As a global leader in Alzheimer's research, the Alzheimer's Association operates in a spirit of inclusiveness, seeking partnerships throughout the scientific community to propel the field of Alzheimer's research forward. We lead through innovation, bringing together government, industry and academia to increase funding and accelerate discovery. Key partnerships, such as our longstanding relationship with the National Institute on Aging and sponsorship of the World Wide Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, continue to move us closer to new prevention and treatment interventions.
Alzheimer's Study Group (ASG)
With no national plan to combat Alzheimer's in the United States, the Alzheimer's Association along with congressional leaders called for the creation of the independent, nonpartisan Alzheimer's Study Group (ASG). The ASG evaluated the government's current efforts and presented recommendations, which included the creation of the Alzheimer's Solutions Project within the federal government, in the publication A National Alzheimer's Strategic Plan.
This report led to the National Alzheimer's Project Act (NAPA), signed into law by President Barack Obama on Jan. 4, 2011. NAPA creates the first national framework for a strategic plan to overcome the Alzheimer's disease crisis and to ensure the coordination and evaluation of all national efforts in Alzheimer's research, clinical care and residential and home- and community-based programs and their outcomes.
American Academy of Neurology Foundation
The Alzheimer's Association and the American Academy of Neurology Foundation together established The Robert Katzman, M.D., Clinical Research Training Fellowship. The fellowship supports the clinical research training and career development of promising scientists.
Animal Model Consortium
The Alzheimer's Association and other stakeholders joined forces to develop a better animal model of Alzheimer's disease, resulting in a "triple transgenic mouse" incorporating three human Alzheimer's genes. For the first time, the triple-transgenic model formed both plaques and tangles–the two hallmark Alzheimer's abnormalities–in approximately the same brain regions affected in humans. Animal models allow scientists to examine how proteins such as beta-amyloid and tau interact to cause Alzheimer's and can be used to test future therapies.
The Association is a member of the Biomarkers Consortium, a private-public partnership aimed at accelerating the development of biomarkers. Biomarkers are an area of intense focus by researchers as they have the potential to measure the physical changes in the brain associated with Alzheimer's and help track the progression of the disease.
Cerebrospinal Fluid Quality Control Program
Established and funded by the Association, the Cerebrospinal Fluid Quality Control Program works with scientists to standardize the measurement of protein levels in the brain with cerebrospinal spinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers. As investigators around the world start using CSF biomarkers in clinical trails, standardized measurement is imperative for accurate and consistent data.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Healthy Brain Initiative
The Alzheimer's Association partnered with the CDC to create a national public health "road map" to help Americans sustain cognitive health as they age. Learn more »
Coalition Against Major Diseases
The Association is a member of the Coalition Against Major Diseases, which focuses on the development of tools and methods that may further development of new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. These tools are made publicly available for use by scientists and commercial developers in the hopes that sharing will help to facilitate breakthroughs. Recently, the Coalition developed a shared database containing information from 11 Alzheimer's clinical trials; this database continues to expand.
Everyday Technologies for Alzheimer Care (ETAC)
Established by the Alzheimer's Association and Intel Corporation, this collaboration aims to develop new technologies that may compensate for functional impairments, enhance care and treatment strategies, foster independence, and improve the quality of life for people with dementia and their caregivers.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
As part of an effort to expand the field of Alzheimer's research with new talent, the Association has partnered with the FDA on a research fellowship program that places young academic clinical scientists. Through its partnership with the Association, the FDA has also expanded its FDA Advisory Panel to include individuals living with Alzheimer's and their caregivers as consultants. This provides an opportunity for those with the disease to offer their perspective on topics such as clinical trial design and guidelines for clinical research.
Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center Health Research Alliance
The Association and Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center work together to further Alzheimer's treatment development. As part of this partnership, the Association reviewed its funded grants to identify potential Alzheimer's treatment targets. Of 14 targets identified, 12 were pursued by the industry and one by the Harvard drug discovery program.
Health Research Alliance
The Association participates in the Health Research Alliance, a consortium of non-governmental funders of health research. The consortium's health research database makes it possible to assess what areas of Alzheimer's research are currently being funded and where investments will have the greatest impact.
Multi Domain Intervention Trials for Memory Disorders
The Association has invested in the first large-scale prevention trial for dementia: The Multi Domain Intervention Trials for Memory Disorders (MAPT). The study will evaluate the efficacy of a multi-domain intervention (nutritional, physical and cognitive training) and omega-3 treatment in the prevention of cognitive decline in people aged 70 years or older. The study is also collecting imaging and biological data for use in future prevention and treatment trials. Final results should be available in 2013.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
One of the Association's most productive and long-standing collaborations is with the NIA. Our partnership stimulates federal Alzheimer's research initiatives and helped establish the critical infrastructure necessary for clinical studies, including the nationwide network of Alzheimer's Disease Research Centers, the National Alzheimer's Genetics Study, the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS) and the National Cell Repository for Alzheimer's Disease (NCRAD). One of our strongest NIA partnerships supports the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), a groundbreaking federal investigation to identify and standardize strategies for earlier diagnosis and disease monitoring. ADNI's overarching goal is to speed development of effective treatment and prevention strategies. The Alzheimer's Association and the NIA also collaborated to issue new 2011 criteria and guidelines for diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
The Association convenes the Research Roundtable to facilitate the development of new treatments and overcome obstacles to scientific discovery. Members include thought leaders from the industry, academia and regulatory agencies. Learn more »
Working Group on Technology
Created by the Alzheimer's Association, this initiative was borne from our Everyday Technologies in Alzheimer Care grant program. The Working Group on Technology and its members promote funding and sharing Alzheimer's health technology research findings that can assist individuals affected by Alzheimer's and help them retain independence as long as possible.