Neurobiology of Alzheimer's Disease and Aging - (Genetics of Dementing Brain Diseases)
Patients with memory and cognitive disorders referred to the research will be evaluated by the research team to confirm a diagnosis of probable or possible Alzheimer[Right Quote]s disease (AD), frontotemporal dementia (FTD) or mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Additionally, a group of individuals who have no cognitive complaints and who are matched by age and lifestyle to the patients will be invited to participate in the study as controls and evaluated per the same protocol as the patients. Clinical research will be conducted related to evaluation of the natural history of dementing illnesses. All groups of individuals will be asked for a blood sample, saliva sample and asked to have a lumbar puncture for a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) sample (optional). Blood samples will be used to obtain cells for cell lines. Cells will be used to grow long-term cell lines (or fibroblast cell lines). They will be stored in a Cell bank and will be available for research, both now and in the future. Saliva samples will be used to define phospho-tau/total tau ratios. CSF samples will be used for research and stored for additional research. Additionally, part of the blood sample will be used to extract DNA, which will be assayed to determine whether there is a genetic predisposition to dementia. In some subjects magnetic resonance imaging of the brain will be performed. Subjects will be asked to consider autopsy at the time of death for this protocol. Autopsies will be performed on individuals evaluated and brain tissue will be used to make clinical neuropathologic correlations. We will also recruit normal controls to be evaluated and participate in the research who will undergo the same evaluations the AD, FTD and MCI groups. Statistical analyses will be performed on patient clinical features and the findings obtained with neuropathological evaluation. Educational opportunities are provided for healthcare providers and caregivers.
The ADC has had as it primary interest to determine the effect of vascular risk factors and inflammation on the dementing process.
Individuals of all ethnic origins will be admitted to the clinical research center who have symptoms and features characteristic of early AD, MCI and FTD or other cognitive disorders. Age and sex-matched subjects without memory or cognitive complaints will also be recruited to serve as controls for the research studies. Patients and controls will be evaluated by appropriate research criteria and a signed informed consent will be obtained for all who agree to be part of the research and have their data entered into our database and used as research data. For Individuals who are unable to sign the informed consent their legally responsible representative will be required to sign.