University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

A Hillblom Network Program for the Pre-Clinical Identification of Dementia

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Dementing disorders represent an epidemic in the elderly, costing more than $100 billion per year in the United States. As new treatments targeting the underlying disease mechanisms are developed, it has become ever more important to identify individuals who are in a prodromal phase or who are at increased risk for dementia. Aging populations show great variability with regards to risk factors, premorbid cognitive status and disease processes necessitating large, well-characterized cohorts if risk factors and degenerative subtypes are going to be understood in a comprehensive fashion. Our center is poised to capture large populations of elderly in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Funding from the Hillblom Network created a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary program for the study of elderly populations in Northern California with the goal of exploring and identifying early markers of degenerative brain disease. The Center houses a talented multidisciplinary team that prospectively and longitudinally characterizes normal and abnormal aging with a broad range of established and novel techniques. Our aim is to develop better probes for the very early diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders, so that patients may receive the best possible treatment.