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McKnight Brain Research Foundation Establishes a Cognitive Aging and Memory Clinical Translational Research Program

Published: July 23rd, 2009

Category: News

The purpose of the MBRF is to support research of the brain in age related memory loss intended for clinical application.   To further fulfill the purpose of the MBRF, an amendment to the endowment from the McKnight Brain Research Foundation (MBRF) to the University of Florida will established a new Cognitive Aging and Memory Clinical Translational Research Program – CAM-CTRP

Approximately 1 in 7 adults age >65 years experiences moderate to severe cognitive and memory impairment, both of which adversely impact independence. Clinical and translational research on interventions to remediate or prevent these highly prevalent age-related conditions is in its early stage.

The CAM-CTRP is designed to be positioned at the forefront of the national arena of aging, cognition and memory research by using an interdisciplinary approach that traverses the entire spectrum of biomedical investigation.

The primary goal of the CAM-CTRP is to develop a highly competitive cutting-edge interdisciplinary clinical translational research program, which translates basic science discoveries regarding cognitive aging and memory into clinical applications to slow, avert or restore the age-related cognitive decline and memory loss.  

The specific research goals include but are not limited to the following:

  • Translate into clinical applications discoveries from basic research.
  • Conduct community- and patient-based clinical trials to test the efficacy of interventions to slow, avert or restore age-related cognitive decline and memory loss. Such interventions may include lifestyle modification, behavioral, pharmacological, hormonal, nutraceuticals and regenerative medicine approaches.
  • Assess the impact of such interventions on quality of life, and cognitive and physical independence of older adults.
  • Conduct ancillary studies focused on cognition and memory in ongoing and future clinical trials of interventions aimed at averting age-related conditions.
  • Conduct community- and patient-based epidemiologic and mechanistic studies to assess modifiable biological and behavioral risk factors of age-related cognitive decline and memory loss, which could be targeted in intervention clinical trials.
  • Conduct secondary data analyses in existing databases of epidemiologic studies and clinical trials to generate preliminary data for planning the above mentioned clinical studies.
  • Translate into human studies concepts and models developed in basic and translational research in the McKnight Brain Institute focused on aging brain plasticity and reprogramming, and in other areas.
  • Translate findings from brain development and repair into new paradigms for protecting and restoring at-risk higher forebrain circuitry that contributes to age-related memory and learning loss.
  • Translate into effectiveness and implementation studies the efficacious interventions tested in clinical trials.

Dr. Marco Pahor, Director of the Institute on Aging and the chair of the department of aging and geriatric research in the college of medicine at the UF is the program coordinator for the CAM-CTRP.  Recruitment is underway for an MD, MD/PhD candidate for the position of Director of the CAM-CTRP.  Anyone who is interested in this important opportunity should contact Dr. Thomas Foster, the chair of the search committee at foster@mbi.ufl.edu  or Dr. Pahor directly at MPahor@aging.ufl.edu