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Brown to share $53 million grant to advance Alzheimer's, dementia research
Providence Journal - 9/10/2019
PROVIDENCE -- A $53.4-million federal grant to Brown University and Boston-based Hebrew SeniorLife could lead to improved health care and quality of life for people living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, as well as their caregivers, the two institutions said Tuesday morning in announcing the research programs the grant will support.
The five-year National Institute on Aging award, the largest federal grant in Brown history, will support a research incubator called the "NIA Imbedded Pragmatic AD/ADRD Clinical Trials (IMPACT) Collaboratory." Unlike other Alzheimer's research, which emphasizes pharmaceuticals, the Brown/Hebrew SeniorLife incubator will investigate non-drug interventions. Many other scientists and centers across the United States will be involved.
"The first objective is to fund and provide expert assistance to up to 40 pilot trials that will test non-drug, care-based interventions for people living with dementia," Brown said in announcing the grant. "The second objective is to develop best practices for implementing and evaluating interventions for Alzheimer's and dementia care and share them with the research community at large."
"Alzheimer's and dementia remain among the most vexing neurodegenerative diseases both to researchers searching for solutions and to patients and family members," Brown president Christina Paxson said. "This grant will harness the collective power of leading-edge scholars at Brown, Hebrew SeniorLife and across the nation to advance care and make a positive real-world impact on the individuals most directly affected by these illnesses."
Said Hebrew SeniorLife president and CEO Louis Woolf: "It's time for Alzheimer's and other dementias to receive the same level of research focus and investment as cancer. We're proud to collaborate with Brown University to address this national epidemic that affects not only patients, but their families and caregivers as well."
Nearly 6 million Americans -- including some 23,000 Rhode Islanders -- live with Alzheimer's disease, according to the Alzheimer's Association, and more than 16 million Americans provide care for those people and others living with related dementia. As the population ages, those numbers are projected to rise dramatically without effective interventions and treatment.
The NIA award will further cement Brown's position as a national leader in Alzheimer's research and care. It follows last year's $100-million grant to the school's Institute for Brain Science by Brown graduate Robert J. Carney and his wife, Nancy D. Carney, and comes as Brown professor Dr. Stephen P. Salloway continues his cutting-edge research as head of Butler Hospital's Memory and Aging program.
"This grant will revolutionize the national infrastructure for research into how care is delivered to people living with dementia and their caregivers," said Vincent Mor, co-leader of the collaboration and a professor of health services, policy and practice at Brown's Schoolof Public Health. "The key is figuring out how to take an idea that worked in an ideal situation and adapt it so it can be piloted in the messy real-world system of care providers that exists across the U.S."
On Twitter: @gwaynemiller
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