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 contact@clevelandADRC.org.
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