Cleveland Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center

September 21, 2022, is World Alzheimer’s Day: A Time to Raise Awareness About AD

The Daily (CWRU Digital Newsletter) sat down with Dr. Jonathan Haines, an internationally recognized researcher and educator, and CADRC Data Management and Statistics Core Leader, to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, which has been a major focus of his for decades. 

“There’s a general misconception that having memory problems and having Alzheimer’s disease is a natural aging process, and it’s not,” Haines explained. “There are quite a few people who are in their 90s who are just as sharp as they were when they were in their 20s.”

Dr. Haines lists five things everyone should know about Alzheimer’s disease.

Read the full story in The Daily here

Cleveland Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center

The Cleveland Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (CADRC) is a research program led by Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), Cleveland Clinic (CCF), University Hospitals (UH), the Louis Stokes VA, and MetroHealth. The CADRC is a center without walls as it is not a specific building or place. Instead, the CADRC includes top scientists and doctors from the Cleveland area, working together to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and Related Dementias (ADRD). The goal of the CADRC is to help find treatments to improve the lives of patients and their families. The CADRC enrolls people with brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body Dementia, or Atypical dementia. We also enroll people without memory problems. Our CADRC clinical sites (CCF and UH) run memory tests, lab tests, and other brain tests such as MRI scans. The CADRC raises awareness of ADRD and involves people in the community.

Give us a call at 1-833-311-2372 for more information!

Please take our survey – We would love to know what you think!

Professor Andrew A. Pieper is Recipient of the Barchas Chair, Endowed Professorship

Dr. Rebecca Barchas established at Case Western Reserve a $3.5M endowed professorship in translational psychiatry, with resources to support that faculty member’s research.

Andrew A. Pieper, MD, PhD

The medical school celebrated the inaugural recipient of the Barchas Chair, Case Western Reserve University Psychiatry Professor Andrew A. Pieper, an accomplished psychiatrist and neuroscientist dedicated to both treating patients in his outpatient clinic and discovering treatments in his laboratory that alleviate or even cure the damage of brain trauma and neurodegenerative diseases.

Translational psychiatry, an area of passion for Barchas since childhood, involves the process of first making basic science discoveries in laboratory models and then advancing those findings to the development of new medicines for patients.

“These types of early stage, high risk, high reward strategies are not typically supported by traditional National Institutes of Health-style funding, and would be impossible without her philanthropic generosity.” A. Pieper

For Pieper, who is also director of the Center for Brain Health Medicines at University Hospitals Harrington Discovery Institute and director of the Translational Therapeutics Core of the Cleveland Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (CADRC), Barchas’ gift will provide resources for initial exploration of the kinds of breakthrough ideas federal agencies and other large organizations are hesitant to back without significant evidence of their promise.

Read full story in the daily here

Case Western Reserve University Researcher of the CADRC Helps to Expand Alzheimer’s Disease Research with Cleveland’s African American Communities

CLEVELAND—Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) researchers focused on the genetics of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) in individuals with African ancestry have secured $46M in funding through the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute on Aging to expand community outreach.

Jonathan Haines, PhD
Data Management and Statistics Core Leader

This is part of a nationwide effort to better understand a disease that presents differently—and at different rates—in communities that historically have not been included in large-scale genetic research.

“This enhances research that is foundational to developing prevention strategies, earlier diagnostic tests and treatments for a condition that has no boundaries,” said Jonathan L. Haines, PhD, the CADRC Data Management and Statistics Core Leader and lead investigator and chair of the Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, and the Mary W. Sheldon, MD, Professor of Genomic Sciences.

“We are already engaged in the Cleveland area with African American individuals and families who are important partners in this work,” he said. “We are committed to our local community, and this increased capacity ensures that large-scale research benefits everyone.”

The full consortium, which includes three investigators at CWRU, will also engage with Hispanic and Afro-Hispanic communities nationally. Additionally, the consortium will collaborate with AD genetic researchers across nine African countries. Altogether, these researchers will collect, match, and analyze data at the scale required to uncover genetic variants associated with AD.

Read full story here

Alzheimer’s isn’t waiting — and neither are we. This year, The CADRC is participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Will you support our efforts by making a donation on our team fundraising page?

Every dollar you donate helps the Alzheimer’s Association® provide care and support to those facing Alzheimer’s and all other dementia, and advance critical research.

I hope you will stand with us in this fight. Together, we can end Alzheimer’s.

Donate online on our TEAM page here

*Check donations can be made out to the Alzheimer’s Association. You can mail a check to the Alzheimer’s Association, along with the donation form available on the fundraising page.

Needs Survey

Researchers from the Cleveland Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (CADRC) welcome members of all communities to check out our website and provide their input on how the CADRC can best meet the needs of individuals and families. We also want to hear from groups/entities interested in advancing care and research on Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias. Please complete our CADRC needs survey to help us do a better job in serving our community and planning for programing that you feel would be most helpful:

Letter from the Director

Photo of Dr. James Leverenz
James Leverenz, MD
Director, CADRC

Over the past two years, with funding from the National Institute of Aging Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers program, experts in the field of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA, and University Hospitals have collaborated to establish the Cleveland Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (CADRC). As the Director of the CADRC, I am well aware of the complex nature of this cross-institutional research Center. However, in just two years time, through the immense effort my colleagues and collaborators at these key Cleveland Institutions and with the common goal of advancing our knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease and Related Dementias the CADRC has become a success.

In this context, I am delighted that the National Institute of Aging has recently announced that it will fund the Cleveland ADRC for the next five years with a $15.4million grant to continue the important work of the Center. 

I cannot sufficiently thank the tireless support of my colleagues and collaborators, the unwavering support of the involved Cleveland institutions, the research support staff, the Cleveland community, and of course the patients and their families who have been generous in making this Center program a success.

In the first two years the Clinical Core has successfully enrolled over 150 individuals who have provided biospecimens, completed neuroimaging scans, and contributed neuropsychological data to the Center. Such a task is a challenge in and of itself, yet our Clinical Core has gone a step further and seamlessly developed a process across our two clinical sites – University Hospitals and Cleveland Clinic – to enroll participants and complete the tests and procedures offered through the Center. The participants have been recruited through various means, however the Outreach, Recruitment, and Engagement Core has contributed a vast amount of time and effort establishing relationships with the community to not only recruit participants, but also to engage the community in this opportunity to contribute to the field of dementia research.

The CADRC goes beyond the recruitment and enrollment of research participants. Through the Biomarker Core, samples from our participants have been processed, analyzed, and stored for future research. Data from both our Clinical and Biomarker Cores have been successfully uploaded to the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center thanks to our Data Management and Statistics Core. The Neuropathology Core has performed autopsies on retroactive tissue and contributed this data to the CADRC database. This clinical, biological, and neuropathological data can be utilized by researchers across the nation to further understand Alzheimer’s disease and Related Dementias. Such data can be utilized to support new therapies, as with our Translational Therapeutics Core, which connects basic scientists with resources to test promising hypothesis that may someday lead to new therapies for dementia. Through our Center, we not only promote the use of novel ideas in research, but also the education of young researchers. The Research Education Component has built a platform for early career investigators in which they can further develop their research skills through completion of independent projects under the guidance senior investigators.

Together we plan to increase our understanding of these devastating disorders so that those of us who are clinicians can provide more hope to patients and their families.

Please explore our website for more information about the Cleveland Alzheimer’s Disease Center or call 1-833-331-2372 or email us

James B. Leverenz, M.D. 
Director, Cleveland Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center
Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Cleveland Clinic
Jane and Lee Seidman Endowed Chair for Advanced Neurological Research and Education Cleveland, Ohio

CADRC Investigator News

Funding Announcement

New 5-Year National Institute of Aging (NIA) Research Grant Awarded to Dr. Jagan Pillai to Evaluate Immune Cell Activation and Blood Brain Barrier Changes at Different Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

Dr. Jagan Pillai, Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and CWRU and falls under the umbrella of research conducted by the Cleveland Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (CADRC). His research study just started, September 2022, and will evaluate immune cell activation and blood brain barrier(BBB) changes at different stage of Alzheimer’s disease. This will help develop therapeutic targeting of specific immune and BBB changes at the most effective clinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease to make a useful clinical impact in overcoming cognitive decline.

Click here for more information

U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) Awards 5-Year Grant to Dr. Stephen Rao and Dr. Jay Alberts to Study the Impact of a Home Based, High Intensity Exercise Program for Those Who Have a Genetic Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)

Dr. Stephen Rao, PhD, who is a co-investigator in the CADRC Clinical Core and Dr. Jay Alberts, PhD, a kinesiologist with specialization in the field of motor control have been awarded a 5-year NIH research grant for a randomized controlled trial which aims to study the impact of a home based, high intensity exercise program in healthy older adults between the ages of 65 and 80 years, who have a genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) but do not have any memory concerns. The CYCLE-AD trial will recruit healthy sedentary APOE e4 carriers and randomize them to one of two groups: 1) an Indoor Cycling (IC) group that participates in high-intensity interval training in their home using a commercially available Peloton® cycling system or 2) a Usual and Customary Care (UCC) group, in which participants engage in their habitual level of physical activity.

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National Institute on Aging Awards
$2 Million to Dr. Wenzhang Wang to Study
ApoE and Abeta Which is Believed to Be a Key Cause of Alzheimer’s Disease

July 1, 2022, CLEVELAND: The National Institute of Aging (NIA) has awarded a $2 million, 5-year research grant to Dr. Wenzhang Wang, who is a Cleveland Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (CADRC) Research Education Component Mentee. Dr. Wang will study ApoE, an Alzheimer’s disease (AD) risk factor gene, and Abeta, a protein that is deposited on the brain, in the regulation of mitochondria and lysosome interactions in AD. The project will be conducted at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and falls under the umbrella of research conducted by the CADRC.

Click here for more information