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Top Health Inf Manage. 1997 Aug;18(1):47-58.

Consortium to establish a registry for Alzheimer's disease: development, database structure, and selected findings.

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  • 1Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.


The Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease (CERAD) was funded in 1986 by the National Institute on Aging to develop standardized assessments for patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Since that time, CERAD has developed and evaluated clinical and neuropsychological test batteries, a neuroimaging protocol, and an assessment of the neuropathological findings of the brains of these patients at autopsy. Approximately 1,200 carefully screened patients with AD and 450 control subjects were evaluated using these instruments at 24 major medical centers around the United States. Annual follow-up observations of these subjects were made for up to eight years. Autopsy examinations of the brain were done in over half of the deceased cases and the clinical diagnosis of AD was confirmed in 85 percent of them. This article outlines the procedures used for identifying the clinical sites, the entry and annual evaluations of patients and control subjects, the collection and analysis of data at a central Methodology and Data Management Center, and evaluation of the CERAD measures. We also present selected data from the 50 or so peer-reviewed papers published to date, with particular emphasis on findings from African-American patients with AD, and related policy implications.

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