Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia

The Department of Neurology is dedicated to developing the diagnostic tools, treatments and cures for chronic debilitating diseases of the brain, including Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

At the UC Davis Alzheimer's Disease Center we bring together an interdisciplinary group of clinicians, researchers, and support staff to provide comprehensive treatment and to advance our understanding of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. For more information, please see the tabs below and visit the Alzheimer's Disease Center website.

NIH-designated Center for Aging Research

The UC Davis Alzheimer's Disease Center is one of only 29 research centers designated as a center of excellence by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Aging. The Center's goal is to translate research advances into improved diagnosis and treatment for patients while focusing on the long-term goal of finding a way to prevent or cure Alzheimer's. Also funded by the state of California, the Center allows researchers to study the effects of the disease on a uniquely diverse population.

Clinical trials conducted in Sacramento and in Martinez at the VA Medical Center aim to understand how common factors like age, ethnicity, race and socioeconomic status contribute to the onset of neurodegenerative diseases. These trials also serve to evaluate diagnostic methods, medications and behavioral therapies that preserve cognitive functioning.

Research by Center investigators already has revealed that vascular diseases of the brain are far more common than was previously thought, and 15 to 25 percent of the brains of older people show signs of silent, or symptom-free, strokes. Understanding vascular diseases of the brain and how they contribute to age-related cognitive disorders is a primary focus of study.

Current projects at the center include:

  • A study to determine standards for imaging the brains of  patients with neurodegenerative diseases
  • Research into whether men and women of different ethnicities are more or less likely to seek help when they begin to suffer the symptoms of dementia

State-of-the-Art Brain Imaging

With state-of-the-art imaging technology and broad-based expertise, UC Davis' researchers are contributing to the scientific body of knowledge that promises to improve the quality of life for elderly patients, reduce the burden on caregivers and bring down the societal health care costs associated with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

See also: Neuroimaging