Researchers are seeking new volunteers to join those already participating in the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative Study as it enters a second phase, called the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative 2 (ADNI2). Over the next five years, approximately 1,000 people aged 55 to 90 will be enrolled at approximately 55 sites in the United States and Canada. They will be followed to define any changes in brain structure and function as people transition from normal cognitive aging to mild cognitive impairment (MCI), often a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease.
“The study will use imaging techniques and biomarker measures in blood and cerebrospinal fluid specially developed to track changes in the living brain,” said John Olichney, associate professor of neurology and the principal investigator for the Martinez, Calif. site. “We hope to identify who is at risk for Alzheimer’s, track progression of the disease and devise tests to measure the effectiveness of potential interventions.”
This effort will continue to track changes in the brain with clinical and cognitive testing and brain scans measuring glucose metabolism and the amount of beta-amyloid protein — a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease — deposited in the brain. Researchers are also collecting serum and plasma for biomarker measures and blood samples for genetic analysis. All new participants in ADNI2 will receive lumbar punctures to measure cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers and will have blood drawn for plasma biomarkers.
The Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative is stimulating the development of a worldwide collaboration among academia, government and industry researchers and has resulted in over 170 published papers. The ongoing study has resulted in new findings about how changes in the structure of the hippocampus, a brain area important to learning and memory, may help detect disease progression and increase effectiveness of potential treatments. It has also established biomarker and imaging measures that predict risk for cognitive decline and diagnostic changes to dementia.
To volunteer or learn more about the ADNI2 study at UC Davis, contact Katharine Vieira 925-372-2493 or Adi Kondonijakos 925-372-2464. Information also may be obtained at the Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center at 1-800-438-4380 or www.nia.nih.gov/Alzheimers.
The UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center is one of only 29 research centers designated by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging. The center’s goal is to translate research advances into improved diagnosis and treatment for patients while focusing on the long-term goal of finding a way to prevent or cure Alzheimer’s disease. Also funded by the state of California, the center allows researchers to study the effects of the disease on a uniquely diverse population. For more information, visit alzheimer.ucdavis.edu.