For almost 20 years, the UCSF Memory and Aging Center (MAC) has been providing model care for patients and their families, finding innovative ways to understand and discover treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, and reaching out to the wider community to raise awareness about these diseases of aging.

The UCSF Memory and Aging Center has grown from a single faculty member in 1998 into a major center for dementia care, research and education. Today, the UCSF Memory and Aging Center employs over 250 talented faculty and staff and enlists the support of more than 40 volunteers. We house 38 faculty members from the fields of neurology, geriatrics, psychiatry, cognitive psychology, neuroscience and nursing, and we have cared for more than 10,000 patients in our clinical and research programs.

We are lucky to have found the UCSF Memory and Aging Center. The treatment and support we receive from them are truly amazing. They are kind, understanding and treat my husband as a human being, not just a research project. They also help the entire family learn and understand this illness and work with us very closely to answer any questions or concerns that constantly come up. They are always there to assist us.

Family Caregiver


Bruce Miller, MD, is recruited to UCSF to establish a clinical dementia program within the Department of Neurology. Co-founders include Joel Kramer, PsyD; Kristine Yaffe, MD and Rosalie Gearhart, RN, MSN. Dr. Miller is awarded the A.W. & Mary Margaret Clausen Distinguished Professorship in Neurology.


UCSF is named an Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center of California (ARCC) with Bruce Miller, MD, as principal investigator and director. The UCSF ARCC at the Memory and Aging Center goes on to establish strong linkages between existing clinical, research and basic science programs and community agencies. It is recognized as a source for outstanding diagnostic and treatment services to individuals with dementia and to their families. In 2009, the name ARCC changed to California Alzheimer’s Disease Center (CADC).


Dr. Miller becomes the first NIH investigator to receive a program project grant to evaluate frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

The UCSF Memory and Aging Center receives a grant to establish the Hillblom Aging Network to learn more about how healthy people age and what changes in the brain occur with aging. Joel Kramer, PsyD, leads the research program.


UCSF Memory and Aging Center is designated as a national Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) with the Memory and Aging Center as the central coordinating site. Funded by the NIH, this large collaborative program involves multiple collaborators. It is designed to integrate basic science and clinical resources in order to investigate the clinical, molecular, neuropathological and neuroimaging features of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), non-AD dementias and mild cognitive impairment (MCI).


In 2005, the UCSF MAC led the first ever randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled treatment trial for patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease with a primary outcome of survival in the US. Our CJD clinical research team led by Michael Geschwind continues to work with Dr. Stanley Prusiner on other potential treatments.


The MAC hosted FTD 2006: 5th International Conference on Frontotemporal Dementia, a three-day conference devoted to scientific sessions as well as caregivers, family members and interested laypersons. Topics included the molecular basis of FTD, animal models, behavioral manifestations, diagnostic testing and biomarker assessments including neuroimaging and genetics.


The UCSF Memory and Aging Center ran the first randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled treatment trial of memantine for patients with frontotemporal dementia.


Bridging Cultures: Improving Evaluation and Treatment of Cognitive Disorders was organized by the MAC and held in San Francisco’s Chinatown. This one-day conference had a morning science track and afternoon caregiver track, which was presented in English with Chinese interpretation services provided to those who wanted it.

Rosalie Gearhart, RN, MSN, won the UCSF Chancellor’s Award for the Advancement of Women.


The Hellman Family Foundation funded program a new program unique in its scope: the initiative provides support for two research scientists, a promising young research fellow, the director of the Memory and Aging Center Clinic and a visiting artist every year. This program is administered by Caroline Prioleau. The various artists have provided art installations, poetry collections, short films, caregiver story collection and live performances for our communities.

The Bluefield Project established the Consortium for Frontotemporal Dementia Research with the hope that the power of this funding, along with collaborative science by the best minds in the field, will lead to a cure for progranulin-based FTD.

The MAC clinical trials program, under the guidance of Adam Boxer, MD, PhD, implemented the first Phase 2 trials for tau-related therapies for frontotemporal dementia.

The MAC began collection of adult skin cells from affected families and healthy volunteers to create induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) that can build better disease models.

Led by Cindy Barton, RN, MSN, GNP, the Memory and Aging Center created a program using telemedicine to help provide specialty health care to people in rural areas.

Dr. Miller was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology.


Dr. Miller received the prestigious Potamkin Prize from the American Academy of Neurology for research in Pick’s, Alzheimer’s and related diseases.

The Tau Consortium was created to accelerate the development of potential tau therapeutic options for tau-related disorders in patients with progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration and FTD-related tauopathies.

The Neuroimaging in Frontotemporal Dementia project to assess imaging techniques and lab tests as biomarkers for FTD began under the leadership of Howie Rosen, MD.

The center hosted a one-day conference in November 2010 of some of the leading experts in rapidly progressive dementia and subacute encephalopathies: Rapidly Progressive Dementia and Subacute Encephalopathies: Diagnosis and Management.


Physician-scientist William Seeley, MD, becomes the first neurologist to receive a MacArthur ‟Genius” award.

The Center presents its first UCSF Osher Mini Medical School for the Public series entitled ‟