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Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the leading cause of severe memory loss in late life. This disease affects not only the individual with memory loss, but also the family and other caregivers of the patient. We are fortunate to have at the University of Washington a major Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC), one of the oldest and most successful in the US. The ADRC focuses on research that can reveal the basic mechanisms underlying the development of adult dementing disorders. We believe this knowledge offers the best hope for prevention, symptom management, and a cure. In addition to this basic research, our investigators are committed to the study and implementation of treatment techniques that may improve patient care and functions, and improve the quality of life for both the patient and the caregiver.
Examples are: 1) Genetic research - finding families in which Alzheimer's disease occurs in more than one generation is very important. 2) Neuroendocrine research - studies of brain-regulated hormones provides information about brain function. Persons with Alzheimer's disease, and persons over age 65 without significant memory problems, can participate in this research. 3) Experimental medication studies - evaluating new drugs that may improve memory, delay progression, and help with difficult behaviors.
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