1Florida ADRC

1Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC)

1Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC)

1Florida ADRC

Partnering to advance Alzheimer’s research

When it comes to many illnesses and diseases, early detection is crucial. That’s because treatment is most successful in the early stages. It’s no different for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative illnesses. When we discover early signs of cognitive decline, we can find ways to preserve brain function and help older adults live better and maintain their independence.

Through our partnership with the 1Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, a consortium of Florida institutions that conduct Alzheimer’s research, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and Aging (CNSA) is poised to do just that: enhance the lives of all older adults. The 1Florida ADRC also focuses on including people from historically underserved communities who may have difficulty accessing care.

The 1Florida ADRC was awarded a five-year, $15 million grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging to collaborate with other top Florida institutions to focus on Alzheimer’s disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and education in culturally diverse populations. We’ve come together to put our best research forward to meet a common goal.

Dr. David Loewenstein, Director of the CNSA within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, is the Principal Investigator of the Miami site, Clinical Core Leader and is Associate Director of the entire 1Florida ADRC across the State of Florida. Dr. Rosie Curiel Cid, Chief, Cross-Cultural Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience for the CNSA leads the Outreach, Retention and Engagement Core for the Miami and other two 1Florida ADRC clinical recruitment sites across the state.
Dr. Elizabeth Crocco, Chief of Geriatric Psychiatry, is lead Memory Disorders expert for the Clinical Core.
Dr. Tatjana Rundek (Neurology), is Co-Leader of the Education Core for the 1Florida ADRC with the mission of training outstanding leaders in Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.

Making a Difference in South Florida and Beyond

This partnership and grant make us the Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s disease in South Florida. And, as one of only 31 ADRCs across the country, the Miller School has a unique opportunity to make a difference on a national level. Our organization, researchers, and trainees make an impact on national initiatives as we contribute to:

  • Critical data collection that advances research
  • Brain donation that’s essential for testing emerging treatments
  • Education programs to train the next generation of Alzheimer’s disease clinicians and researchers

As an academic medical center, we can offer leading-edge diagnostics and treatment. With our combined resources, we can expand memory care access to those who wouldn’t otherwise
have this level of care. We can provide them with precise, comprehensive care and access to leading-edge biomarkers that help discover neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s early, when they’re most successfully treated.

Reaching a Diverse Community

The University of Miami is a major Clinical Core site for the 1Florida ADRC due to our expertise in: recruiting African American and under-represented populations (Drs. Curiel Cid and Loewenstein), UM’s expertise in creating novel cognitive stress paradigms sensitive to early biomarkers of Alzheimer’s Disease (Drs. Curiel Cid and Loewenstein), expertise in vascular and other comorbidities in the elderly (Drs. Rundek and Xioyan Sun), our expertise in psychiatric disorders in Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (Dr. Elizabeth Crocco), and our excellent CTSA and other training programs (Dr. Rundek).

Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias has become a national priority – particularly in diverse ethnic and racial groups who often are underrepresented in clinical trials and research. As part of the grant, our researchers are conducting a multicultural observational study (not involving treatment) of underrepresented populations, including Black and Hispanic older adults. This ensures what we learn and how we prevent, diagnose, and treat Alzheimer’s disease is based on a multicultural population and can be applied to all older Americans.

We’re seeking to understand the aging brain before symptoms occur. Our researchers check participants for early memory changes using a novel cognitive stress test (the Loewenstein-Acevedo Scales for Semantic Interference and Learning test) developed by 1Florida ADRC leaders – Drs. David Loewenstein and Rosie Curiel Cid – at the University of Miami Miller School. The test can discover changes before traditional cognitive testing can detect them. We perform comprehensive testing and follow up with participants annually.

The study includes older adults who:

  • Don’t have symptoms but may be concerned they’re at risk because of their age or a family history of memory disorders
  • Have cognitive symptoms but haven’t been diagnosed yet
  • Have been diagnosed with early mild cognitive impairment

We’re the only Alzheimer’s disease Center of Excellence in South Florida conducting this comprehensive research. Our multicultural, multilingual team ensures participants receive culturally sensitive care. This allows us to engage fully with our richly diverse South Florida communities.

Comprehensive, Collaborative Training

For those interested in pursuing a career in Alzheimer’s disease research or care, we provide a depth and breadth of education and experience you won’t find anywhere else – including our Alz Stars program, which offers an all-Alzheimer’s curriculum and an opportunity to do research. Our programs allow trainees to explore and specialize in various areas, including neurodegenerative disease, aging, cognition, cognitive test development, neuropsychology, geriatric psychology, and more.

Whether you’re a student, a postdoctoral fellow in neuropsychology or neuropsychiatry, or an attending physician early in your career, you have access to top researchers and clinicians who offer mentorship and guidance to help you gain expertise in your chosen area. You take part in national Alzheimer’s disease initiatives and work with top researchers through the 1Florida ARDC partnership, collaborating with leaders in their fields.

Our programs offer a comprehensive education that positions researchers and clinicians to become leaders – and ultimately help find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias.

The University of Miami 1Florida ADRC site is recruiting 200 older adult participants with or without memory complaints to study early changes that occur in the aging brain of adults who may be at risk for Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.

We are located on the medical school campus at 1695 NW 9th Avenue, Miami, Florida 33136. For more information, please call 305-355-9080 or visit www.cnsa.med.miami.edu