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Alzheimer's disease (AD) is recognized as a public health crisis worldwide (IADRP, 2013). AD is a complex neurodegenerative disease and the leading cause of dementia among the elderly people (Evans et al., 1989). Currently, there are approximately five million AD cases in the United States and about 35 million cases worldwide (Alzheimer's Disease International, 2009.
The focus of this case study is on the Uniform Data Set (UDS), a longitudinal database on Alzheimer’s patients, and the 29 Alzheimer’s Disease Centers (ADC) that submit their data to the UDS and actively collaborate in the ongoing maintenance, development and research utilization of the database. The ADCs are based in major medical institutions across the United States. They have a multi-decade track record of collaborative research and a networked and virtual approach to the scientific study of AD. The central coordinating mechanism for the ADCs and the UDS is the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center (NACC), which is located at the University of Washington. The NACC coordinates data collection and supports collaborative research among the ADCs.