NCRAD - The National Cell Repository for Alzheimer's Disease
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Processing of Samples

DNA and Cell LinesPlasma and SerumRNA

How Plasma and Serum Samples Are Stored at NCRAD

  1. Another function of the National Cell Repository for Alzheimer’s Disease involves collecting, storing, and distributing genetic and biomarker samples for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research. Our goal is to provide the scientific community with a valuable resource for obtaining the material needed to study families with AD. Researchers from around the world may request plasma or serum samples, the material that is used in research. Biomarker samples are always de-identified (no identifying information such as name or date of birth is made available) before being distributed. Research on these samples does not provide any diagnostic testing information.

  2. The process of banking (storing) plasma and serum samples begins when a blood sample is drawn from a study participant.

  3. The blood tubes and cryovials (a tube for long term storage in cold temperatures) are assigned a unique kit number and a unique bar code that will be used for tracking later at NCRAD.

  4. The blood samples are then placed in a machine and spun to separate the sample into different components.


    5a. The blood sample in a serum tube is placed in a machine and spun to separate the sample into two main layers: the red blood cell layer and the serum layer.   5b. The blood sample in a plasma tube is placed in a machine and spun to separate the sample into three main layers: the red blood cell layer, the plasma layer and the buffy coat; which contains the white blood cells. The white blood cells may have DNA extracted from them in the future.
             
    6a. The serum layer is distributed into cryovials (a tube for long term storage in cold temperatures). 1mL of serum is transferred to each cryovial.   6b. The serum layer is distributed into cryovials (a tube for long term storage in cold temperatures). 1mL of serum is transferred to each cryovial.
  1. The plasma, serum and buffy coat samples are then shipped to NCRAD on dry ice.

  2. Once received at NCRAD the samples are taken to the lab and the unique kit number and bar code that were already assigned are all checked by several coordinators and technicians for accuracy. 

  3. The unique kit number, bar code and information about the participant is then recorded in a secure database.

  4. NCRAD started to collect biomarker samples in 2010. These samples and the clinical and family history information from these individuals will be used by researchers to understand the genetics of AD, and also to develop better tests to identify those at greatest risk of developing AD in the future.

    We greatly appreciate all the support from the families who participate in NCRAD.

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