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Neurological diseases comprise a large and growing proportion of the disabling conditions of older adults. For example, approximately 700,000 strokes occur every year in this country with a cost of more than $60 billion. Stroke is the third leading cause of death, is a leading cause of disability, and disproportionately affects African Americans.

Alzheimer’s disease is estimated to affect as many as 40% of persons age 85 and older and, with the increase of life expectancy in the United States, it is projected that as many as 14 million individuals could develop Alzheimer’s disease within the next few decades.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder of unknown cause that affects over 1 million people in North America and has a major impact both on disability and excess mortality. Three percent of people age 65 and over have Parkinson’s disease and the prevalence increases exponentially with age between 65 and 90 years.

There are numerous opportunities for trainees in the Epidemiology of Aging Training Program to participate in ongoing research in the epidemiology of neurologic conditions among older adults.

Representative Publications

Frequency of unrecognized Fabry disease among young European-American and African-American men with first ischemic stroke. Wozniak MA, Kittner SJ, Tuhrim S, Cole JW, Stern B, Dobbins M, Grace ME, Nazarenko I, Dobrovolny R, McDade E, Desnick RJ. Stroke. 2010 Jan;41(1):78-81. Epub 2009 Dec 10. PMID: 20007919

Relation of candidate genes that encode for endothelial function to migraine and stroke: the Stroke Prevention in Young Women study. MacClellan LR, Howard TD, Cole JW, Stine OC, Giles WH, O'Connell JR, Wozniak MA, Stern BJ, Mitchell BD, Kittner SJ. Stroke. 2009 Oct;40(10):e550-7. Epub 2009 Aug 6. PMID: 19661472

Ischemic stroke risk, smoking, and the genetics of inflammation in a biracial population: the stroke prevention in young women study. Cole JW, Brown DW, Giles WH, Stine OC, O'Connell JR, Mitchell BD, Sorkin JD, Wozniak MA, Stern BJ, Sparks MJ, Dobbins MT, Shoffner LT, Zappala NK, Reinhart LJ, Kittner SJ. Thromb J. 2008 Aug 26;6:11. PMID: 18727828

Dose-response relationship between cigarette smoking and risk of ischemic stroke in young women. Bhat VM, Cole JW, Sorkin JD, Wozniak MA, Malarcher AM, Giles WH, Stern BJ, Kittner SJ. Stroke. 2008 Sep;39(9):2439-43. Epub 2008 Aug 14. PMID: 18703815

Neuroserpin polymorphisms and stroke risk in a biracial population: the stroke prevention in young women study. Cole JW, Naj AC, O'Connell JR, Stine OC, Sorkin JD, Wozniak MA, Stern BJ, Yepes M, Lawrence DA, Reinhart LJ, Strickland DK, Mitchell BD, Kittner SJ. BMC Neurol. 2007 Oct 25;7:37. PMID: 17961231

Effects of vitamin therapy on plasma total homocysteine, endothelial injury markers, and fibrinolysis in stroke patients. Macko RF, Kittner SJ, Ivey FM, Epstein A, Sparks MJ, Hebel JR, Johnson CC, Wityk RJ, Ueland PM, Refsum H. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2002 Jan-Feb;11(1):1-8. PMID: 17903848