Dementia and Cognitive Impairment


Contact information

Annette Fitzpatrick, PhD
Phone: (206) 685-4295


With the aging of America, one of the most significant health problems we face today is cognitive decline. We have expertise in conducting large observational cohort studies as well as clinical trials associated with cognitive decline and dementia. Studies in which cognition data are available include the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS), the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), and the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory Study (GEMS). These studies were coordinated at the UW Collaborative Health Studies Coordinating Center (CHSCC, UW Dept. of Biostatistics) with which Dr. Fitzpatrick is affiliated (Richard Kronmal, PhD, PI). These studies welcome new investigators to use biospecimens and data to develop new manuscripts or ancillary studies.

Research projects

·       CHS is a prospective study of older adults (age 65 years and older) designed to evaluate risk factors for CHD and stroke at four US sites. The cohort was developed in 1989 with 5201 participants and events follow-up continues.
·       MESA: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis is an ongoing longitudinal cohort initiated in 2000 to investigate risk factors for subclinical CVD. Participants include 6814 adults age 45-84 years at baseline of four racial/ethnic categories, White, Black, Hispanic and Chinese, at six US clinical sites.
·       GEMS originated as a four center clinical trial (n=3069) to evaluate the effect of Ginkgo biloba on the prevention of dementia in adults 75 years of age and older. The study ended in 2008 but an ancillary study to evaluate cholesterol subtypes is currently in place.