Core B: Clinical

The overall goal of the Massachusetts ADRC's Clinical Core is to establish and maintain a group of men and women from a wide variety of backgrounds who will work with us to learn about the symptoms and causes of Alzheimer's disease, and gain the understanding needed to develop treatments, cures and preventive strategies for this devastating illness.


The study group, which we call the Longitudinal Cohort on Memory and Aging ("Longitudinal Cohort"), will include elderly individuals with normal cognition, individuals with mild memory and other cognitive deficits, and those with dementia (that is, more serious deficits in thinking and functioning) resulting from  Alzheimer's disease, Lewy body diseases (including Parkinson's disease, Parkinson's with dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies) and frontotemporal dementia. Including individuals ranging from no to severe cognitive impairments and following them over time will enable us to detect the earliest cognitive and behavioral changes associated with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, and to track their evolution.  This group will also serve as a reservoir of individuals who are interested and willing to participate in local and national research projects.


A brochure regarding our Cohort is attached.


The goals of this Core are to: 


(1) Recruit 600 older individuals spanning the spectrum of cognition from normal to mild cognitive impairment to dementia into the Longitudinal Cohort;

(2) Complete a comprehensive assessment on these individuals each year;

(3) Establish a Genetics and Biomarker Program to collect and store samples for biochemical and genetic studies;

(4) Support a Neuroimaging Program that archives all MRI and PET scans on Longitudinal Cohort subjects from clinical scans and affiliated research projects;

(5) Refer Longitudinal Cohort participants to specific local and national research projects;

(6) Facilitate brain autopsies and work with our Neuropathology Core to understand the relationship between clinical status and autopsy findings;

(7) Train new investigators in clinical research about dementia;

(8) Work with our Education and Information Transfer Core to promote dementia awareness among lay and professional groups, and offer research opportunites to under-served minority groups.

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