Alzheimer’s Disease Center

The Alzheimer’s Disease Center is one of 30 centers funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging to evaluate patients and to conduct scientific research into the causes of Alzheimer’s disease. We are dedicated to finding ways to treat and prevent Alzheimer's disease through clinical research. Our researchers depend on the men and women who participate in the many studies that we conduct each year.

DNA vaccine developed by Dr. Roger Rosenberg reduces both toxic proteins linked to Alzheimer's

The research demonstrates how a vaccine containing DNA coding for a segment of beta-amyloid also reduces tau in mice modeled to have Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, the vaccine elicits a different immune response that may be safe for humans. Plans are now underway to obtain funding to test it in humans. The earliest a trial could start in humans is about a year away. In the meantime, we invite you to inquire about other studies you may participate in at the UT Southwestern memory research center.

The ADC has focused on the workings of the vascular system, particularly inflammation, to identify risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s disease. The Center is also participating in the Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Initiative, a national effort that aims to find the gene or genes involved in late-onset Alzheimer’s. Blood samples and other information will be collected from members of 1,000 families that include at least two siblings and another family member with late-onset Alzheimer’s.

In another genetic study, the Center will look for variations in the 24,000 human genes that are associated with a risk of Alzheimer’s. This project, part of the Texas Alzheimer’s Research Consortium (TARCC), will recruit more than 800 patients with Alzheimer’s disease and 500 healthy people. We are also part of a TARCC effort to find distinctive chemicals, or biomarkers, in the blood as a means of diagnosing Alzheimer’s earlier and accurately, so treatment can begin sooner.

Finally, in an effort to prevent Alzheimer’s, we are developing a DNA vaccine against amyloid proteins that accumulate in the brains of people with this fatal and devastating illness.

The Alzheimer’s Disease Center continues to emphasize research into the biology of the disease, develop new data on potential new experimental therapies, care for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders in our Memory Clinic, and provide comprehensive educational programs for patients, caregivers, their families, and the community.

We thank you, our patients, caregivers, and friends, for your support and continued dedication to finding effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.