The Pacific Northwest Dementia and Aging (PANDA) Neuropathology (NP) Group is a cooperative effort between the Alzheimer's Disease (AD) Center (ADC) at Oregon Health &Science University (OHSU) and the AD Research Center (ADRC) at the University of Washington (UW) that was initiated in July 2003. The initial four Specific Aims of the PANDA NP Group are unchanged from our previous applications: 1. Provide diagnostic expertise to the diverse population of the Pacific Northwest by providing family members of the deceased and physicians involved in their care with timely autopsy reports based on the most current standardized diagnostic criteria. 2. Facilitate research by collecting, storing and distributing a highly accessible, but appropriately safeguarded, repository of well-prepared brain tissue and neuropathologic data from carefully and longitudinally characterized patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia as well as noncognitively impaired control individuals using a variety of methods that maximizes utility to scientists. 3. Teach trainees in pathology, neurology, psychology, psychiatry, and basic sciences the current methods of neuropathological classification of neurodegenerative diseases and age-related changes, and mentor junior faculty in NP. 4. Develop innovative new approaches to maximize achievements in Aims 1 to 3. Two new Specific Aims are focused on Targeted Molecular Testing: 5. Quantify targeted cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers in the UW ADRC CSF Bank that derives in large part from the OHSU ADC and UW ADRC Clinical Cores to enhance the value of these specimens for research while insuring proper safeguards. 6. Provide expert preparation of DNA and targeted genetic testing relevant to AD and related neurodegenerative diseases.
The PANDA NP Group harmonizes the diagnostic, brain banking, teaching, and innovative functions of OHSU and the UW in a single functional entity spread between these two Centers. We have found this approach to be highly productive in the past and propose to continue to use this structure to increase our understanding of AD, incipient dementia, and healthy aging.
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