The Northwestern ADC is in its 15th year. This renewal application describes the progress of the past cycle and a plan of action for the next 5 years, during which we will pursue the following principal goals: A) Support innovative research at Northwestern University on the biology, early diagnosis, risk factors, and treatment of dementias by bringing together basic and clinical investigators. B) Participate in national collaborations that leverage the strengths of the NIA Centers by using the UDS, transmitting data to NACC, and participating in ADNI, ADCS, NCRAD, LOAD and ADGC. C) Serve a leadership role in FTLD neuropathology and primary progressive aphasia (PPA) in keeping with the unique strengths of the Northwestern ADC in this area of dementia research. D) Train fellows and junior faculty and attract new investigators to dementia research through accredited clinical fellowships and training grants. E) Ensure that patients, families, and underserved populations are beneficiaries of relevant advances through education, outreach, and novel life enrichment programs. The cores of the ADC are configured to serve the specific goals listed above. The Administrative Core will be responsible for the clinical, scientific and fiscal leadership of the entire ADC as well as the coordination with national consortia and the selection of projects for pilot funding. The Clinical Core will maintain a cohort of characterized subjects recruited to address ongoing research priorities. The Data and Statistics Core will ensure that the data are stored in ways that maximize collaboration and that biostatistic analysis plays a key role in the design and interpretation of research. The Neuropathology Core will characterize patients who come to autopsy according to up-to-date criteria, and distribute tissue, slides, DNA, and data for local and national collaborations. The Education Core will work with the Clinical Core to enhance subject recruitment into the ADC, and will develop innovative educational and life enrichment programs to serve patients and their families. The Executive Committee, composed of all the key personnel mentioned above, will formulate Center priorities based on local and national mandates and will review requests for patients, controls, tissue, and data according to these priorities.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a most urgent health care concern facing the US. The AD Centers funded by the NIA provide a national network of resources and researchers aiming to discover the causes and treatments of this disease and related dementias. The Northwestern ADC is part of this network and serves a leadership role in research on the neurobiology of AD, the neuropathology of front temporal degeneration, and the syndrome of primary progressive aphasia.
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