Research during the last 5 years has uniquely positioned the University of California, Davis Alzheimer's Disease Center (UCD ADC) to advance scientific understanding along the theme of how various risk and protective conditions differentially affect cognitive trajectories across the spectrum of cognitive ability. Our approach is enabled and enhanced by the unique experiences, skills, and methods facilitated by the UCD ADC Cores and their interactions. These skills include development or refinement of new methods along with development of new conceptual models and the coordinated application of these resources towards common goals. These efforts are further extended by extensive collaborations with other scientists, NACC and the NIA. Importantly, these efforts are part of an integrated and growing research program at UC Davis that is uniquely suited to studying the complex determinants of cognitive decline associated with diseases of aging and dementia. Consisting of 6 Cores, the UCD ADC approach to supporting ongoing research is based on the belief that AD exists within the wider context of other factors that affect cognitive function. Unraveling the multiple deleterious and protective factors that ultimately determine the variance in course of cognitive function with advancing age, however, remains an enormous challenge. To meet this challenge, the Clinical Core developed methods to enhance subject diversity amongst the participants within the longitudinal cohort of the UCD ADC leading to recruitment of a highly diverse study population that varies across multiple dimensions. We also developed novel assessment tools which were used to acquire further research funding in support of the general themes and available resources of the UCD ADC. This approach, built around a diverse and longitudinally followed cohort of subjects, serves as the core resource for an integrated research effort that is guided by five essential principals: innovation, integration, leverage, growth and training. In this application we present successful progress over the previous grant cycle and propose nbvel and unique approaches to guide the succeeding five years in order to continue to productively contribute to advancing our understanding of conditions the influence cognitive aging and incident dementia.
A variety of protective and risk conditions exist and combine to result in widely varying trajectories of cognitive aging. Understanding the sources for this heterogeneity is a central issue to research that has both scientific significance and clinical relevance, including relevance for potential treatment. Unraveling the multiple deleterious and protective factors that ultimately determine the variance in course of cognitive function with advancing aae is the goal of the UCD ADC.
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