The Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center was established in 1996 and is in its third funding cycle. The Center is funded primarily by an Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center (ADCC) grant from the National Institute on Aging and is one of 29 federally-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Centers nationwide. Our goal is to help reduce the human and economic costs associated with Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of knowledge.
The three primary missions of our Center are to:
- Conduct and facilitate cutting-edge Alzheimer’s disease research
- Enhance clinical care for Alzheimer’s disease patients and their families
- Provide education regarding Alzheimer’s disease to both professional and lay audiences in the greater Boston area and beyond.
Every federally-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Center includes various “Cores.” Each core is directed by an investigator with substantial expertise related to the core.
Administrative Core: Like all other federally funded ADCCs, our Center is led by an Administrative Core that sets the overall direction of the Center and ensures optimal utilization of Center resources. The Center Director leads this Core, which oversees all Center activities and administers its Pilot Grant Program.
Clinical Core: The Clinical Core’s main purpose is to provide well-characterized patients and control participants for research projects (e.g., drug/intervention studies). This Core provides educational and clinical resources to patients, aging control subjects, and caregivers, while charting the course of the disease and age-related changes in the research groups followed by the Center.
Data Management & Statistics Core: The Data Core provides data management and statistical consulting to the various projects of the ADCC. Data cores are important to facilitate local analyses and collaborations among Centers and the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center.
Education Core: The Education Core serves to 1) help recruit and retain subjects for particular research protocols and clinical trials, with a special emphasis on minorities and other underserved populations; 2) spearhead effective outreach programs that will publicize the ADCC and educate families and caregivers; and 3) support development of professional staff on clinical and research skills related to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. These efforts afford an important liaison and outreach from the ADCC to patients, their caregivers, and the professional community.
Neuropathology Core: The Neuropathology Core provides state of the art diagnostic services and a collection of well-prepared brain material appropriate for the research requirements of local and national research efforts, including within and across Centers. This Core provides post mortem diagnoses on cases and normal control subjects enrolled in the Clinical Core, as well as on other well documented AD cases and controls, allowing for valuable analyses of clinical-pathological correlations.