Welcome to The Institute for Advanced Studies in Aging and Geriatric Medicine

AREC - Alzheimer's Research & Education Consortium

To advance the pace of scientific discovery, education and awareness among community physicians and health care providers for the treatment and care of Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive disorders in older people.


AREC is a collaborative program within the Institute for Advanced Studies in Aging and Geriatric Medicine, IASIA and the New York University Silberstein Institute. The central office is located within the IASIA administrative space. At this site, administrative and core research personnel will have their offices and a centralized computer network will be housed. The site will also provide space for Advisory Board and investigator meetings, workshops, etc. There will also be a number of AREC-supported personnel located at NYU, particularly with regard to coordinating the core faculty and developing educational programs, and with aspects of the design and conduct of clinical trials. Participating community practices will be certified for clinical research within the AREC program, based upon interest, number of patients, prior experience in clinical research, attendance at AREC educational programs and resource availability. Each community site will be connected to the central computer network for AREC for data administration.


1. To develop a network of community practices to conduct clinical research on treatment and management of cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease. In order to achieve this goal we will:

2. To expand and broaden the patient base for clinical trials to include a more representative sample of older adults than currently participate in trials at centralized research institutions. In order to achieve this goal we will:

3. To provide older adults with opportunities within their communities for expert diagnosis and treatment, as well as to participate in clinical trials. In order to achieve this goal we will:

4. To provide centralized expertise in clinical trial methodology for efficient and effective consortium-coordinated research. In order to achieve this goal we will:

5. To encourage investigators in community practice to utilize the resources of AREC for their own hypothesis-testing clinical research. In order to achieve this goal we will:

6. To promote and become a model for coordinated community-based clinical research and patient care. In order to achieve this goal we will:

Educational Programs to take place in New York and Washington, DC

1. Recognizing and diagnosing Alzheimers disease (AD) and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

  • Cognitive decline in normal aging.
  • Signs and symptoms of dementia.
  • Distinguishing early dementia from normal cognitive changes: Role of neuropsychological assessment
  • Components of a comprehensive evaluation for dementia.
  • Differentiating AD from other dementia disorders.
  • Nature, diagnosis and implications of MCI.

2. Treatment of AD

  • The importance of early diagnosis and treatment
  • Current treatments for reducing symptoms
  • Medications to manage psychiatric and behavioral symptoms of AD
  • non-pharmacologic interventions
  • New drugs in development for slowing or preventing AD.

3. Managing Dementia and MCI & Medical Care Issues:

  • The consequences of under-recognition and under-treatment;
  • General health care issues and special health care needs.
  • Multidisciplinary management
  • Interventions for family members
  • Long term care options
  • Resources available in the community

4. Can we slow or prevent cognitive impairment in the elderly?

  • Life style and diet
  • Physical exercise
  • Managing physical illness that may contribute to cognitive impairment
  • Staying mentally active and socially involved.


Core Leadership

William B. Ershler, MD
Director, Institute for Advanced Studies in Aging & Geriatric Medicine, IASIA, Washington, DC

Dr. Ershler currently serves as Director, Institute for Advanced Studies in Aging and Geriatric Medicine (IASIA); Senior Investigator, Clinical Research Branch, National Institute on Aging (NIH), Chair, National Geriatrics Research Consortium; Director of the Geriatric Oncology Consortium; and is a practicing hematologist/oncologist within the Medical and Surgical Group of Northern Virginia. Dr. Ershler earned his medical degree at the State University of New York, Upstate Medical Center (Syracuse) and completed his internship and residency in the Department of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He remained at the University of Wisconsin to complete clinical and research training in Hematology and Medical Oncology.

Dr. Ershler was Assistant Professor at the University of Vermont, and Associate and full Professor at the University of Wisconsin before he assumed his current positions in Washington, DC. An active clinical investigator, Dr. Ershler also is the immediate past editor of the Journal of Gerontology (Clinical Medicine) and the current editor of Clinical Oncology Alerts. Dr. Ershler has been honored with several awards including the Allied Signal Research Excellence Award, Geriatric Leadership Award from the National Institute on Aging and selection as one of "America's Best Doctors" from American Health Magazine for the past four editions. He has authored over 230 scientific publications and edited three books. Current areas of research interest include cancer, immunity and anemia, all in the context of aging or geriatric medicine.

Mary S. Mittelman, DrPH
Director, Psychosocial Research and Support Program, Silberstein Institute, New York University of Medicine

Dr. Mittelman is Director of the Psychosocial Research and Support Program of the Aging and Dementia Research Center at the NYU Silberstein Institute, Research Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine and leader of the Education and Psychosocial Cores of the NYU Alzheimer's Disease Center. She earned a Dr.PH in psychiatric epidemiology and an MS in biostatistics from Columbia University.

Dr Mittelman has been Principal Investigator of the NYU-Spouse Caregiver Intervention study, funded by the NIH and ongoing since 1987, as well as other studies of psychosocial interventions for people with cognitive impairment, dementia and their family members. Dr Mittelman is a member of the scientific advisory boards of several Alzheimer's Centers and research institutes. Dr. Mittelman's has published more then 30 articles in peer reviewed journals demonstrating that counseling and support for spouse caregivers and their families can have a major and long-term impact on the time the person with AD can remain at home and on the well-being of the caregiver as well.

In the past few years, Dr. Mittelman has made a commitment to disseminate research findings to both health care providers and the community at large. She frequently speaks about the research evidence for the value of counseling and support as part of effective and comprehensive treatment for chronic illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease. With her colleagues, she has written several books for caregivers and health care professionals. Counseling the Alzheimer's Caregiver: A Resource for Health Care Professionals (Mittelman, Epstein and Pierzchala, 2003), was published by the American Medical Association. A book for family caregivers, The Alzheimer's Health Care Handbook: How to get the Best Medical Care for Your Relative with Alzheimer's Disease, in and Out of the Hospital (Mittelman and Epstein, 2003), was published by Marlowe and Company, New York. She has also written numerous chapters in textbooks for researchers and health care practitioners.

Steven H. Ferris, PhD
Professor and Director of the Alzheimer's Disease Center, Silberstein Institute, New York University of Medicine

Steven H. Ferris, Ph.D., is the Friedman Professor and Director of the NIA supported Alzheimer Disease Center at New York University (NYU) School of Medicine, and Executive Director of the Aging and Dementia Research and Treatment Center. Both Centers are part of NYU's Silberstein Institute. He is has been studying brain aging and Alzheimer disease for more than three decades and is a neuropsychologist, psychopharmacologist, and gerontologist.

Dr. Ferris has expanded initial research that evaluated pharmacologic treatments for Alzheimer disease into a comprehensive, multidisciplinary research center studying cognitive decline in aging and dementia. He has now contributed more than 250 scientific publications to the field. Current research interests include clinical trials in brain aging, mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer Disease, the development of improved diagnostic and outcome measures, particularly neuropsychological techniques for early diagnosis, and the study of psychosocial methods for improving the well-being of Alzheimer caregivers. During the past decade he has contributed to the recognition of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) as a very early stage of Alzheimer disease and as an important target for early treatment. He has also focused on the assessment and treatment of brain aging and age-associated memory impairment (AAMI). He is currently directing a national, NIH consortium study designed to improve the efficiency of primary prevention trials for Alzheimer disease.

Dr. Ferris formerly served as the Associate Editor in Chief of Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, has served on several NIH peer review panels, has been a member of the FDA Advisory Committee that reviews new drugs for Alzheimer disease, and is currently a member of the Medical and Scientific Affairs Council of the Alzheimer's Association.

Renie Freedman
Executive Director, IASIA

Ms. Freedman is President of RF&A, a Strategic Planning and Marketing Consulting Firm that specializes in assisting businesses in developing sound strategies for controlled growth. RF&A has developed clients in all fields from retail to production design. Their clients include Chicken Out Rotisserie Restaurants and their Catering Division as well as a cause-relating marketing initiative called the Do Good Foundation, Washington Express, Tess Wald Productions, Silver Diner Restaurants and Stein, Sperling, Bennett, DeJong Law Firm. Ms. Freedman is a well known local broadcast marketing professional in the Washington, D.C. area. She has served in the sales and marketing divisions of various local radio and television stations. Most recently, she worked for NBC4-TV as their marketing manager, where she was responsible for developing the community programs to fit within the strategic approach of existing clients while developing new client involvement with the NBC4 community outreach programs. She also has worked for W*USA-TV and WBAL-TV.

Richard J. Hindin
Chairman of the Board of Directors, IASIA

Mr. Hindin's name is synonymous with Marketing and Retail in the Washington Metropolitan Area. He has served as Chairman of the Board of Chicken Out Rotisserie since 1992. Before joining the Company full-time in 1999, he co-founded Adworks, Inc., a Washington, D.C. based advertising and consulting firm that specializes in retail/restaurant clientele. As its President and Chief Executive Officer he has directed Adworks, Inc. to over $80.0 million in annual revenue. Additionally, in 1967, he co-founded Britches of Georgetown, Inc., ("Britches") a retailer specializing in the sale of upscale men's and women's apparel and accessories. Under his leadership, in which he served as its President and Chief Executive Officer, Britches grew to include 77 units in seven states with annual sales exceeding $120.0 million.

Mr. Hindin is also the majority owner of Hinsilblon Laboratories, located in Fort Meyers, Florida. Hinsilblon specializes in providing Odor Neutralizing Chemicals and Equipment primarily to Industrial and Municipal Waste Water Treatment facilities. The Company has developed and owns proprietary chemical formulations and holds patents on a variety of odor neutralizing delivery systems and specialized equipment that provides a unique point of difference in the industry. In the Fall of 2002, Hinsilblon entered into an Agreement with GE Betz, of Travois, Pennsylvania to market and distribute its proprietary products and equipment systems.

In 2000 Mr. Hindin was retained by the Board of Directors of RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals, a Bethesda, Maryland-based BioTech firm, to evaluate the viability of RegeneRx's proprietary patents and discoveries, and to develop a strategy to bring its products to market. At the end of the process, after the RegeneRx was re-capitalized, Mr. Hindin joined the Board as a Director. Today, RegeneRx has one of its products in a Phase I clinical trial and several of RegeneRx's other innovative products at various stages of development.

In 1985 Mr. Hindin was asked to join the Board of the Institute For Advanced Studies In Aging & Geriatric Medicine. After serving on the Board for a three year period, Mr. Hindin accepted the non-paid position of Chairman of the Board of the Institute, and has continues to occupy that position today.

Laura C. Verdi
Associate Director, IASIA

Ms. Verdi is a health and wellness advocate. Her educational background is in nutrition with an extensive professional background in fitness.

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