Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease

Director’s Message

Welcome to the Mesulam Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center (Mesulam CNADC). The Mesulam CNADC is a multidepartmental freestanding component of the Feinberg School of Medicine. We specialize in the clinical care and scientific study of neurological diseases that interfere with cognition and behavior.  Areas of clinical emphasis include age-related memory impairments, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal degenerations, primary progressive aphasia, and related neurodegenerative conditions.

Our three interacting missions are to investigate the causes and clinical characteristics of neurodegenerative diseases, to ensure that our patients are the beneficiaries of the latest advances, and to explore the neural foundations of behavior and cognition in health and disease.

The Mesulam CNADC represents more than 50 core and affiliated faculty members from 14 departments in the Chicago and Evanston campuses of Northwestern University.

We have three major components:

Our Alzheimer’s Disease Center conducts and promotes innovative research and patient care in a broad spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases. Its Clinical Core provides a registry of characterized patients for clinical trials, biomarker development, imaging, genetics, and neurocognitive research. The Neuropathology Core acquires and distributes tissue and biofluids for research on the cellular and molecular biology of Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal lobar degenerations. It also offers brain bank services for the Movement Disorders and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis programs at the Feinberg School of Medicine so as to integrate research on multiple forms of neurodegenerative diseases. The Education Core develops informational tools and novel life enrichment programs for patients and families.

Our Neurobehavior and Memory Clinic brings together neurologists, psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, geriatricians, speech therapists and social workers in a seamless program that addresses diagnostic questions and treatment plans from multiple perspectives. It also provides the clinical setting for accredited training programs in behavioral neurology, neuropsychiatry, neuropsychology and social work.

One area of national prominence at the Mesulam CNADC revolves around the syndrome of Primary Progressive Aphasia, a condition that affects word usage rather than memory function. Our Primary Progressive Aphasia Program integrates patient care and research through federally funded magnet projects that attract participants from throughout the United States. Primary Progressive Aphasia provides a model for investigating the principles of selective vulnerability in neurodegenerative diseases and the biological organization of the language network in the human brain.

The Cognitive Brain Mapping Group, established by the Mesulam CNADC, and affiliated with the Cognitive Neuroscience Program and the Center for Translational Imaging, provides a coalition of independent research laboratories in the Chicago and Evanston campuses of Northwestern University. We collaborate on multiple projects focused on the functional imaging of cognition and behavior.

The Mesulam CNADC offers a unique synthesis of patient care, training, and research in an area of immense importance for health care and systems neurobiology. This site provides a gateway to our clinical programs, educational tools, patient services, training opportunities, and research projects. It was designed by a team of Mesulam CNADC staff and faculty.  I hope you will find it informative and that you will also feel free to contact us if you require additional information.


M Marsel Mesulam, MD
Mesulam Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center
Ruth Dunbar Davee Professor of Neuroscience