A Joint Effort

drawing of a brain

Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill have been awarded funds from the National Institutes of Health to establish a prestigious Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, part of a federally-funded national network of similar centers.

The Duke-UNC Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, one of 33 nationwide, will focus on identifying age-related changes across the lifespan that impact the development, progression and experience of Alzheimer’s and related dementias. The center will also identify how factors that arise in early- and mid-life contribute to racial, ethnic and geographic disparities in dementia.

NIH funding for the joint Duke-UNC Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center is expected to total $14.8 million over the next five years.

The center is part of a unique collaboration between the two universities that began in 2019. It unites experts from a wide range of disciplines that include geriatrics, neurology, psychiatry, radiology, bioinformatics and pathology.

A distinctive feature of the center is its focus on adults ages 45 to 80 years old and some as young as 25, seeking signals of dementia before memory problems surface. By identifying these biological processes, researchers may be able to develop tools for earlier diagnosis and determine new targets for treatments that prevent or delay onset.

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