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The Clinical Core provides standardized assessment of research participants, focusing especially on longitudinal changes in cognitive abilities, mood, behavior and neurological function. These data are uploaded by the Data Core to the National Alzheimer Coordinating Center (NAAC). Blood samples are sent to the National Cell Repository for Alzheimer Disease (NCRAD). Limited cerebrospinal fluid samples are stored in the Pathology Core. The Core recruits and follows a pool of participants who can be invited to participate in research studies, including clinical trials, observational studies [link to vascular cohort study], and the brain donation program [link to Brain Research Program]. To discuss recruit of participants for research studies, contact Dr. Schneider: email lschneid@usc.edu.

Leadership team

Lon Schneider MD, Leader, Clinical Core.

Lon Schneider is internationally recognized in clinical drug development for Alzheimer disease and cognitive disorders, neuropsychiatric, and behavioral disorders, has led numerous clinical trials for AD and MCI therapeutics, consults with numerous development programs, participated in the design and operations of several early and later phase proprietary development programs for AD, directed multicenter trials in AD and major depression, including the paradigm shifting CATIE-AD trial. More recently, he examined evidence for secular changes in AD trials characteristics and outcomes, and is conducting work using trials simulations from large metadatabases to assess the effects of Alzheimer-related biomarkers and genotypes on the efficiency of targeted clinical trials in order to improve trials methods. He serves on the steering committees of the NIH ADCS, the NIH ADNI, and the Banner Alzheimer Prevention Initiative.

Helena Chui MD, Co-Leader

During the past 30 years, Dr. Chui’s research interests have focused on aging, Alzheimer disease, and vascular contributions to cognitive impairment in late life. For the past 20 years, she served as principal investigator of the Aging Brain Program Project, a multi-institutional longitudinal study to characterize interactions between vascular and Alzheimer disease, using state-of-the-art clinical-imaging-pathological correlations. Her team is particularly interested in non-occlusive pathways leading from vascular risk factors to vascular brain injury or AD pathology. Recently, they showed that low HDL and high HDL-C are independently correlated with β-amyloid deposition in the brain and that HDL-C may have a protective effect against brain atrophy. During the past 10 years, Dr. Chui has served Director of the Alzheimer Disease Research Center and Chair of the Department of Neurology at USC.

John M. Ringman, MD, Co-Leader

Dr. Ringman is Clinical Professor of Neurology at the Memory and Aging Center at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Neurobiology at U.C. Berkeley before going to medical school at McGill University, and doing his internship and residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He then came to Los Angeles to pursue subspecialty training in behavioral neurology and dementia. His current activities include performing studies of persons with or destined to develop familial Alzheimer’s disease due to known genetic mutations, clinical research in late-onset Alzheimer’s disease in association with the USC Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, and seeing patients with cognitive or behavioral problems referable to neurological and in particular, neurodegenerative disease.