Alzheimer's Disease Research Grants Two $1 Million Centennial Awards

  • Press Release
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CLARKSBURG, MD.-Alzheimer's Disease Research (ADR) has granted two Centennial Awards of one million dollars each to Dr. Bradley T. Hyman of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and Dr. Donald F. Weaver of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The researchers were chosen through a competitive review process begun in 2006, marking 100 years since Dr. Alois Alzheimer described this disease. ADR's Centennial Awards will foster innovative, multidisciplinary research, aimed at slowing or reversing the progression of, and ultimately preventing, this devastating brain disorder.

Dr. Bradley T. Hyman, the John B. Penney Jr. Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, is working with Dr. Ben A. Barres of Stanford University in California and Dr. David Holtzman of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. The team is studying different forms of a gene associated with Alzheimer's disease susceptibility. By studying the protein product of this gene, the researchers hope to identify targets for future medicines.

Dr. Donald F. Weaver, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Clinical Neuroscience at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is working with Dr. Edwin De Pauw at the University of Liège in Belgium and Dr. Ottavio Arancio at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York. The team is investigating ways to disrupt the protein buildup that damages the brains of Alzheimer's patients. The researchers hope to discover new and useful drug treatments for Alzheimer's disease.

In presenting the ADR Centennial Awards, Dr. Brian Regan, Chairman of ADR, said, “We are extremely pleased to give these awards to such committed scientists, who will move us closer to understanding and treating this terrible disease, and we are dedicated to continued investment in Alzheimer's disease research worldwide.”

Alzheimer's disease is now estimated to affect more than 5 million people in the U.S. and 18 million worldwide. One in eight Americans age 65 and over, and nearly one in two over age 85 have Alzheimer's, and the numbers at risk will continue to grow substantially.Alzheimer's also carries a heavy financial and emotional strain. Health care expenses and lost wages for patients and caregivers are thought to be $100 billion annually.

Since its inception, ADR has funded over $55 million in grants. ADR is a program of the American Health Assistance Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating age-related and degenerative diseases through research and public education.