Welcome to the Wake Forest Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC). We are proud to belong to a network of 31 Alzheimer's Disease Research Centers in the country funded by the National Institute on Aging. The Wake Forest ADRC is one of only three NIA-funded centers in the Southeast, a region that has the highest per capita rate of Alzheimer's disease and other age-related cognitive disorders. The scientific themes of the Wake Forest ADRC focus on: 1) early transitions from normal aging to MCI and then to AD; 2) the role of metabolic and vascular risk factors in promoting such transitions; and 3) understanding ethnic and racial differences that may modulate these relationships.

 

The Wake Forest ADRC is unique among Centers in that it sponsors an innovative translational resource consisting of non-human primate (NHP) models of early AD amyloid pathology. Like humans, many NHP species spontaneously develop type 2 diabetes and vascular disease, as well as aging-related brain pathology. Caribbean vervets (Chlorocebus aethiops sabaeus) and other species have a highly conserved amyloid precursor protein sequence relative to humans. They show b-amyloid (Ab) plaque accumulation and functional decrements in cognition, making them excellent models of early or preclinical AD. Wake Forest ADRC Neuropathology Core leaders have harmonized NHP tissue collection, storage, and analysis with human NIA-Alzheimer Association guidelines. Currently, a cohort of aged vervets are being followed with annual cerebral spinal fluid, blood, and behavioral characterization. In time, these animals will undergo planned necropsy due to failing health. The ADRC will add annual magnetic resonance imaging, adding valuable data regarding brain structure, white matter and vascular integrity, and other imaging variables to a rich data and tissue repository to address translational questions. Additional species and treatment groups are available in the NHP repository. If you need assistance with subject selection criteria or requesting specific tissues or images, please request a consultation at the end of this survey.

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