The Clinical Core of the UCLA ADRC is a critical vehicle for implementing the Center's theme of the Therapeutic Imperative, augmenting UCLA's ability to perform cutting edge research into identifying the causes of, and improving our ability to diagnose and treat Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. The Clinical Core serves as a link between populations at risk for various forms of dementia and research.
Specific aims of the Core are to 1) characterize persons with MCI, AD, non-AD dementias and controls, 2) characterize familial and presymptomatic Familial AD 3) retain and follow subjects longitudinally, 4) increase minority representation in dementia research, 5) provide reliable and valid data to the DMSC and to the NACC, 6), support other ADRC cores and projects, and 7) support other dementia research projects outside of the ADRC. In this proposal, we extend our abilities to achieve these goals through several new initiatives. We anticipate increasing our overall capacity to assess patients and enroll them into the NACC database with a goal of performing 130 new UDS assessments and 180 follow-up visits per year by the end of the funding period. We are making the characterization of biomarkers of AD a priority with innovative imaging studies and the acquisition of plasma, DNA, and CSF on all consenting subjects for banking for collaborative studies. We are expanding our abilities to characterize the nature, causes and ways of assessing cognitive impairment in the Hispanic elderly by increasing our presence at the Olive View Medical Center that serves a largely Hispanic population. New, highly sensitive cognitive assessment tools are being studied in the Neuropsychology Laboratory. By performing pioneering, comprehensive assessments of persons with or at-risk for FAD, we extend our understanding of AD into the presymptomatic period Persons in the FAD cohort being studied at UCLA are largely of Mexican origin, providing an opportunity to assess the utility of cognitive measures in the diagnosis of AD in this population. We have initiated new operating procedures that include safeguards insuring that appropriate informed consent is obtained prior to data entry.
Estimates indicate that 13.2 million people in the U.S. will have AD by 2050. Despite our increased understanding of causes of AD, effective treatments for preventing or slowing it are currently lacking. The UCLA ADRC Clinical Core endeavors to enhance the development of such treatments by linking persons with or at-risk for dementia with clinical studies designed to advance this field..
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