UW Medicine

Paul Crane, MD, MPH

Paul Crane, MD, MPH


Professor, UW Department of Medicine
Adjunct Associate Professor, UW Department of Health Services
Psychometrics Component Lead, Clinical Core, ADRC



Dr. Crane is a general internist based at Harborview with a broad spectrum of research interests.

Dr. Cran serves as multiple principle investigator (MPI) of the Adult Changes in Thought study.  ACT is a prospective cohort study of older adults who are members of Kaiser Permanente Washington (KPW).  The study enrolls randomly selected individuals over age 65 and free of dementia.  They collect research data at visits at participant homes or a research clinic every two years to identify incident cases of dementia including Alzheimer’s type dementia.  Participants are asked about autopsy consent.  The study began in 1994 and has enrolled nearly 6,000 people to date.  They have identified well over 1000 incident dementia cases and have performed more than 1000 research autopsies.  ACT is currently funded as a U19 Cooperative Research Program in partnership with the National Institute on Aging.  They were written up in the Seattle Times complete with terrific pictures.  https://www.seattletimes.com/pacific-nw-magazine/tracking-king-county-seniors-and-their-brains-for-clues-to-dementia-and-alzheimers/.  ACT provides a unique nexus for ancillary studies ranging from regional cell type specific omics research in partnership with the Allen Brain Institute, to traumatic brain injury research, to studies of metabolism and diabetes, to studies of physical activity and sleep, to studies focused on risk factors for dementia and cognitive decline.

Dr. Crane has particular expertise in psychometrics and cognition.  Psychometrics is the statistical approach to testing data.  He leads the Cognitive Harmonization Core for the Alzheimer’s Disease Sequencing Project’s Phenotype Harmonization Consortium (ADSP-PHC).  They served a similar role for the Artificial Intelligence for Alzheimer’s Disease (AI4AD) initiative.  Our group – Center for Psychometric Analyses in Aging and Neurodegeneration (CPAAN) – has harmonized and co-calibrated composite scores for memory, executive functioning, language, and visuospatial from over 300,000 visits for over 100,000 unique research participants across many of the major studies of older adults and Alzheimer’s disease in the US and around the world, including studies in English, Dutch, Spanish, and Korean.

Dr. Crane is very interested in subgrouping Alzheimer’s disease.  Perhaps AD should be considered a group of conditions rather than a single thing.  Colleagues and Dr. Crane developed an approach using relative impairments across cognitive domains at the time of AD diagnosis.  They have used this approach and found distinctions across subgroups with respect to genetic associations, clinical findings, and neuroimaging.  Current work in ACT as Project 2 focuses on imaging, neuropathology, and the lived experiences of people with AD dementia.