Answer: They are one of the premiere dementia research centers in the world!
- With decades of experience studying dementia including Alzheimer’s disease, Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA), and Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD), the CNADC has a wealth of knowledge at its fingertips. The director of the Center,Dr. M.-Marsel Mesulam, is a world-renowned researcher in neurological disorders, including primary progressive aphasia (PPA), a condition that Dr. Mesulam identified in the 1980’s. Many of the affiliated researchers have national and worldwide recognition.
Over 50 researchers and clinicians in 14 departments contribute to the mission of the CNADC which is:
- To provide the highest quality clinical care; i.e., diagnostic evaluation and treatment for patients and families
- To conduct research on how the brain coordinates mental functions, such as memory, language, and emotion;
- To transfer the benefits of research to afflicted patients;
- To train researchers and clinicians to work in this field.
Patients cared for by our clinicians are offered a comprehensive array of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and consultation. Some of the services we offer include:
- Consultation to patients referred by another physician for initial diagnosis or a second opinion
- Ongoing care for Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, working in concert with their primary care physicians, and making recommendations for improving memory and brain health
- Clinical research trials, including experimental medications but also non medication interventions and studies
- Social work evaluations, disease education and counseling for patients and families.
- Deficit specific interventions and strategies provided by our Care Pathway Coordinator.
- Specialized support groups for early stage Alzheimer’s disease, young onset dementia, and PPA, and FTD
- Annual PPA caregiver conference for families, patients and professionals
- The center actively recruits top-notch faculty who not only conduct research, but also teach in the Feinberg School of Medicine in all areas of study. They also personally train outstanding young clinicians who receive postdoctoral fellowships to study at the CNADC. Trainees get first-hand experience in the treatment of dementia, and are able to apply the science of the disease to the clinical care of patients.
- Breakthroughs are made every day. And researchers use their knowledge to benefit the patients they see in the CNADC.
- The CNADC currently conducts the largest longitudinal study on PPA known to date. The Language in Primary Progressive Aphasia research program recruits participants from around the world that have a diagnosis of PPA. These individuals stay in Chicago for 3-4 days and undergo neuropsychological testing, MRIs, EEGs and a variety of other tasks that allow researchers to better understand the causes and manifestations of PPA. Some subjects are selected to return every two years for the same tests which serve as a way to measure and quantify progression in people with PPA both cognitively and neuroanatomically.
- From time to time, the CNADC conducts clinical drug trials for people with PPA. The Alzheimer’s Disease Center Core study serves a registry to funnel people with PPA into other research studies.
- The CNADC also holds a yearly PPA Caregiver Education and Support Conference for family members of people with a PPA diagnosis. The day-long event consists of educational topics related to PPA, a keynote speaker, support groups and the opportunity to meet people around the globe dealing with PPA. The last conference, held in March 2012, saw an almost 100% increase in attendees from the previous year, clearly indicating the need for programs such as this.