Stanford / VA / NIA Aging Clinical Research Center
Palo Alto Veterans Health Care System
3801 Miranda Ave 151Y, Palo Alto, CA 94304
Phone: 650-852-3287 Fax: 650-852-3297

ACRC's NIA Alzheimer's Disease Core Center

CURRENT RESEARCH on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias



This component is responsible for tracking the patient’s medical status, behavior, and general cognitive functioning over time. Every six months, a clinician will speak with the caregiver about any changes in the patient's health, behavior or living situation. The patient will be tested for cognitive changes by means of paper and pencil tests and oral questions including questions on everyday problem solving. Approximately once a year, the patient will be given a neurological examination. We strongly encourage participation in the Clinical Assessment Component, as it is the foundation of our research. In addition, the Sleep, Caregiver Health, and Economics studies are usually included in this component.

The caregiver element concerns the unique and ever-changing relationship between Alzheimer's patients and their primary caregivers. During an interview with the caregiver, information is gathered about the costs of caring for a patient with Alzheimer’s Disease, interactions that occur between the caregiver and patient and how the caregiver handles daily experiences. We are interested in the impact that Alzheimer’s Disease has on family resources, as well as the caregiver’s health and well being. This information will provide a better understanding of the emotional and financial load associated with this disease and may influence public policy.

This study looks at the daily sleep-wake patterns in Alzheimer’s patients including “Sundowning” (increased confusion in late afternoon and early evening hours). The sleep project includes two parts: a sleep questionnaire and 7-day sleep log completed by the caregiver, and the wrist actigraph, a watch-like device worn by the patient that measures daily levels of physical activity continuously.


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© 2004 Stanford/VA/NIA Aging Clinical Research Center