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Online Databases and Tutorials

If you like to do your own searching, here are some resources to help you find research studies, full text articles, reports, analyses and other data. If you have questions about searching or your results, Ask a Librarian.

Search tip: If you are not finding information on Alzheimer's, try removing the apostrophe and search on Alzheimer. Find out more here.


Understanding research
Published research can be hard to follow. These links from the National Library of Medicine can simplify the way you read a published study and help you find out what's in a research study, how to read it, and how to understand the medical terminology used in many studies.


Tips for reading research studies:
Studies are usually divided by abstract, introduction, methods, results/findings, and discussion/conclusion. Consider these questions when reading a research study:

  • Are you or your family member like the people who are studied? If you're not, then a comparison may not be helpful.
  • How large is the study? Bigger is often better.
  • Does the study have standards for comparison: a control group that does not receive the experimental intervention compared to the experimental group that does?
  • Is the study “cross-sectional,” meaning that it was correlated among groups of participants at a single point in time or “longitudinal,” meaning that it followed individuals over time?
  • What did the research find and is it relevant to you?
  • Do the conclusions suggest more research is needed?
  • Need more information? Ask a Librarian.


WorldCat is a global network of libraries with an online catalog of tens of millions of records of books, DVDs, CDs and articles. Find Alzheimer's materials in libraries near you through WorldCat. These links will help you:


Tips for searching WorldCat:

  • Search by title or topic
  • Find a copy in a library near you
  • If it's not at your library, search ours:
    Alzheimer's Association Green-Field Library at 60601
  • Visit How To Borrow
  • Need more information? Ask a Librarian.

PubMed is a free searchable database from the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Md. It includes millions of citations from medical and science journals back to 1948. It is where peer-reviewed research is collected and indexed. Most citations have abstracts that provide information on what the research study is about. In some cases, the full text of the study on Alzheimer's disease and other topics is available.


Tips for searching PubMed:


PubMed Central
PubMed Central is where to find the full-text of biomedical and life sciences journal articles for free. Search your topic then look for Free article, FREE in PubMed Central, or the publisher's icon.

Clinical Trials Index
The U.S. government hosts a comprehensive online database of medical research on all diseases at ClinicalTrials.gov. A search box on alz.org's Clinical Trials Index makes it easy to search the database for studies related to Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Find studies in any U.S. state or Canadian province.

CDC Wonder
Visitors are often looking for local statistical data on Alzheimer's disease. CDC Wonder provides statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To find Alzheimer's disease mortality statistics for states and counties, search 'fill-in-the-blank' pages. Follow the onscreen prompts to move data from the left-hand-side to the right.


Tips for searching CDC Wonder:

  • In step #2, 'Search' the name of the state or county
  • In step #3, choose all ages between 65 – 85+(hold down Ctrl key to select multiple fields)
  • In step #4, click the 'Search' tab and type alzheimer's
  • Then choose G30 (ICD code)
  • When you are ready, click Send.

Searchable Public Databases from RePORT (Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool)
The RePORT Web site from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides access to reports, data, and analyses of NIH research activities including information on expenditures and the results of NIH-supported research. Such searchable public databases as Science.gov, Research.gov, Community of Science, RePORT, CRISP, ClinicalTrials.gov, PubMed, and PubMed Central, are also available here.

Plain Language Medical Dictionary
The Plain Language Medical Dictionary is sponsored by University of Michigan Taubman Health Sciences Library. Click on the drop down menu to browse the list of high-level medical terms and search the dictionary.




Alzheimer's Association

Our vision: A world without Alzheimer's disease®.
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.