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RADC Core Center

The Core Center's goal is to support the research on etiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, Alzheimer's disease, or AD, and other common dementias through the activities of six cores. Areas of research include the following:

  • Studying the transition from normal aging to MCI and to the earliest stages of dementia, including studies with substantial participation by racial and ethnic minorities
  • Studying the neurobiology of normal aging, MCI, AD, and mixed dementias with an emphasis on common coexistng pathologies such as cerebrovascular disease and Lewy bodies
  • Linking risk factors for incident MCI and incident AD to post-mortem indices of AD and other common coexisting pathologies
  • Incorporating contemporary biochemical and molecular techniques including genomics, epigenomics, proteomics, metabolomics, microarray and next generation sequencing into clinical-pathologic cohort studies of normal aging, MCI, AD and other dementias
  • Facilitating the overall goals and missions of other federal, state and local agency-supported aging and AD research programs

Administrative core

  • Core leader: David Bennett, MD
  • Research administrator: Annie Barz, MS (
  • Core activities: Exercises overall scientific leadership of the Rush ADCC via the executive committee ensuring that each core reaches its scientific goals, and provides leadership for many other national and local aging and AD-related research activities.

Clinical care core

  • Core leaders: Lisa Barnes, PhD and Neelum T. Aggarwal, MD
  • Enrolls and follows older African Americans without dementia, all of whom have agreed to annual clinical evaluations that are harmonized with the other cohort studies at the RADC. Participants also receive extensive education on importance of brain donation and autopsy enrollment is actively pursued.

Data management and statistics core

  • Core leader: Sue Leurgans, PhD
  • Core activities: Supports data collection by all of the other Cores, manages data in an efficient relational database with appropriate protections of confidentiality, distributes data sets to NACC, and supports the distribution of data and biospecimens to users of Rush ADCC resources. Provides biostatistical expertise and develops novel analytic approaches to the complex longitudinal clinical and neuropathologic datasets created with Center resources.

Outreach and Recruitment (OR) Core

  • Core leader: Crystal Glover, PhD
  • Core activities: Provides culturally competent educational programs and materials, with an emphasis on racial and ethnic minority communities, in order to build and maintain trusting relationships that support community-based research.

Neuroimaging Core

  • Core leader: Konstantinos Arfanakis Ph.D.
  • Core activities: Employs state-of-the-art neuroimaging approaches to collect, quality test, process, store, and distribute in-vivo and ex-vivo MRI data from the Rush ADCC African      Americans and Latinos and from ancillary studies. The Neuroimaging Core also provides neuroimaging expertise to facilitate high quality, cutting edge, externally funded research focusing on the transition from normal aging to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other dementias.

Neuropathology core

  • Core leader: Julie A. Schneider, MS, MD
  • ADC Neuropathology Core Laboratory manager: Karen Skish, MS (
  • Core activities: Employs state-of-the-art procedures to process, store, and distribute ante- and post-mortem biospecimens, obtained from Clinical and Religious Orders Study Core participants, collects the Neuropathology (NP) Data Set for NACC, and other post-mortem data that support a wide range of externally funded studies at Rush and other institutions across the U.S., including studies that incorporate contemporary biochemical and molecular techniques.

Latino Core

  • Core leader: David X. Marquez, PhD
  • Core activities: Recruit and enroll older Latinos (to work towards our goal of 300 participants) without dementia who agree to annual, detailed clinical evaluations and the collection of ante-mortem biologic specimens; Conduct uniform structured baseline and annual follow-up evaluations, including neurological examinations and neuropsychological and motor performance testing, and harmonize data collection with the Religious Orders Study Core and the Clinical Core to facilitate health disparities research; Integrate innovative and culturally tailored educational programs into the clinical evaluation to increase awareness of the importance of brain and spinal cord autopsy in Latinos; Increase the capacity to conduct externally-funded research.

Religious Orders Study core

  • Core leader: David A. Bennett, MD
  • Core activities: Enrolls and follows older Catholic clergy without dementia, including African Americans and Hispanics, all of whom have agreed to annual clinical evaluation and organ donation.

Research Education Component