly how long each procedure will take, and during the exam the researcher will tell you when each procedure will occur over the intercom.
  • We also plan to acquire images containing information about:
    • Blood perfusion in your brain (8-10 minutes)
    • White matter structure (10-12 minutes)
    • Chemical composition (7-14 minutes)

    During these assessments, you will be asked to simply to relax and lie quietly in the scanner.