By Cara Murez
WEDNESDAY, April 5, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- A new national Alzheimer’s disease and dementia database could be a game changer for research on the memory-robbing condition that now affects more than 6 million Americans.
Planning has begun at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to fund the data platform. A $300 million grant for the six-year project has been posted online.
The database “aims to transform” the Alzheimer’s disease research enterprise “by serving as a central hub of research access,” the NIA said recently.
The project’s earliest start date is April 2024. The NIA will commit $50 million per year to fund one award, CNN reported.
In creating the database, the goal is to provide something that can “improve applicability and generalizability of findings.” It could be used as a tool for researchers, making it possible to more rapidly answer scientific questions, the NIA said in a posting.
“The newly announced NIA funding for a large-scale Alzheimer’s disease research database is truly exciting and a very important step forward for our field, and the Alzheimer’s Association will apply for that grant,” Maria Carrillo, Alzheimer’s Association chief science officer, told CNN Tuesday.
“The [Alzheimer's] Association is already leading ALZ-NET, which is a national network of physicians that is collecting data -- including measures of cognition, function and safety -- for patients treated with new FDA-approved Alzheimer’s treatments,” Carrillo added. “The NIA funding could expand ALZ-NET’s scope to the benefit of all stakeholders.”
A growing number of people are expected to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in the coming years, with an estimated 13.8 million cases predicted by 2060, according to the Alzheimer's Association.
Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias affect memory and thinking skills.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.