Health and healthcare disparities in rural vs. urban areas are recognized for several decades, and this is particularly true for Alzheimer?s disease (AD) and Alzheimer?s disease related dementia (ADRD). Primary care physicians (PCPs) are rarely equipped with the skills and tools to diagnose the specific type of dementia their geriatric patients may be suffering. Because of possible long distances between rural areas and the nearest metropolitan area possessing expert dementia neurologists, some patients may never be diagnosed with dementia or may be misdiagnosed with the incorrect form of dementia. Previous Alzheimer Disease Research Centers (ADRCs) have explored rural risks and disparities for AD, but only as satellite programs rather than a major focus of their activities. Moreover, the literature on demented patients in rural areas is scarce and usually include only a small number of individuals with limited sets of biomedical data to be able to compare to datasets from the National Alzheimer?s Coordinating Center (NACC). Such gaps in healthcare offering and lack of reliable data on rural subjects is motivating us to create the Nevada Exploratory Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (NVEADRC). Our new Center is based on previous strong collaborations between the Las Vegas Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health (LRBCH) and University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).
In Aim 1, we will build the necessary infrastructure for the operations of our research enterprise. This includes the creation of novel methodologies and technologies to collect high-quality standardized clinical data in rural settings.
In Aim 2, by utilizing the experience of our Outreach, Recruitment and Engagement Core we will foster our network of stakeholders, from government entities, to PCPs, down to rural patients themselves to make them feel that they own the NVEADRC project.
In Aim 3, we will plan the transition from an exploratory stage to a full ADRC by demonstrating the feasibility of collecting longitudinal data from our rural cohort. By adding rural population information to the NACC set of data, our NVEADRC will provide novel resources that could be used by the broader AD/ADRD research community, which will significantly contribute to the overall mission of the ADRC network.
NVEADRC OVERALL NARRAT IVE With the present initiative, called the Nevada Exploratory Alzheimer?s Dementia Research Center (NVEADRC), we intend to build from the ground-up a novel Alzheimer?s Dementia Research Center (ADRC) with a thematic focus on disparities faced by rural dementia patients. We will deploy novel methodologies and technology to enroll patients in our rural cohort and carry out assessments to collect high quality data that can shared with the scientific community.