The Oregon Alzheimer's Disease Center's (OADC) Clinical Core program, directed by Dr. Jeffrey Kaye, performs longitudinal studies of the natural history of brain aging and Alzheimer's disease in patients and healthy control volunteers.
These studies which are performed through standardized neurological, neuro-psychological, and brain-imaging assessments are carried out in the Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Assessment Clinics as well as through community-based assessments conducted in the homes of study volunteers.
The Layton Center Neuroimaging Lab conducts brain-imaging MRI brain scans to assist in diagnosis of brain disease. Typically, MRI images are taken from three different planes. These planes are known as the coronal plane, sagittal plane and the axial plane. Each series of MRI images is named after the plane from which they were obtained.
The Clinical Core's research is focused on preclinical and early Alzheimer's disease (AD) yet is also poised to participate in other relevant new research as it arises. The OADC Clinical Core recruits, assesses and follows individuals from population groups at high risk for dementia such as: the healthy "oldest old", subjects with family history of AD, and subjects with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).
Systematic assessments using the Uniform Data Set of the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center are carried out on a regular schedule with dementia-relevant diagnoses and clinical characterization of the research cohorts. These include cognitive assessment and biological markers as outlined in Data Resources.
Enrolled subjects are invited to give permission for autopsy to provide for tissue donation for eventual clinical pathologic study. This is an important component of longitudinal Alzheimer's studies since brain autopsy not only permits confirmation of clinical diagnosis, but also makes tissue available for studies of gene expression, protein misfolding, and quantitative histology, among others. Brain tissue from well characterized healthy control subjects is also quite valuable for research, as there is a paucity of this type of tissue available in the research community at large.
Research with underserved populations
The Oregon Alzheimer's Disease Center also maintains two Satellite programs to enhance understanding of underserved populations:
- The Klamath Exceptional Aging Project (KEAP) is a community-based study of brain aging being conducted in Klamath Falls.
- The African American Dementia and Aging Project (AADAPt) s a Portland-based cohort of 100 African American seniors.
For further information about the Clinical Core, please contact Deniz Erten-Lyons, M.D. at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503 494-6977.