Today, the National Institute on Aging announced that it will fund two new Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers, bringing the total number to 33. Duke University, Durham, and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, will coordinate that state’s new ADRC. The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, and the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley, will join forces to run the South Texas ADRC.
Headed by Heather Whitson at Duke, the North Carolina center will study changes across the lifespan that modulate the development or progression of AD. To that end, clinical, biomarker, and neuropathology cores plan to collect and analyze CSF, blood, and brain images of more than 500 volunteers. The ADRC will also investigate if factors that manifest in early and midlife might contribute to dementia differences along racial, ethnic, or geographic lines.
Similarly, at the South Texas center, researchers led by Sudha Seshadri, UTHSC San Antonio, will capitalize on their proximity to about 5 million Mexican Americans to study the biological heterogeneity of preclinical and clinical dementia with a special emphasis on reducing the burden of dementia in people of Hispanic and Latino ancestry. The center will collect clinical, imaging, genetic, biomarker, and other omics data from healthy controls, people with AD, and caregivers. The scientists hope that deep phenotyping will identify novel risk factors that will help them understand AD and related dementias, including SNAP, aka suspected non-Alzheimer dementia.
Both ADRC’s will receive $14.8 million over five years.—Tom Fagan
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