Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program

Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. An irreversible degeneration of the brain that causes disruptions in memory, cognition, personality, and other functions, it eventually leads to death from complete brain failure.

More than five million Americans ages 65 and older are thought to have Alzheimer's disease. By 2050, that figure may increase to more than 14 million.

Everything you need to manage Alzheimer's disease

Program History

Since 1985, the Alzheimer's Disease Research (ADR) program has awarded more than $100.5 million to support promising research in fields ranging from molecular biology to genetics to epidemiology. ADR is currently supporting 85 outstanding biomedical researcher projects.

Research We Have Funded

A few examples:

  • New ways to prevent brain cell death by increasing blood flow.
  • A clinical study to treat Alzheimer’s disease with magnetic stimulation of deep brain regions.
  • Investigation of inflammation in the brain and periphery affect brain pathology in common dementias such as Alzheimer's disease.

Learn more about the research we currently fund and the research we have funded over the years. 

Important Breakthroughs

Well-designed research pays off. Recent BrightFocus-sponsored findings in Alzheimer's disease have indicated that:

  • Alzheimer’s and low blood sugar in diabetes may trigger a vicious cycle.
  • Scientists will need to rethink any therapeutic strategies that target the high-risk form, called APOE4, to slow amyloid plaque accumulation.
  • Specialized antibodies have about ten times the ability of a regular antibody to neutralize the toxic clustering of the misfolded Alzheimer's beta-amyloid protein.
  • A diabetes drug improves memory in Alzheimer’s disease mice.
  • Preventing or better managing diabetes may prevent cognitive decline.
  • Alzheimer’s disease may spread by ‘jumping’ from one brain region to another.
  • Cell energy dysfunction is present early in Alzheimer's, before memory loss.

With further research, each of these discoveries may contribute to the development of new treatments and preventions.


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