The UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center, which investigates cognitive aging and dementia, has received renewed funding of $6.9 million from the National Institute on Aging (NIA).
The new grant represents 30 years of continuous NIA funding for the center and recognizes the outstanding contributions of UC Davis researchers in defining the complex factors that affect cognitive function among diverse, community-living seniors.
Widely known for innovative collaborations, the center links experts throughout UC Davis for basic-science and patient-focused research, community education, caregiver support and clinician training. At two research sites, one in Sacramento and another in Walnut Creek, more than 200 patients are evaluated each year for dementia and more than 400 participate in longitudinal research or clinical trials. A partnership with the Latino Aging Research Resource Center helps close gaps in care for older Latinos and supports the career development of diverse research faculty.
Studies at the center focus on risk factors such as vascular disease, amyloid protein, lifestyle and genetics and how they affect the onset and progression of dementia. Newer initiatives include a study of brain changes at the point of transition from normal to mild cognitive impairment, a time when interventions can be most effective.
“We are at a critical point in bringing a new level of precision to what we know about the biological pathologies associated with brain aging and dementia,” said Charles DeCarli, professor of neurology and center director. “Our investigations will now focus on why certain individuals are susceptible to later-life dementia and on identifying treatments based on those findings. The new funding allows us to continue to be major contributors to those discoveries.”
One of 33 NIA-funded research centers, the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center aims to translate research advances into improved diagnosis and treatment for patients while finding ways to prevent or cure later-life cognitive impairment and dementia. Also funded by the state of California, the center’s locations in Northern California allow its researchers to study the effects of dementia on diverse populations.
For information, visit http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/alzheimers/