DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT: FOUR NEW Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers have been added to the existing network of 31 centers around the United States. Read on to find the nearest location and contact information.
To further incentivize innovative ideas and opportunities in Alzheimer’s and dementia research, the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, funded four new exploratory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers (ADRCs). These new centers will broaden current ADRC research initiatives with underrepresented populations such as African Americans, Native Americans, and those in rural communities, all of which have different risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s and related dementias.
$13+ Million Strategic Expansion
NIA funding for these exploratory centers is expected to total $13.6 million over three years. The funding expands the existing network of research centers into four additional states, adding locations at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Nevada; University of Alabama at Birmingham; University of New Mexico in Albuquerque; and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
“The NIA-funded ADRC program is nationally recognized for excellence on many levels, such as fostering research collaboration, promoting data sharing and open science, and providing information and research participation opportunities for people and families most affected by Alzheimer’s and related dementias,” said Nina Silverberg, Ph.D., director of the ADRC program at NIA. “These … centers mark a strategic expansion that will benefit the research community and our nationwide efforts to improve public health for all Americans, including diverse and historically underserved communities.”
Alzheimer’s in Local Communities
NIA established the ADRC network in 1984 to spark more collaborative, accelerated efforts in translating scientific discoveries into improved diagnosis and care for people with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. The funding for the new exploratory centers enables investigators at those locations to build optimal infrastructure and to develop crucial statewide partnerships needed to become part of the existing network. The four centers also have unique scientific focuses based on their local interests and communities, specifically:
- In Nevada, the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health will develop new strategies in collaboration with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to collect high-quality standardized clinical data from people in rural settings, an underserved community because of barriers to health care access and other risk factors and needs that are different in rural communities.
- The University of Alabama at Birmingham will focus on Alzheimer’s disease disparities in the Deep South region. The center will build on its success in establishing a group of research volunteers that includes a substantial number of African Americans to help better understand why and how early life experiences may affect Alzheimer’s risk.
- The University of New Mexico center will prioritize rural communities, particularly American Indians, using mobile on-site screening and testing that includes neuropsychological testing and MRI for imaging.
- The Vanderbilt University location will leverage and build upon the foundational elements of the Vanderbilt Memory and Alzheimer’s Center launched in 2012. The center emphasizes vascular risk factors among African Americans and other groups disproportionately affected by dementia yet historically underrepresented in Alzheimer’s research.
ADRCs are a National
For families affected by Alzheimer’s and related dementias, the national network of ADRC research centers offers help with obtaining a diagnosis and medical management; provides information about the disease, services, and resources; shares opportunities for volunteers to participate in clinical trials and studies; and has support groups and other special programs for volunteers and their families.
Alzheimer’s Centers of Excellence
Established in 1984, the NIA ADRCs are NIH Centers of Excellence. Each ADRC has different areas of emphasis and supports national goals for research on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The network shares new research ideas and approaches as well as data (through the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center), biological samples (through the National Centralized Repository for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias) and genetic information (through the Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium).
For more information and to find the research center closest to your location,
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Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.
- The four exploratory ADRCs were funded by NIH grants P20AG068053, P20AG068024, P20AG068077, and P20AG068082.
- NIA leads NIH’s systematic planning, development, and implementation of research milestones to achieve the goal of effectively treating and preventing Alzheimer’s and related dementias. The ADRC program and these new exploratory centers demonstrate efforts toward multiple Milestones, such as 3.A, “Provide resources to make datasets from existing and legacy clinical research studies on AD and related dementias widely accessible,” and 1.I, “Assess epidemiology and mechanistic pathways of disparities in health burden of AD/ADRD.”