The CNADC Mission
Over 50 researchers and clinicians in 14 departments contribute to the mission of the CNADC which is: 1) To provide the highest quality clinical care; i.e., diagnostic evaluation and treatment for patients and families; 2) To conduct research on how the brain coordinates mental functions, such as memory, language, and emotion; 3) To transfer the benefits of research to afflicted patients; and 4) To train researchers and clinicians to work in this field.
The CNADC is World-Renowned
With decades of experience studying dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, the CNADC has a wealth of knowledge at its fingertips. The director of the Center, Dr. M.-Marsel Mesulam, is a world-renowned researcher in Alzheimer’s disease, behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), and primary progressive aphasia (PPA), a condition that Dr. Mesulam identified in the 1980’s. The Northwestern Alzheimer's Disease Center is one of the prestigious 30 research institutions in the Alzheimer's Disease Centers Program of the National Institute on Aging, one of the National Institutes of Health. Many of the affiliated researchers have national and world-wide recognition.
Cutting-edge Research at the CNADC
The Human Cognitive Brain Mapping Program, genetics studies, and experimental treatments are all part of the cutting-edge research conducted at the CNADC. Using powerful imaging technology, researchers are able to visualize areas of the brain that are activated during mental exercises in real time. Researchers study healthy and abnormal human brains to discover how and where neurodegenerative disease affects the brain and why there are different types of symptoms in different people. Research is ongoing at the Center and its affiliated laboratories on the chemistry of memory, the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, the causes and treatments of PPA and bvFTD, and the nature of cognitive and behavioral changes in Alzheimer’s disease.
The CNADC’s clinical faculty offer a comprehensive array of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and consultation through Northwestern Medicine’s Neurobehavior and Memory Clinic. Some of the service offered to patients through this clinic include:
- Consultation to patients referred by another physician for initial diagnosis or a second opinion
- Ongoing care for Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, working in concert with their primary care physicians, and making recommendations for improving memory and brain health
- Clinical research trials, including experimental medications but also non medication interventions and studies
- Social work evaluations, disease education and counseling for patients and families.
- Deficit specific interventions and strategies provided by the Resource Navigator.
- Specialized support groups for early stage Alzheimer's disease, young onset dementia, and PPA, and bvFTD
Training future physicians and researchers at the CNADC
The center actively recruits top-notch faculty who not only conduct research, but also teach in the Feinberg School of Medicine in all areas of study. They also personally train outstanding young clinicians who receive postdoctoral fellowships to study at the CNADC. Trainees get first-hand experience in the treatment of dementias, and are able to apply the science of the disease to the clinical care of patients.
Breakthroughs are made every day. And researchers use their knowledge to benefit the patients they see in the CNADC.