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Following years of sustained growth in philanthropic support and federal funding for dementia research, the national goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer's disease by 2025 is within reach. There is new energy and interest in treatments in the Alzheimer's/dementia therapy pipeline — including anti-amyloid drugs, anti-tau strategies, anti-inflammatory targets, neuroprotection and regenerative medicine, and more — following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's accelerated approval of the first drug to treat the underlying biology of Alzheimer's.

"History has shown us that approvals of the first drug in a new category will invigorate the field, increase investmentsMaria C. Carrillo, Ph.D.
in new treatments, and generate greater innovation," says Maria C. Carrillo, Ph.D., Alzheimer's Association chief science officer. "We need to continue to diversify the pipeline to address this devastating disease through multiple pathways and in all communities, as we do other major diseases."

NARFE has partnered with the Alzheimer's Association for nearly four decades to do just that. Since 1985, NARFE has raised more than $14 million for the Association's mission and has sponsored 85 research studies through the Association's rigorous grant-awarding program. Researchers and projects recently sponsored by NARFE include:
  • Pablo Martinez Contreras, Ph.D. (Indiana University) - What are the biological mechanisms by which abnormal tau protein accumulates and moves in the brain in tauopathies?
  • Jole Fiorito, Ph.D. (Columbia University Medical Center) - Can a novel compound help preserve nerve cell function and prevent memory loss in Alzheimer's disease?
  • Silvia Fossati, Ph.D. (Temple University) - Can improving blood flow in the brain help to clear protein deposits and improve cognitive impairments in Alzheimer's?
  • Yi-Chen Hsieh, Ph.D. (Brigham and Women's Hospital) - How may the clearance of nerve cell waste be associated with brain changes observed in Alzheimer's?
  • JiaBei Lin, Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania) - Can a protein found in yeast be used to moderate the harmful effects of beta-amyloid and tau in Alzheimer's?
  • Megan Zuelsdorff, Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin-Madison) - How might a disadvantaged social environment increase risk for Alzheimer's?
"NARFE funding supports the most promising research studies in the world through its partnership with the Alzheimer's Association. We are proud to help the Association in the fight against this terrible disease because it is recognized as the nonprofit with the greatest impact in Alzheimer's and other dementia research globally," says Ken Thomas, NARFE national president.

"We are grateful for and inspired by NARFE members' longstanding and generous support of brilliant dementia scientists worldwide," Dr. Carrillo says. "Together, we will achieve our vision of a world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia."