What is the Knight ADRC?

The Charles F. and Joanne Knight Alzheimer Disease Research Center (Knight ADRC) was established in 1985 with funding from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and is the nexus for aging and dementia research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. We support a diverse, multidisciplinary group of investigators, scientists-in-training and research studies. In addition, we provide community outreach, sponsor educational events and provide resources for other researchers.

Our Center is one of approximately 30 federally funded NIA-designated Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers across the United States. The Knight ADRC is part of a national network of scientists who are working toward the common goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s disease by 2025.

Our Research

The main research goals of the Charles F. and Joanne Knight Alzheimer Disease Research Center include improving early detection of Alzheimer disease, identifying risk and protective factors and finding ways to delay onset and progression of the disease. Much of the Center’s science is based on a wealth of information gathered from the research volunteers and families involved in its studies

Alzheimer Disease Statistics

  • One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer disease or another dementia.
  • About two-thirds of people with Alzheimer disease are women.
  • 5 million+ Americans are living with Alzheimer disease; nearly 14 million will have the disease in 2050*.
  • African Americans and American Indians are up to twice as likely, and Hispanics are about 1.5 times more times likely to develop Alzheimer disease as non-Hispanic whites.
  • 3 in 5 people with Down syndrome get dementia by age 55.
  • Memory loss is just one symptom of Alzheimer disease — early warning signs of the disease also include personality changes, confusion with time or place, difficulty completing familiar tasks and trouble with numbers and problem solving**.
  • Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are studying a range of factors that may contribute to Alzheimer disease risk including: genetics, overall health, socioeconomic status, gender and race.
  • Advanced brain imaging allows scientists to detect early brain changes associated with Alzheimer disease up to two decades before a person experiences symptoms of the disease
  • Science consistently shows us that a healthy lifestyle – blood pressure control, physical activity, healthy sleep along with healthy eating is good for the brain and may delay or slow the effects of Alzheimer disease

Statistics from Alzheimer’s Association, 2019

** “What Are the Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease?” from National Institute on Aging 

Contact an Alzheimer Expert

Members of the media can request interviews with our investigators by contacting Judy Martin Finch, director of media relations at Washington University School of Medicine, via phone at (314) 750-4213 or email martinju@wustl.edu.