University of Southern California, Rancho Los Amigos CADC
Rancho/USC California Alzheimer's Disease Center
7601 East Imperial Highway
800 West Annex
Downey, CA 90242
Freddi Segal-Gidan, PA, PhD, Director/Principal Investigator
History and Background
The Rancho/University of Southern California (USC-Rancho Los Amigos) CADC, was established in 1985 as one of the original California Alzheimer’s Disease Centers. It is located on the campus of Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, in Downey, on the eastern edge of LA County. Rancho Los Amigos is a nationally renown center for medical rehabilitation that is part of the LA County hospital system, and is affiliated with the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine. The USC-Rancho Los Amigos CADC is a model program for evaluation of memory problems, utilizing a multidisciplinary team to provide diagnostic and treatment services to optimize the cognitive, functional, and behavioral abilities of individuals with dementing disorders. The goal is to improve health care delivery and quality of life for both patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and their families and caregivers. During the past 25 years the USC-Rancho Los Amigos CADC has evaluated over 2500 individuals with memory disorders. The USC-Rancho Los Amigos CADC serves a broad spectrum of residents from Los Angeles County, especially those in the southern and eastern portions of the county, as well as residents of western Orange County and some from Riverside-San Bernadino at our satellite office in the Coachella Valley/Rancho Miragea. The individuals served are from a variety of ethnic, racial and socio-economic backgrounds that reflects the diversity of the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area which the Center serves. Approximately 40% of the patients seen at the are Hispanic, with two-thirds of these Spanish-speaking. The USC-Rancho Los Amigos CADC offers patients and their families access to state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment services in English, Spanish and Chinese.
Early identification of cognitive decline and AD is critical so that available treatments, which are most effective before extensive damage to the brain has occurred, can be started, and families can plan for the future, take advantage of available community services, and develop effective coping strategies. USC-Rancho Los Amigos CADC clinicians bring state of the art methods to accurately differentiate between normal aging, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and dementia. The USC-Rancho Los Amigos CADC also brings state of the art culturally sensitive methods to assist English, Spanish, and Chinese speaking individuals and their families through the diagnostic process. In fact, almost half of all new patients seeking diagnostic services at the Rancho/USC CADC over the past 10 years have been of minority background.
Economic Development and Professional Training
The USC-Rancho Los Amigos CADC provides the basic infrastructure to attract new resources into the local economy, leveraging the investment of the state by approximately 6-fold or more. These include federal funding for specialized research in vascular dementia, student training, and various private Foundation grants. The USC-Rancho Los Amigos CADC translates basic findings from the laboratory into general practice within the broader health care community in a cost-effective fashion. Better behavioral and pharmaceutical interventions must be developed in tandem.
The CADCs have helped to build a vital workforce for the growing needs of the State addressing the current and changing demographic needs in California. This includes the training of physicians, nurses, physician assistants, health care professionals, and research investigators. Since 1985, the USC-Rancho Los Amigos CADC has trained hundreds of professionals and students through fellowships, residencies, internships, rotations, clerkships, continuing medical education courses, academic classes, lectures, and presentations. Through their training programs the CADCs have shaped the practice of doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers and other providers who now staff hospitals and clinics throughout the state, making daily life more manageable for thousands of people who struggle with the demands of caregiving and the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementing disorders.
The USC-Rancho Los Amigos CADC has also educated the lay public, caregivers and families on cognitive decline, prevention strategies, and the management of those afflicted by MCI and AD. The USC-Rancho Los Amigos CADC conducts a bi-annual caregiver symposium, participates in forums on AD education and also serves to integrate education opportunities in the community. The community looks to and depends on the USC-Rancho Los Amigos CADC for high quality education.
The limitations in the current health care delivery environment and constrained budgets in both the public and private sectors require solutions that are cost-effective for patients and their families, as well as for businesses. The Centers continue to provide education, provide new opportunities for improving the quality of life of the elderly, and reduce the burden for those with dementia in California.
Information about the clinic
Referrals from physicians, other healthcare providers, and agencies are welcome. No referral is necessary for a memory assessment. We specialize in the evaluation of memory loss, Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses such as frontotemporal lobe dementia and vascular dementia, and mild cognitive impairment. We have the expertise for complex or unusual cases, experience and expertise in the management of behavioral disturbances the often accompany dementia, and are happy to provide second opinions.
Costs for diagnostic evaluations and professional services may vary on an individual basis. Please contact us for more information. Often, tests performed outside of our CADC may be necessary to complete a diagnostic workup, such as laboratory tests and/or brain scans.
- Helena C.Chui, MD, Neurologist & Chair, USC Dept. of Neurology
- Freddi Segal-Gidan, PA, PhD - Director
- Azar Izadian, MD, Neurologist
- Beatriz Hammond, PA-C
- John Danner, LCSW
- Kathy Martelli, Patient Care Coordinator
Opportunities to Participate in Research
Our Center is affiliated with the USC Memory and Aging Center (MAC) and USC Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. We refer patients to clinical trials evaluating new ways of treating and diagnosing Alzheimer's disease. We also work with researchers at the USC School of Gerontology, USC Department of Psychology, and USC School of Pharmacy and refer patients to studies being conducted on aging, and how different factors may protect against or accelerate mental decline in old age. Depending on your eligibility you may be invited to take part in one or more of these studies.