Research Projects

Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS)

The Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS) was formed in 1991 as a cooperative agreement between the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the University of California, San Diego. The ADCS is a major initiative for Alzheimer's disease (AD) clinical studies in the Federal government, addressing treatments for both cognitive and behavioral symptoms. This is part of the NIA Division of Neuroscience's effort to facilitate the discovery, development and testing of new drugs for the treatment of AD and also is part of the Alzheimer's Disease Prevention Initiative.

Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI)

This study is a large five year (we began on Oct 1 2004) research project to study the rate of change of cognition, function, brain structure and function, and biomarkers in 200 elderly controls, 400 subjects with mild cognitive impairment, and 200 with Alzheimer’s disease. There will be public access of the clinical and imaging data through this website and a parallel website at the Laboratory of Neuroimaging. Our project is funded for $60 million, with $40 million from the National Institute on Aging and National Institute of Bioimaging and Bioengineering, parts of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and $20 million from the Pharmaceutical Industry and several foundations, donated to the Foundation for the NIH. The funds are awarded to the Northern California Institute for Research and Education , which is located at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, San Francisco, affiliated with the University of California San Francisco.

In 2010, funded by the federal stimulus package, the ADNI study will continue through “ADNI GO.” Building on the momentum of ADNI, ADNI GO will employ the standardized approach of other ADNI work. ADNI GO is the first study of its kind, focusing on participants who exhibit the very beginning stages of memory loss. Its 200 subjects with eMCI (early MCI) will help researchers more fully understand AD progression in its earliest stages. With better knowledge of the earliest stages of the disease, researchers may be able to test potential therapies at earlier stages, when they may have the greatest promise for slowing down progression of this devastating disease

Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN)

DIAN is an international research partnership of leading scientists determined to understand a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease that is caused by a gene mutation. Understanding of this form of Alzheimer's disease may provide clues to decoding other dementias and developing dementia treatments. 

Funded by a multiple-year research grant from the National Institute on Aging, DIAN currently involves thirteen outstanding research institutions in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Australia. John C. Morris, M.D., Friedman Distinguished Professor of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is the project’s principal investigator. 

UCSD Down Syndrome Center for Research and Treatment (DSCRT)

The Down Syndrome Center for Research and Treatment (DSCRT) is one of the first programs in the country to connect academic research with treatment of adults and children with Down syndrome.  It's goal is to apply cutting edge basic research to develop treatments that will help people with Down syndrome improve their cognition and forestall the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

The DSCRT is currently conducting several clinical trials including the Down Syndrome Biomarker Initiative (DSBI).

Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC)

The National Institute on Aging funds Alzheimer’s Disease Centers (ADCs) at major medical institutions across the U.S. Researchers at these Centers are working to translate research advances into improved diagnosis and care for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients while, at the same time, focusing on the program’s long-term goal—finding a way to cure and possibly prevent AD.

Areas of investigation range from the basic mechanisms of AD to managing the symptoms and helping families cope with the effects of the disease. Center staff conduct basic, clinical, and behavioral research and train scientists and health care providers who are new to AD research.

Although each center has its own unique area of emphasis, a common goal of the ADCs is to enhance research on AD by providing a network for sharing new ideas as well as research results. Collaborative studies draw upon the expertise of scientists from many different disciplines.

Specialized Programs of Translational Research in Acute Stroke (SPOTRIAS)

The intent of the SPOTRIAS is to support a collaboration of clinical researchers from different specialties whose collective efforts will lead to new approaches to early diagnosis and treatment of acute stroke patients. The goal of the SPOTRIAS will be to reduce the disability of and mortality in stroke patients by promoting rapid diagnosis and effective interventions.

California Collaborative Treatment Group (CCTG)

The California Collaborative Treatment Group (CCTG): Since 1986, the CCTG has been conducting high impact multi-centered, investigator-initiated clinical trials. The two major projects in our proposal will address two issues critical to the HIV epidemic in California: 1) CCTG 590- the impact of aging on response to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and 2) CCTG 592- prevention of HIV transmission by targeting HIV-infected subjects engaging in high risk sexual activities.

Cognitive Observation in Seniors studies (COINS and COINS2)

In this  five-year study researchers will systematically investigate functional change over time in MCI patients. Specifically, they will investigate two important IADLs: financial capacity and medical decision-making capacity. Financial capacity refers to one’s ability to manage personal finances, such as making cash purchases, balancing a checkbook, and paying bills. Medical decision-making capacity refers to one’s abilities to understand medical treatment options, make treatment choices, and understand the consequences of these choices.