The 90+ Study was initiated in 2003 to study the oldest-old, the fastest growing age group in the United States. The90+ Study is one of the largest studies of the oldest-old in the world. More than 1,600 people have enrolled. Because little is known about people who achieve this milestone, the remarkable increase in the number of oldest-old presents a public health priority to promote the quality as well as the quantity of life.
The 90+ Study participants
Initial participants in The90+ Study were once members of The Leisure World Cohort Study (LWCS), which was started in 1981. The LWCS mailed surveys to every resident of Leisure World, a large retirement community in Orange County, California (now incorporated as the city of Laguna Woods). Using the 14,000 subjects from the LWCS, researchers from The90+ Study were able to ask, What allows people to live to age 90 and beyond?
Studying the oldest-old
Participants of The 90+ Study are visited every six months by researchers who perform neurological and neuropsychological tests. Our researchers at the Clinic for Aging Research and Education (CARE), located in Laguna Woods, obtain information about diet, activities, medical history, medications and numerous other factors. Additionally, participants are given a series of cognitive and physical tests to determine how well people in this age group are functioning.
Goals of the study
Determine factors associated with longevity: What makes people live to age 90 and beyond? What types of food, activities or lifestyles are associated with living longer?
Examine the epidemiology of dementia in the oldest-old: How many people aged 90 and older have dementia? How many become demented each year? What are ways to remain dementia-free into your 90s?
Examine rates of cognitive and functional decline in the oldest-old: How do memory loss and disability affect those in their 90s? How can people prevent memory loss and disability at this age?
Examine clinical pathological correlations in the oldest-old: Do the brains of people in their 90s show evidence of memory loss and dementia? Do people with dementia have differences in their brains that can be detected and treated? Determining Modifiable Risk Factors for Mortality and Dementia: What kinds of things can people change in their lives to live longer? Can people change their risk of dementia through diet, exercise or supplements?
Researchers from The 90+ Study have published many scientific papers in premier journals. Some of the major findings are:
People who drank moderate amounts of alcohol or coffee lived longer than those who abstained.
People who were overweight in their 70s lived longer than normal or underweight people did.
Over 40% of people aged 90 and older suffer from dementia while almost 80% are disabled. Both are more common in women than men.
About half of people with dementia over age 90 do not have sufficient neuropathology in their brain to explain their cognitive loss.
People aged 90 and older with an APOE2 gene are less likely to have clinical Alzheimer’s dementia, but are much more likely to have Alzheimer’s neuropathology in their brains.
The 90+ Study is seeking new participants. If you are at least 90 years old and are willing to participate in twice annual visits and donate your brain to research after death, you may be eligible to enroll in The 90+ Study.
Dementia in the oldest-old. Bullain SS, Corrada MM. Neurology Continuum (Minneap Minn) 19(2 Dementia):457-469, 2013. PMID: 23558489.
DRD4 genotype predicts longevity in mouse and human. Grady D, Thanos P, Corrada MM, Barnett J, Ciobanu V, Shustarovich D, Napoli A, Grandy D, Moyzis A, Rubinstein M, Wang G-J, Kawas C, Chen C, Dong Q, Wang E, Volkow N, Moyzis R. Journal of Neuroscience 33:286-291,2013. PMID: 23283341.
Every year The 90+ Study hosts a luncheon to appreciate and honor those individuals that have given their time and efforts to the research study. With more and more people volunteering for the research, the attendance continues to grow.
The staff of The 90+ Study is truly grateful for all you have done to further our understanding of ways to aid future generations in leading long, productive and healthy lives. This is YOUR LEGACY.
Through all of your passion and dedication to our mission, The 90+ Study at the University of California, Irvine has achieved a number of great successes. Our investigators, Drs. Claudia Kawas, Maria Corrada, and Annlia Paganini-Hill, are extremely well published in the field of aging and dementia and continue to be very successful in break-through research around the world.
Ways to donate
Click an option below:
Click the button above, print the PDF and complete the form
Checks are payable to “UCI FOUNDATION” with “THE 90+ STUDY” written in the memo area
Mail the filled in form and your check to:
Claudia Kawas M.D., 1121 Gillespie, Irvine, CA 92697-4540
Interested in volunteering or know someone over 90 years old who might want to participate in The 90+Study?
Take a look at the eligibility criteria listed below
At present, a definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is made by examining brain tissue. An autopsy provides accurate and comprehensive information about the cause of the clinical diagnosis of dementia during life. Many families find that receiving the final pathological diagnosis provides closure and resolution to the caregiving experience and important information about their own medical risks.
In addition, the autopsy contributes greatly to our scientific understanding of the effects of the disease on the brain and may lead to better treatments in the future.
Finally, brain donation provides the opportunity for the individual and their family to provide a gift of hope to future generations in the fight against Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases.
WHO CAN DONATE BRAIN TISSUE?
Participants enrolled in UCI’s 90+ Study and who have agreed to in-person visits and longitudinal follow-up, are eligible for brain donation. Brain donation by non-research participants is, unfortunately, far less valuable to scientific study.
HOW CAN BRAIN DONATION BE ARRANGED?
A signed informed consent form is all that is needed to be enrolled in the program. Without the signed consent, the legal next-of-kin must authorize the brain autopsy before it can be performed.
DOES BRAIN DONATION GO AGAINST RELIGIOUS TEACHING?
To donate your brain for the betterment of humanity and to improve the lives of others in the future is compatible with the teachings of nearly all religions. If you are concerned about brain donation and your religious faith, we encourage you to discuss this issue with your spiritual leader.
WHAT EFFECT DOES BRAIN DONATION HAVE ON FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS?
A brain autopsy will have little or no effect on funeral arrangements. The procedure is performed very carefully and does not interfere with plans for open casket viewing or cremation.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE BRAIN ONCE IT HAS BEEN DONATED?
The brain is examined by a pathologist to establish a definitive diagnosis. This process is quite complex and can take several months to complete. Once finished, a comprehensive report is sent to the participant’s family. After the examination, portions of the brain will be stored for future investigations by researchers at the UCI ADRC and Stanford University. The identity of all brain donors remains strictly confidential.
Strides in research can only be made through the generosity of others. It is through these gifts that we can help promote research and fuel determination to find answers and a cure.
BRAIN DONATION PROGRAM
The 90+ Study
24361 El Toro Road, Suite 150
Laguna Woods, CA 92637
For more information about brain donation, please consider reading the following articles:
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