The Association once again made its largest-ever total annual research commitment: $90 million, including more than $71 million in grants for new scientific investigations. These new grants represent proposals ranked highest by a three-tier peer-review process in a highly competitive field. As the world's leading nonprofit funder of Alzheimer's and dementia research, the Association is currently investing over $310 million in more than 950 active best-of-field projects in 48 countries.
The Association continues to drive the diversification of clinical trials through the Part the Cloud global research grant program. In FY22, Part the Cloud provided over $4.7 million to move six new high-risk, high-reward studies aimed at potential new treatments forward. The continued success of Part the Cloud is due to the drive and vision of philanthropist and longtime Alzheimer's Association champion Mikey Hoag; since Hoag founded Part the Cloud in 2012, the program has funded 65 studies that have generated over $1 billion in additional investment in their programs.
The Alzheimer's Association Zenith Fellows Awards are among the most prestigious dementia research grants in the world. Presented annually to exceptional scientists who have contributed significantly to Alzheimer's and dementia research, these awards are made possible by Zenith Society members, whose philanthropic gifts have funded more than $45 million in grants to 146 leading scientists in the field. FY22 awardees were Carlos Cruchaga, Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis; Nilüfer Ertekin-Taner, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida; and Martin Kampmann, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco.
The Association-led U.S. POINTER study continues to work to better understand the relationship between lifestyle interventions and dementia risk. More than 1,700 people are enrolled via study sites in Chicago (Advocate Health Care, Rush University Medical Center), Houston (Baylor College of Medicine), Providence, Rhode Island (Butler Hospital), Sacramento, California (UC Davis School of Medicine), and Winston-Salem, North Carolina (Wake Forest School of Medicine), and over 25% of participants are from historically underrepresented populations. The Association has invested over $40 million in U.S. POINTER, and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) has made four awards expected to total up to $63.35 million for add-on studies, bringing the total amount invested to more than $100 million.
The Alzheimer's Association International Conference® (AAIC®), the largest and most influential international forum to advance dementia science, is where top researchers meet to share discoveries and collaborate. Over 1,200 members of the dementia research community convened at AAIC 2021 in Denver, Colorado, and more than 10,800 joined virtually. Groundbreaking research presented at AAIC 2021 included the long-term cognitive impact of COVID-19; how improving air quality may reduce dementia risk; the growing global prevalence of dementia; the disproportionate prevalence of the disease among transgender and gender nonbinary adults in the United States; and the importance of clinical trial diversity.
The Association continued to expand its global reach through a growing portfolio of scientific meetings. The Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) Neuroscience Next showcased the work of neuroscience students, postdoctoral researchers and early career research professionals. Nearly 3,000 scientists from 105 countries gathered online to learn from and support the next generation of researchers.
Nearly 700 individuals attended the Latinos & Alzheimer's Symposium in Bonita Springs, Florida, and online. The third annual meeting addressed updates to research and practice to better inform the care of Latino/Hispanic individuals living with dementia and their families.
The Alzheimer's Association Interdisciplinary Summer Research Institute provided an immersive, no-cost opportunity for early career researchers in psychosocial care and public health to launch a career in dementia science and accelerate breakthroughs. Throughout the five-day program in Chicago, attendees learned from experts through group sessions and individual mentoring.
The Association and the NIA supported the Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Global Symposium: Pathway to Translation. This virtual conference allowed the dementia research community to discuss how discoveries in genetics impact biomarker development and target discovery and validation, and how to apply these findings in basic and translational research.
More than 1,800 individuals from over 60 countries attended the Tau2022 Global Conference, hosted by the Association in partnership with CurePSP and the Rainwater Foundation. This virtual meeting provided a forum to discuss the latest updates in tau research while collaborating across disciplines to address challenges.
The Association hosted Promoting Diverse Perspectives: Addressing Health Disparities Related to Alzheimer's and All Dementias to support health equity in Alzheimer's research and drive collaboration. This second conference, hosted by the Association with sponsorship from the NIA, explored disparities in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's and all other dementia, while connecting investigators to valuable networking and mentorship opportunities.
People living with younger-onset (early-onset) Alzheimer's, defined as developing prior to 65 years of age, face unique challenges yet are often excluded from research. To help fill this gap, the NIA funded the Longitudinal Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease Study (LEADS) to enroll and follow 500 people living with younger-onset at 15 sites in the United States. The Association held the first meeting to inform LEADS participants and their family members about the latest research, treatments in the pipeline, legal and financial issues, and available support.
The Association convened the APOE and Immunity Conference, which brought together nearly 1,500 scientists from 63 countries. Attendees shared the latest research findings and ideas about the roles of APOE and immunity in Alzheimer's and all other dementia.
The NIA and the Association supported the fourth annual NIA-AA Symposium: Enabling Precision Medicine for Alzheimer's Disease Through Open Science. Convening over 2,000 members of the research community, the meeting was a valuable opportunity to learn and share developments in precision medicine principles and open science practices.
The Association, in collaboration with the GHR Foundation and Edward Jones, committed $14 million in support of Washington University's Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network Trials Unit (DIAN-TU) Primary Prevention Trial, the world’s first clinical trial aiming to determine if a rare form of Alzheimer's disease can be prevented decades prior to the onset of dementia symptoms. This brings total Association funding of DIAN-TU to over $45 million. One of the world's leading Alzheimer's prevention studies, DIAN-TU has been testing experimental drugs in people living with dominantly inherited Alzheimer's disease (DIAD), a rare genetically determined form of Alzheimer's, since 2012.
The Association and the National Academy of Neuropsychology awarded eight grants totaling $800,000 to researchers focusing on the impact of COVID-19. The funding program, NeuroCOVID, supports research to advance our understanding of how the pandemic has affected the brains of older adults who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 yet underrepresented in research.
The Association, the American College of Radiology, the American Society of Neuroradiology and the Department of Biostatistics, Brown University School of Public Health, along with other clinical research experts, announced the National Treatment and Diagnostic Alzheimer's Registry (ALZ-NET) for launch in FY23. Led by the Association, which provided the initial funding, ALZ-NET is designed to collect routine clinical practice data over time from health care providers caring for people living with Alzheimer's who are taking an FDA-approved disease-modifying treatment, with a goal of quickly and transparently sharing data and outcomes.
TrialMatch®, the Association's free service that provides customized lists of clinical studies based on user-provided information, was optimized to improve the experience and increase its reach. TrialMatch users can now better find study opportunities that are a good fit, including studies that can be completed online or remotely, and those that are available for participation in their preferred language. The TrialMatch database has grown to over 750 active studies, including international studies and locations. Each month, the service receives more than 1,600 website visits and 200 24/7 Helpline calls, resulting in more than 350 referrals to study sites.
The Alzheimer's Association Research Roundtable engages scientists from the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, diagnostics, imaging and cognitive testing industries worldwide in a precompetitive platform to discuss key areas in Alzheimer's science, with a mission of advancing the research, development and management of new treatments. The Association hosted the fall 2021 meeting, "Operationalizing Selection Criteria for Clinical Trials in Symptomatic Alzheimer's Disease: Biomarker and Clinical Considerations (Part 2 of 2)," and the spring 2022 meeting, "Current Understanding of AD Pathophysiology & Impact of Amyloid-beta Targeted Treatments on Biomarkers and Clinical Endpoints." The roundtable consisted of 22 member companies in FY22.
For the seventh year, the Alzheimer’s Association Business Consortium (AABC) continued to advance Alzheimer's and dementia research through innovation by small, startup biotechnology, diagnostic and contract research organizations. The AABC works to achieve its goals by focusing on areas of common interest to advance the field as well as the goals of more than 60 member companies.
The Alzheimer's Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer's Research and Treatment (ISTAART) is an inclusive global network of scientists, clinicians and dementia professionals. To reach more members of the scientific community, ISTAART offered new membership rates, waiving fees for students and individuals based in low- and middle-income countries. By the end of FY22, ISTAART membership was at a record-breaking 6,581 members. The number of professional interest areas (PIAs) — subgroups of researchers who share common scientific interests — grew to 29. PIAs engaged with their members through 145 webinars and networking sessions, which received over 10,500 live views.
Alzheimer's & Dementia®: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association is the leading peer-reviewed monthly scientific journal in Alzheimer's and dementia. The publication's 2021 impact factor, a measure of its influence in the scientific community, is 16.655, and the flagship publication is the top-ranked disease-specific journal in clinical neurology and ranked fourth overall. Two open-access sister journals — Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring (DADM) and Translational Research & Clinical Interventions (TRCI) — saw continued growth, with Cite Scores (a measure of how many times another researcher references a publication’s articles) of 7.8 and 10.1, respectively.
Funded by the Association, GAAIN is the first online platform to provide free, instant access to data normally restricted to a handful of Alzheimer's researchers, uniting a diverse and geographically distributed network of partners to foster discovery, collaboration and sharing. With close to 35,000 unique data attributes linking together over 60 research studies, GAAIN serves as a one-of-a-kind resource for the global Alzheimer's and dementia community.