The Northwestern Alzheimer's Disease Center (ADC) Clinical Core is entering its 15th year of operation, having established a valuable resource for innovative clinical research, new initiatives and collaborations with intramural investigators, cross-center studies, and providing patients, caregivers and the community with state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment services. In the next five years, the Clinical Core will support three main research goals: 1. Maintain a diverse cohort of subjects characterized by the Uniform Data Set (UDS), recruited for brain and tissue donation, and made available for intramural research projects as well as multicenter efforts such as those represented by NACC, ADCS, ADNI and others. Recruitment will target individuals with either mild memory disorders or no cognitive impairment (NCI) and will also emphasize enrollment of participants over age 80 whose cognitive performance exceeds what is average for age, in order to support research not only on the age-MCI-AD spectrum but also on the trajectory of unusually successful cognitive aging (The Northwestern SuperAging Project). 2. Coordinate national recruitment efforts to support specialized research programs for Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) and other forms of dementia associated with FTLD, in order to refine diagnostic criteria for these less known and underserved types of dementia, identify their neuropathologic bases in collaboration with the Neuropathology Core, and develop specialized treatments and educational resources, in collaboration with the Education Core. 3. Provide a setting for "therapeutic encounters" to enhance patient retention and to integrate research programs with innovative patient care recommendations, specifically tailored to the individual patient's profile of cognitive and behavioral impairment.
Alzheimer's disease and related disorders pose a public health crisis in the US. The Clinical Core serves to recruit and characterize cognitively healthy individuals and those with a variety of dementia syndromes to provide investigators at NU and the broader research community with resources for clinical trials for studies of in vivo biomarkers, to identify and treat disease states, and to promote healthy brain aging.
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