The overall goal of the Religious Orders Study Core is to continue to support high quality, cutting edge, externally-funded clinical, epidemiologic and neurobiologic studies of aging, MCI, AD and related disorders by providing a rich and diverse source of unique and highly valued clinical and neuropsychological data, ante-mortem biologic specimens, and neuropathological data and post-mortem specimens from well characterized persons representing the full spectrum of cognition from normality to MCI to the earliest stages of dementia. The Core will build on its continued success during the past funding period and continue recruiting and performing annual evaluations on older members of Catholic Religious Communities without dementia with an emphasis. More than 1150 participants have enrolled. The overall follow-up rate exceeds 95% with up to 17 waves of data, and the autopsy rate exceeds 90% with more than 500 autopsies. The Core supports numerous externally funded projects. Core resources have resulted in more than 150 peer-reviewed publications including more than 90 in the past project period. The manuscripts have been published by a wide variety of authors from Rush, several other NIA-funded AD Centers, and other centers in the United States, Canada, and Europe. 23 publications have more than 100 citations and the top ten have 2843 citations (Google Scholar, accessed October 6). Core resources are currently supporting a wide range of genomic, epigenomic, proteomic, and RNA microarray studies by investigators across the country. The continuation of this Core for five more years will result in up to 23 waves of data on about 1400 persons and brain tissue from about 700 persons. Such a rich and diverse resource will allow the Core to continue to support numerous investigators. It will also offer the AD research community new opportunities to use clinical pathologic studies in novel ways to understand the complex relation between post-mortem indices and the progressive cognitive decline from normality, to MCI, to dementia, and to link genetic and environmental risk factors obtained prior to dementia onset to post-mortem indices and the full spectrum of cognition documented proximate to death.

Public Health Relevance

The Religious Orders Study Core is generating unique and highly valued biospecimens that constitutes a national resource for epidemiologic, clinical, neurobiologic, genomic, epigenomic, and proteomic studies of normal aging, MCI, and dementia, all large and growing public health challenges.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1)
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Rush University Medical Center
United States
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Bernier, Patrick J; Gourdeau, Christian; Carmichael, Pierre-Hugues et al. (2017) Validation and diagnostic accuracy of predictive curves for age-associated longitudinal cognitive decline in older adults. CMAJ 189:E1472-E1480
Brenowitz, Willa D; Keene, C Dirk; Hawes, Stephen E et al. (2017) Alzheimer's disease neuropathologic change, Lewy body disease, and vascular brain injury in clinic- and community-based samples. Neurobiol Aging 53:83-92
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Burke, Shanna L; O'Driscoll, Janice; Alcide, Amary et al. (2017) Moderating risk of Alzheimer's disease through the use of anxiolytic agents. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 32:1312-1321
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