University of Washington School of Public Health

UW SPH News: National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center Receives $19.7 Million Grant

National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center Receives $19.7 Million Grant


The National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center, located in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health, has received funding for another five years at $19.7 million. Since its founding in 1999, the center will have been funded continuously by the National Institute on Aging, one of the National Institutes of Health.

"Our renewal application received outstanding scores in peer review," said Dr. Walter A. Kukull, professor of epidemiology and center director, "and we are pleased to receive this level of support from NIH/NIA, especially given the current competitive funding environment."

The center supports Alzheimer's disease research by maintaining a large cumulative database for the NIH/NIA Alzheimer's Disease Centers Program and making the data available to researchers worldwide. The data come from approximately 30 NIA-funded Alzheimer Disease Centers across the United States, which enroll not only Alzheimer's patients but also cognitively normal subjects and those with other dementia-causing diseases.

From 1984 to 2004, only limited data were collected on these subjects. Beginning in 2005, however, the center began collecting detailed annual clinical exam data on about 30,000 subjects. For some subjects the database now contains data from up to eight annual return visits, making it a valuable resource for tracking change over time. In addition, the database contains neuropathological data on subjects who died and consented to autopsy (about 3,000 of the longitudinal subjects and 10,000 others from the earlier series).

The National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center's plans for the next five years are to increase the research capability of the database by:

  • continuing to build its collection of MRI images on subjects in the database
  • expanding the database to collect more biomarker assay data and additional types of neuroimaging files
  • developing new diagnosis-specific modules similar to the center's module on frontotemporal lobar degeneration (e.g., a module on dementia with Lewy bodies or on preclinical Alzheimer's disease).

The center will work closely with the NIH/NIA, the center's Steering Committee and the Alzheimer's Disease Centers to accomplish these plans.

(Cooperative Grant No. UO1 AG016976)