Background: The Religious Orders Study and Rush Memory and Aging Project are both ongoing longitudinal clinical-pathologic cohort studies of aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Objectives: To summarize progress over the past five years and its implications for understanding neurodegenerative diseases.
Methods: Participants in both studies are older adults who enroll without dementia and agree to detailed longitudinal clinical evaluations and organ donation. The last review summarized findings through the end of 2011. Here we summarize progress and study findings over the past five years and discuss new directions for how these studies can inform on aging and AD in the future.
Results: We summarize 1) findings on the relation of neurobiology to clinical AD; 2) neurobiologic pathways linking risk factors to clinical AD; 3) non-cognitive AD phenotypes including motor function and decision making; 4) the development of a novel drug discovery platform.
Conclusion: Complexity at multiple levels needs to be understood and overcome to develop effective treatments and preventions for cognitive decline and AD dementia.
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