The overall goal of the proposed renewal of the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (Wisconsin ADRC) is to support cutting-edge and innovative research on the etiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and related illnesses by establishing a stimulating, interdisciplinary environment for collaborative research and by providing invaluable clinical and postmortem data and ante- mortem biospecimens. Funded by NIA in 2009, the Wisconsin ADRC will support seven well-integrated Cores, including a new Neuroimaging Core, that will support a full-spectrum of timely, innovative research including studies that will: 1) target antecedent biomarkers of preclinical stages of AD, 2) investigate the neurobiology of AD, 3) identify novel vascular and genetic risk factors and linking them to the disease pathology and clinical phenotype, 4) incorporate contemporary biochemical and molecular techniques into clinical-pathologic cohort studies, including genomics, epigenomics, proteomics and next generation genetic sequencing and 5) participate and facilitate the missions of other federal, state and local agency supported aging and dementia research programs and studies. The overall goals of the Wisconsin ADRC will be accomplished through coordinated activities of its seven Cores. The Administrative Core will provide scientific leadership to the ADRC as a whole. The Clinical Core will perform standardized evaluations and collect UDS and additional data on all research participants. It will work closely with the Outreach, Recruitment and Education (ORE) and the Minority Recruitment Satellite Program (MRSP) Cores to enhance enrollment of underrepresented minorities into the ADRC. The Data Management and Statistical Core will continue to meet all the data management, informatics and statistical needs of the cores. It will continue to support all the PC- and web-based services and processes. The Neuropathology Core will continue to process, evaluate, store and distribute antemortem biospecimens and postmortem tissue to support novel research in AD. The ORE Core will provide a wide-range of educational and outreach programs about AD and the missions of Wisconsin ADRC to recruit research volunteers, especially those of color into the Clinical Core and other NIA-funded initiatives, such as ADCS, ADNI, NCRAD and GWAS studies. The MRSP Core will work closely with the ORE and Clinical Cores to enhance recruitment and retention of minority participants into the ADRC. The new Neuroimaging Core will bring together all the resources and expertise of the UW in neuroimaging to develop a well-coordinated program that will significantly enhance collaborative interdisciplinary research in neuroimaging of AD and related diseases. Successful renewal of the Wisconsin ADRC will allow the Center to continue to conduct novel studies targeting antecedent biomarkers of preclinical stages of AD. Findings from these studies will result in an early diagnosis and discovery of new treatment and prevention strategies for AD that will significantly reduce the human suffering and socio-economic devastations of the disease.
The overarching scientific goal of the Wisconsin ADRC is to identify antecedent biomarkers of preclinical stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in middle-aged adult children of patients with the disease. There is convincing evidence that AD pathology starts several decades before the onset of symptoms, and discovery of biomarkers that represent asymptomatic stages of the disease will lead to early diagnosis and development of effective treatment and prevention strategies for the disease. Identifying asymptomatic at risk individuals during preclinical stages of AD will allow initiation of therapies that will either slo or, preferably, stop the progression of the disease. Research conducted at the Wisconsin ADRC has made seminal contributions to the field of biomarker research for AD, and has the potential to eventually find a cure for AD. This will have a great impact on patients and their families and will reduce the enormous societal costs associated with this devastating illness.
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