Neurology &
Neurological Sciences
Memory Disorders

Translational Research

Frank Longo, MD, PhD, is Chair of the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, The George E. and Lucy Becker Professor of Medicine, and the Director of the Stanford Alzheimer's Translational Research Center. His work has been cited by the National Institues of Health as one of the most successful of its translational research programs in Alzheimers.

Frank Longo

Stanford’s Fight for Memory

Most of us over the age of 30 have suffered the occasional “senior moment,” where we can’t remember something we know. The memory lapse passes sooner or later; we remember what we’d forgotten and laugh off the incident—perhaps with an involuntary shudder, or cross our fingers thinking, “I hope it’s not Alzheimer’s!”


It is a progressive and fatal disease in which synaptic connections in the brain degenerate, robbing patients of their intellect and personality. It causes memory loss and problems with thinking and behavior severe enough to affect work, lifelong hobbies, or social life. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. Dementia is a broad term describing any chronic condition involving the loss of multiple cognitive functions and impacting day-to-day function. One in eight people over age 65 is affected by Alzheimer’s—more than 5.3 million Americans are living with the disease today. Unfortunately, the current cure rate for Alzheimer’s is 0 percent.

The mission of the Stanford Alzheimer’s Translational Research Center is to support Stanford University faculty members pursuing translational research directly involving Alzheimer’s patients or laboratory models of Alzheimer’s and related dementias. The center serves as a robust platform by which to leverage and focus the very best research in neuroscience and other fields emerging at Stanford and other top institutions.

Researchers at the center are among the world leaders in elucidating the underlying mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease, developing new methods to accurately predict and diagnose it, creating new treatments, and conducting clinical trials for new treatment regimens.

The center benefits immensely from being part of Stanford University: Alzheimer’s researchers are able to collaborate with leaders in other vital disciplines and thereby bring creative and exceptional capabilities to their work.

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