Parkinson's research, national ADRCs, Memory Wellness Programs, currently enrolling volunteers for Alzheimer's research

Since 1985, the UW ADRC Clinical Core has made over 2,700 referrals to more than 160 different research projects that have open volunteer opportunities. We refer people who are affected by Alzheimer's disease, non-Alzheimer's disease dementia, and Parkinson's disease, as well as people with normal memory for their age. We also work with other research groups to provide opportunities to participate in research outside of the scope of our studies. In the list below, we briefly describe some of the other centers that have research opportunities:

Pacific Northwest Udall Center, Dr. Thomas Montine (Stanford University)

Udall Centers are funded by the National Institutes of Health to conduct research into the causes of Parkinson's disease and to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients with Parkinson's disease and related neurodegenerative disorders (that is, disorders that are related to or characterized by deterioration of nervous tissue). PANUC is a collaboration among several research institutions, including Stanford University, the University of Washington, the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Oregon Health and Science University, and the Portland VA Medical Center. PANUC is a multidisciplinary program that brings together academic, clinical, and research experts from the fields of movement disorders, memory disorders, and brain aging to study memory impairment in Parkinson's disease.


Genetic Section, Dr. Thomas Bird

The Genetics Program at the UW ADRC and VA Medical Center is collaborating with other Alzheimer's disease research centers on a new research project that is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging to better understand genetic factors in late-onset familial Alzheimer's disease. Families are being sought who have two or more living family members with an onset of dementia at age 60 or later. Participation would involve a phone interview, review of medical records, and a blood sample. Learn more about the Genetics Section here.

Other Alzhemer's Disease Research Centers (ADRCs)

The National Institute on Aging funds thirty-four Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers (ADRCs) and Alzheimer's Disease Centers (ADCs) at major medical institutions across the nation. Researchers at these centers are working to translate research advances into improved diagnosis and care for Alzheimer’s disease patients while, at the same time, focusing on the program’s long-term goal—finding a way to cure and possibly prevent Alzheimer's. For patients and families affected by Alzheimer's, the ADRCs and ADCs offer:

  • Diagnosis and medical management (costs may vary—centers may accept Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance)
  • Information about the disease, services, and resources
  • Opportunities for volunteers to participate in drug trials, support groups, clinical research projects, and other special programs for volunteers and their families.


Mild Traumatic Injury Study at the ADRC

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is caused by blast effects of explosive devices and is the "signature injury" of soldiers in the current Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts (Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom). In addition, repeated exposure to blast trauma may be a risk for developing a disorder similar to Alzheimer's disease in later life. There are a number of tests associated with this study for people who have been exposed to multiple blast traumas, people who have been exposed to head trauma from incidents other than blasts (such as football or boxing), people who have not been exposed to any blast traumas, and people who have not had any head trauma. The goal is to see if there are any differences in the test results among these different groups of people.

Research hotline for veterans interested in participating in TBI research at the ADRC: 206.277.5566 or toll free at 800.329.8387 x 65566