_Lecture notes_laurelresearch

_Lecture notes_laurelresearch - An Introduction to Research...

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An Introduction to Research Related to Clinical Trials in Alzheimer’s Disease Let’s begin with some background about Alzheimer’s disease (AD). AD is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly. It affects about 4.5 million people 65 and older in the US, or around 10% of the population. Many of those are still in the community, though they may require some help in daily living. Others are in institutions (nursing homes, AD special care units). Clinically, AD is characterized by decline in cognitive function, typically beginning with short-term memory. Other functions affected may include attention, orientation, language, spatial perception. The typical course of the disease is a gradual decline, with ups and downs, eventually culminating in loss of other function (physical, speech, etc.) and typically in late stages wasting and eventual death (if not from other causes first.) Post mortem findings include cortical atrophy, neuritic plaques, and neurofibrillary tangles. There are several approved drugs but effects are not consistent, and only modest; decline may be slowed or stopped for a time, or short-term improvement, but there is no cure. Contributions as a statistician to the knowledge so far: methods for working with complex samples My first major contribution was in the area of design and analysis of population based studies. Prior to our 1989 paper in JAMA , no one had looked at AAD in the population. The general impression was that some people got old and a little forgetful, and a few people got this rare disease. We did the first population-based study. We then projected to the US population, and extrapolated out 50 years using US Census projections of population numbers. Challenges for the statistician in such studies begin with the design. Disease is fairly uncommon and concentrated in the older age groups.
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This note was uploaded on 12/30/2010 for the course BST 252 taught by Professor Tsodikov during the Winter '06 term at UC Davis.

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_Lecture notes_laurelresearch - An Introduction to Research...

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