The overarching goal of the Neuroimaging and Biomarkers Core (NIBC) will be to bring together neuroimaging, plasma, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and other potentially relevant biomarkers to facilitate ADRC research projects and other ongoing studies, assist in initiating new projects, and encourage new investigators to benefit from the strengths in these areas at UCLA and at other institutions. Our ultimate goal - manifested in targeting subjects with pre-clinical cognitive changes and the interaction with Projects 1 and 2 - is to develop image acquisition, archiving, and analysis technologies to the point that they are valuable tools in the effort to support treatments that can delay, prevent, or slow the progression of degenerative brain diseases. The NIBC specific aims are: (1) Collect and archive longitudinal high-resolution structural MRI data on ADRC subjects. (2) Provide support for imaging analysis for longitudinal amyloid plaque and tau tangle (FDDNP) and Pittsburgh Compound-B (PIB) PET imaging on subjects enrolled in Project 2. (3) Interact with the Clinical Core and the Neuropathology Core in collecting plasma and tissue samples for planned proteomic and genomic studies, (plasma and CSF) (4) Provide the means for investigators to obtain rapid and reliable quantification and diagnostic interpretation of imaging data acquired from subjects or patients evaluated for mild cognitive dysfunction or dementia. (5) Support the other cores and projects of the ADRC, and promote the Therapeutic Imperative theme, activities, and mission of the ADRC. The Core is designed to leverage UCLA's current imaging research strengths, particularly in the development of new imaging methods and PET radioligands, and the DMSC has special biomarker systems support devoted to NIBC. Moreover, we recognize the critical importance of integrating informative imaging data with other relevant biomarkers. Given the important role of neuroimaging and biomarkers in current AD research within the ADRC and elsewhere, the NIBC will have a pivotal role in these investigations. The Core will interact with and support Project 1 (MRI biomarkers of incipient AD) and Project 2 (using both FDDNP and PIB and plasma and CSF biomarkers), as well as with the on-going research of the Jim Easton Consortium for Alzheimer's Drug Discovery and Biomarker Development at UCLA.
Neuroimaging and other biomarkers have taken on an incrementally important role in advancing clinical research in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and providing key opportunities for translating basic science discoveries into clinical applications. The UCLA NIBC will bring together multiple biomarkers to better understand the peripheral indicators and brain imaging of Alzheimer's type brain disease.
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