The ADC provides an environment and core resources that catalyze innovative research, outreach, education, and clinical programs.
The Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center at the University of Kentucky (UK-ADC) is a NIH-funded (AG028383) mature and experienced ADC and one of the original 10 funded research centers. The UK-ADC is housed in the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging (SBCoA), a Kentucky Center of Excellence that facilitates clinical and basic research in healthy brain aging and neurodegenerative disorders.
Our principal mission is to serve as the focal point for all Alzheimer’s disease-related activities at UK and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, by providing an environment and core resources that catalyze innovative research, outreach, education, and clinical programs.
Over the past 25 years, we have developed a vigorous program in the clinical, neuropathological, educational, and research aspects of AD that serves as a critical resource for the university, community, state, and nation.
Two of the historically outstanding facets of the UK-ADC are:
1. A strong autopsy program providing clinical-neuropathological correlation and short postmortem interval (PMI) research material, and
2. A unique, continuously replenished group of ~500 cognitively intact subjects followed longitudinally, together with the initially normal who transition to MCI or AD, and all committed to brain donation upon death.
These signature resources have contributed to our becoming one of the premier center’s defining pathogenic mechanisms underlying the transitions from normal cognitive aging to AD.
The UK-ADC focus is on two interrelated themes: Transitions and Translation. Our overall emphasis is to more effectively bridge the gap between basic research and clinical studies by facilitating translational efforts. We will also carefully characterize transitions across the spectrum of cognitive impairment (normal/ preclinical AD/ MCI/ dementia), with focus on definition of early disease.
The ADC provides an infrastructure and environment that focus on these integrated themes and advance multidisciplinary, innovative AD research through the pursuit of six overall aims.
Specific Aim 1
Provide strong leadership and an administrative structure that support and facilitate basic and clinical research to understand the early transitions to cognitive decline and identify potential intervention strategies that promote cohesiveness and dynamic interactions among the cores to create new opportunities for innovative AD research at UK and beyond, and support NIA major initiatives.
Specific Aim 2
Support our Clinical Core that maintains a central longitudinal cohort of 500 cognitively intact subjects and 300 cognitively impaired subjects with a major focus on early cognitive transitions from normal and from mild cognitive impairment to facilitate research projects, and use this infrastructure to support an integrated translational clinical trials team to evaluate potential new therapeutic interventions.
Specific Aim 3
Maintain and expand our successful Minority Gateway Satellite Clinic to recruit African American subjects, with overall goals that emphasize clinical evaluation and longitudinal follow-up, education of the community about AD, and increased participation in research.
Specific Aim 4
Continue our Biostatistics and Data Management Core (BDMC) that maintains an integrated centralized database, provides expertise on experimental design and analysis, and interfaces with other ADCs and with NACC. The BDMC will contribute innovative statistical expertise to characterize clinical transitions.
Specific Aim 5
Maintain a Neuropathology Core that performs state-of-the-art neuropathological services for the UK-ADC clinical cohort and maintains a tissue bank from well-characterized, short PMI autopsy subjects from across the cognitive spectrum, as well as serum and CSF from living subjects to support research.
Specific Aim 6
Continue an Education and Information Transfer Core (EITC) to support recruitment and retention activities, increase community awareness of AD, and support educational initiatives.