A Geriatric Psychopharmacology CRC/PE will be established. The Center will encompass already established physical, patient and laboratory resources, relevant ongoing and new research projects, and an established group of inventigators committed, to geriatric psychopharmacology. The general goal of the Center is to integrate, and facilitate innovative research to extend basic knowledge and improve the pharmacologic treatment of cognitive disorders in the elderly. Normal elderly subjects, patients with Alzheimer's diseass (AD) and related disorders, and subjects age-associated memory impairment (AAKI) will be included. The Center will be supported by a Director and two Associate Directors, an Executive Committee of senior participating investigators, and a Scientific Advisory Committee. Core facilities to be supported will consist of a Clinical Assessment and Tracking Unit (including braining and autopsy/neuropathology components) to provide diagnostic evaluations and longitudinal followups; and a centralized Database Management/Statiatical Analysis The research program will include expansion of an existing care research program initiation of several now psychopharmacologic investigations. Two new clinical trials will evaluate the relative efficacy of arecoline and nicotine in treating AD; evaluate the treatment of mild memory impairment in AAKI with phomphatidylserine. A positron emission tomography (PET) study will compare in vivo the neurometabolic effects of the anticholinergic drug, scopolamins, to the PET changes seen in normal and AD; and a preclinical psychopharmacology project will utilize animal models of aging and AD. Finally, an Early Drug Trial Unit will be established to evaluate novel or speculative treatment strategies; this unit initially will conduct pilot studies on AD patients with the ganglioside GH1, and with the recently publicized drug, (tetrahydroaminoacridine). Well-diagnosed subjects will be provided to projects by Clinical Core and analyses of results will be conducted by the Data Analysis Unit. addition, a large, and longitudinal database (initially on 650 subjects, and comprised of medical, neurological, psychiatric, cognitive, neuroradiologic, neurochemical and neuropathological measures) will permit study of the prognosis, course, early diagnosis, and etiology of cognitive decline and related psychopathology in the elderly. A particular research emphasis will concern specific subgroups and patients with mixed or multiple diagnoses.
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