Led by Dr. Claudia Kawas, the UCI ADRC Clinical Core helps hundreds of families affected by Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), Alzheimer’s disease, or another dementia annually while gathering invaluable data about the clinical presentation and progression of these cognitive disorders for use by researchers. Within each ADRC, the Clinical Core’s primary responsibility is to evaluate both cognitively impaired and intact individuals and follow them annually until death in order to document the normal and pathological changes that can occur with aging.
Our ADRC includes a Memory Assessment and Research Center where individuals with memory or thinking difficulties can access a comprehensive evaluation that includes a neurological/physical examination, neuropsychological assessment, brain imaging, blood work and other diagnostic tests, and clinical interviews of the participant and a close family member or friend. Patients who are interested and eligible may enroll for longitudinal follow-up through the ADRC. Additionally, cognitively normal older adults who are interested in monitoring their own cognitive health may volunteer for participation in the Successful Aging Program of the ADRC. All ADRC participants agree to return annually for repeat assessments conducted at no cost. Information collected is deposited into a national database (i.e., the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center) accessible to researchers worldwide. Finally, unless cultural or religious beliefs prohibit it, all participants are invited to consider brain donation upon death.
As a unique part of our Clinical Core, we are tracking the occurrence of dementia within two unique groups, the oldest old (i.e., 90+) and persons with Down syndrome, under the leadership of Drs. Claudia Kawas and Ira Lott, respectively. These populations offer important investigation into the biological mechanisms and other factors (e.g., lifestyle, genetics) involved in the development and progression of dementia.
Through their participation, research volunteers may reap a variety of benefits, including access to expert clinicians and clinical trials and medical and psychosocial treatment recommendations.
Clinical Core Members:
- Claudia Kawas, M.D., Core Leader
- Aimee Pierce, M.D., Core Co-Leader
- Ira Lott, M.D., Core Investigator