Copyright © 2017 UCSD ADRC.
All rights reserved.

Dedicated to investigating the cause,
treatment, and prevention of Alzheimer's
and related dementias

For more information please contact us at 858-822-4800

Director: James Brewer, MD, PhD
Program Director:
Emily Little, MPH

Welcome to the website for the Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC), in the Department of Neurosciences, at the University of California, San Diego in San Diego, CA, USA. 

In November of 2004, UCSD announced a $4 million pledge from Donald and Darlene Shiley to support the UCSD ADRC. In recognition of their generous gift and in honor of Darlene's mother Dee Marcos, UCSD renamed the ADRC the Shiley-Marcos ADRC.

Our ADRC conducts a wide variety of research studies dedicated to understanding the causes, clinical features, and treatments for Alzheimer's disease and related memory disorders. Our goal is to discover ways to prevent and ultimately eradicate this disease. The UCSD Shiley-Marcos ADRC annually follows approximately 350 seniors with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia, and 100 age-matched participants with no memory problems. 

The Shiley-Marcos ADRC is also one of the 35 nationwide university medical centers designated to carry out clinical trials coordinated by the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study, which was created by the National Institute on Aging.

We are organized into various cores that focus on carrying out our multidisciplinary goals and objectives in accordance with our mission.

 Clinical Core: 

The overall objective is to maintain research subjects, clinical resources, and clinical data to support ongoing and proposed research and to assist in the development of new clinical and interdisciplinary research. This core is responsible for performing the annual nursing, neurological, and neuropsychological evaluations of all ADRC participants, as well as refining and evaluating clinical and neuropsychological assessment procedures for accurate identification of MCI and the transition to AD in very mildly impaired subjects. Additionally, this core participates in projects with other ADCs and in multicenter therapeutic drug trials for AD. 

The Education and Information Transfer Core:

The Education and Information Transfer Core is focused on increasing the number of individuals interested in, trained for, and actively pursuing AD research and clinical care. This team simultaneously works to reach caregivers to provide information about AD, access to community resources, and opportunities to participate in ADRC research.

Our multidisciplinary staff provides valuable education to the medical and lay community in the form of lectures workshops, and in-service training. Every four months we issue "Currents" our newsletter that provides information about recent research progress and educational events. We also publish the quarterly international newsletter "Perspectives", written specifically for people with dementia. 

We hold an annual conference featuring internationally recognized speakers, who give updates on the latest advances in Alzheimer's care and research. Our physicians and staff continue to publish extensively in all aspects of Alzheimer's disease and its treatment.

We also have a number of Quality of Life Programs through this core that aim to improve emotional and social support for patients and caregivers through support groups and activity -based programs.

Neuropathology Core:

Our team of neuropathologists maintain a state of the art Alzheimer's brain bank with well characterized cases, including Mild Cognitive Impairment and Lewy Body disease.  An AD diagnosis can only be conclusively made by examining the brain after death in an autopsy to identify the characteristic plaques and tangles. Autopsy provides valuable information that can educate and enlighten families, physicians, and researchers, who are working to discover more reliable tests for AD. The autopsy results of AD patients who have been followed over time at our ADRC are espcially valuable because in conjunction with the substantial tratment and care histories that are collected, researchers can obtain information essential to the search for effective treatments for AD. This research will contribute to our eventual understanding of the chain of events that leads to AD and related dementias.

Data Management and Statistics Core (DMSC):

Our team of statisticians collect, store, manage, and analyze data generated by other ADRC components, primarily the Clinical Core. They provide statistical design and analysis consultation services to ADRC investigators and prepare the ADRC database for routine submission to the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center.  Additionally, they educate investigators, trainees, and junior faculty in the principles and use of statistical analysis methodologies. The DMSC is also responsible for developing new statistical methodologies that apply to the analysis of Alzheimer's disease data.