Duke Twins Study of Memory in Aging in the NAS-NRC Twin Registry

Brenda L. Plassman, David C. Steffens, James R. Burke, Kathleen A. Welsh-Bohmer, Tiffany N. Newman, Deborah Drosdick, Michael J. Helms, Guy G. Potter, John C.S. Breitner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


The Duke Twins Study of Memory in Aging is an ongoing, longitudinal study of cognitive change and dementia in the population-based National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council (NAS-NRC) Twin Registry of World War II Male Veterans. The primary goal of this study has been to estimate the overall genetic and environmental contributions to dementia with a specific focus on Alzheimer's disease. An additional goal has been to examine specific genetic and environmental antecedents of cognitive decline and dementia. Since 1989, we have completed 4 waves of data collection. Each wave included a 2-phase telephone cognitive screening protocol, followed by an in-home standardized clinical assessment for those with suspected dementia. For many participants, we have obtained postmortem neuropathological confirmation of the diagnosis of dementia. In addition to data on cognition, we have also collected information on occupational history, medical history, medications and other lifetime experiences that may influence cognitive function in late life. We provide an overview of the study's methodology and describe the focus of recent research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)950-957
Number of pages8
JournalTwin Research and Human Genetics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Genetics(clinical)

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    Plassman, B. L., Steffens, D. C., Burke, J. R., Welsh-Bohmer, K. A., Newman, T. N., Drosdick, D., Helms, M. J., Potter, G. G., & Breitner, J. C. S. (2006). Duke Twins Study of Memory in Aging in the NAS-NRC Twin Registry. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 9(6), 950-957. https://doi.org/10.1375/183242706779462381