The Oregon Alzheimer's Disease Center's (OADC) goal is to facilitate and advance research on Alzheimer's disease (AD) and related topics, concentrating our efforts to better define normal aging, the transitions to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early dementia. This is achieved by maintaining six Core facilities in association with expert Core personnel to support current research strengths and to be responsive to new knowledge and discoveries in the field. The OADC is coordinated by the Administrative Core to be an efficient unit, working in concert with the research community to facilitate investigation in several major thematic areas such as studies of presymptomatic AD in the very elderly, biomarkers and the genetics of healthy brain aging, home-based technologies for real-time data capture and novel treatment regimens. The Clinical Core provides well-characterized, longitudinally followed research subjects of several kinds: 1) early AD and related dementias;2) non-cognitively impaired or MCI elderly at high risk for dementia, emphasizing the oldest old;and 3) subjects reflecting social and racial diversity (African American and isolated rural populations). The Neuropathology Core is organized to maximize standardized diagnosis, availability of normative and MCI tissue, provision of state of the art protein marker biochemistry and research collaboration through the Pacific Northwest Dementia and Aging (PANDA) Neuropathology Group, a cooperative effort of the OADC and University of Washington ADC Neuropathology Cores. The Biomarkers and Genetics Core responds to the needs of this research using its bank of plasma, CSF and DNA for sophisticated characterization of research subjects toward developing markers of early AD. The Genetics Core also uniquely informs this research by sharing its biomarker and genomic resource widely with others interested in healthy brain aging. The Data Management and Statistics Core links all units with an efficient relational database creating a seamless path to ongoing and future collaborations with the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center and other ADCs. The Data Core also provides important assistance and advice in design and statistical analysis to investigators. New information and knowledge of the field is disseminated through the Education and Information Core. This Core uses a variety of educational forums for information dissemination including small seminars, the Internet, and a large public symposium. The Core's professional education programs emphasize empowering front-line clinicians to meet the challenge of insuring optimal brain aging for our senior population.
The OADC infrastructure creates a unique environment for research and discovery of new insights into healthy brain aging, transitions to AD, and for treatment and management of cognitive decline. This is facilitated by state-of the art clinical, biochemical, technological and statistical tools, subject and tissue resources, and data widely shared for maximum impact with the scientific community and appropriately translated to families and other key stakeholders.
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