Alzheimer's Disease Research
Driving innovative research around the world to end Alzheimer’s, we identify high-risk, high-reward projects that have the most promise to change the trajectory of the disease.
Our 360° Approach to Research
- Tangling with Tau
- Battling Amyloid Beta
- Blood and the Brain in Dementia
- Immunity and Inflammation
- Biology of APOE and Lipids
- Cell Death
- New Approaches
BrightFocus takes a 360° approach to fund innovative scientific research worldwide to defeat Alzheimer’s, exploring the full range of scientific paths toward better treatments and ultimately a cure. Watch this video and learn more.
Genes are the “master blueprint” that instructs our cells to make unique proteins which in turn build, operate, and repair human tissue. Humans have an estimated 24,000 genes along our 23 matched pairs of chromosomes (46 in all), and “genomics” refers to the field that studies all of them at once.
A biological marker (biomarker) is a measurable substance in an organism whose presence is indicative of some phenomenon such as disease or infection. Biomarkers can help doctors and scientists diagnose diseases and health conditions, find health risks in a person, monitor responses to treatment, and see how a person's disease or health condition changes over time.
Tangling with Tau
Tau is a small protein with a short name but a large reputation because of its association with multiple brain diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The tau protein is predominantly found in brain cells (neurons).
Battling Amyloid Beta
There are many versions of amyloid protein in the human body, and most serve a useful role. One of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the accumulation of amyloid plaques (abnormally configured proteins) between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain.
Blood and the Brain in Dementia
Scientists are interested in developing a screening tool for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in blood. A simple blood draw is much less invasive than a spinal tap and may prove more cost effective. Developing blood biomarkers that accurately depict brain changes has proven challenging, as levels of AD hallmark proteins in the blood are low, but there are some very recent promising results observing tau and the ratio of Aβ42 and Aβ40.
Immunity and Inflammation
One theory about Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is that it may be triggered, in part, by a breakdown in the brain’s immune system.
Biology of APOE and Lipids
Alzheimer's disease (AD). Its primary function is to regulate a class of proteins involved in the metabolism of fats (lipids) in the body. However, APOE has several common variants (or "alleles") whose effect vary.
The human brain has an estimated 100 billion neurons. Extending from each of them is a long fiber, known as an “axon,” which can run several feet. Each axon forms a connection, known as a “synapse” with another neuron, creating a circuit over which brain signals travel. In Alzheimer’s disease (AD), individual neurons die and do not regenerate; while others have brains that are more are resilient and respond to meeting changing demands.
Years of innovative and dedicated research have paid off with the discovery of numerous factors contributing to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology. With a disease as complex as this one, it’s very helpful to find multiple points where it may be possible to slow or halt its progress.
Research We Fund
BrightFocus drives innovative research worldwide on Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. Search our grant awards to learn more.
Insights and Breakthroughs
Well-designed research pays off. With further research, each of these discoveries may contribute to the development of new treatments and preventions.
Living with Alzheimer's
An Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be overwhelming. BrightFocus Foundation is a trusted resource to help you understand, manage and live with Alzheimer’s disease.
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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 six million Americans ages 65 and older are thought to have Alzheimer's disease. By 2050, that figure may increase to more than 14 million.
Donate to Alzheimer’s Disease Research
Your gift can help lead to treatments and a cure to end Alzheimer’s. Fund the latest, promising research and help provide valuable information to families living with this disease.
The Eye, A Window on the Brain
It is often said that “the eyes are the window to the soul,” and while that may or may not be true, the eye is certainly a window into many health conditions.
In fact, sometimes an eye doctor will be the first physician to diagnose a medical condition because the first signs may appear in the eye. Thus, having your eyes thoroughly examined is a lot more than just getting a prescription for new glasses or contact lenses.
Useful articles to help you understand and manage symptoms, treatment, and the latest discoveries in Alzheimer's Disease Research.
Be Part of the Cure
The most valuable assets we have are the individuals dedicated to our cause. People like you are the reason we are able to boost our scientific agenda so that patients’ lives may be enhanced.
Find an Alzheimer's Clinical Trial
These studies are crucial to advancing medical approaches most effective for specific conditions or groups of people. Today’s clinical trials will lead to new standards of care in the future.
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