An extension of the IDEAS study will enable researchers to test and validate emerging genetic and blood biomarkers for Alzheimer’s and other dementia.

New IDEAS Biorepository

New IDEAS principal investigator Gil Rabinovici, M.D.

A new era of Alzheimer’s treatment is underway, but not everyone may benefit equally. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved new treatments that can slow the progression of mild Alzheimer’s, giving many people more time to live independently and participate in experiences that are meaningful to them. These treatments are now being tested in people who have brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s, but who are not yet experiencing changes in their thinking, memory and behavior. However, it is not known whether the technology currently used to anticipate, detect and diagnose Alzheimer’s early and accurately is broadly applicable because some populations are severely underrepresented in Alzheimer’s research.

The New IDEAS study offers an unprecedented opportunity to advance effective risk screening, early detection and accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s for the general public. New IDEAS was preceded by the Imaging Dementia – Evidence for Amyloid Scanning (IDEAS) study, which was designed to improve understanding of how positron emission tomography (PET) brain imaging can improve accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment of Alzheimer’s and other dementia in clinical situations. (The abnormal accumulation of beta-amyloid protein “plaques” and tau protein “tangles” — hallmarks of Alzheimer’s — can be shown with PET brain scans.) Building on the foundation built by IDEAS, New IDEAS emphasizes the inclusion of historically underrepresented populations. It is providing amyloid PET brain scans to 7,000 more Medicare beneficiaries (including 2,000 Hispanic individuals and 2,000 Black individuals) at hundreds of clinics across the U.S. to help confirm the cause of their dementia or mild cognitive impairment.

The Alzheimer’s Association is enhancing the study by enabling the New IDEAS Biorepository. Housed at the University of Southern California, the New IDEAS Biorepository will store saliva and blood samples from the participants matched to their brain scans. This will allow researchers to test and validate new genetic and blood biomarkers for dementia that are applicable and accurate for a diverse, “real world” population. This is essential: The incidence of dementia among underrepresented communities in the U.S is high, but most genetic and blood tests currently being developed are based primarily on White, highly educated research volunteers at academic medical centers.

We seek philanthropic partners to help maximize the potential of the New IDEAS study. IDEAS is funded primarily by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the manufacturers of the amyloid PET brain scans, and the Alzheimer’s Association, which has committed $4.4 million to fund the development, implementation and management of the New IDEAS Biorepository. Your gift can advance the identification of those likely to benefit from new dementia therapies as they become available, as well as the validation of new experimental treatments.

This Project Advances:


Discovery Science


Early Detection





Learn more about the key outcome areas >

Step Up the Pace logo

Step Up the Pace is a special initiative to increase philanthropic investment in four key dementia research outcomes areas: Discovery Science, Early Detection, Treatment and Prevention.

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