Last year, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to funding the most promising research to prevent, slow or reverse Alzheimer’s disease, saw significant growth in the grants it gave out to researchers who study the disease. It was yet another indication that we are at a promising moment in bettering our understanding of Alzheimer’s, and developing effective ways to treat it.
The Wellesley-based non-profit provided $13.5 million in research spending grants to medical scientists around the world. Those grants represent 34 percent growth from the year before in the organization’s research spending. The organization funded 56 projects in four countries in total in 2016. Since its founding in 2004, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has surpassed $50 million in research spending, a milestone the organization hit near the end of 2016.
“Our donors are aware that their dollars will go directly to researchers working to find a cure,” said Tim Armour, President and CEO of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. “So we’re pleased to let them know that we are supporting some of the most groundbreaking scientific work to address Alzheimer’s disease that is taking place in labs and hospitals across the country and around the world.”
Projects funded in 2016 included a study that will use “big data” methods to examine looking at the relationship between women and the risk for Alzheimer’s disease; research looking at the dynamics between genes, brain activity and the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease; and an examination of the early role of microglia in synapse loss in Alzheimer’s disease. Also in 2016, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund teamed up with Rotary and Move for Minds to co-fund a groundbreaking research project to search for female-specific genetic and other factors contributing to women’s risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
“Individuals and families around the world struggle to deal with the challenges that come with Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias,” said Dr. Rudy Tanzi, Chair of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund’s Research Consortium. “It is exciting to see how far we’ve come in understanding the nature of Alzheimer’s disease but that excitement is tempered by the knowledge that we have a lot more work to do to develop effective treatments for it. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has become an important part of that work.”
In addition to funding crucial projects, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund also provided critical early stage dollars to important research published in 2016. In May 2016, Drs. Rob Moir and Rudy Tanzi of Harvard Medical School published a study in Science Translational Medicine that suggested that Alzheimer’s disease may arise when the brain perceives itself to be under attack from invading pathogens and launches amyloid formation. In July 2016, Sangram Sisodia, Ph.D. of the University of Chicago and his co-authors released a paper in Scientific Reports that indicated that treatment with broad spectrum antibiotics over a long period of time decreased the levels of amyloid plaques and triggered the development of inflammatory microglial cells in the brains of mice. Both research projects received grants from Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.
Cure Alzheimer’s Fund is a non-profit dedicated to funding the most promising research to prevent, slow or reverse Alzheimer’s disease. Since its founding in 2004, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has contributed over $50 million to research, and its funded initiatives have been responsible for several key breakthroughs – including the groundbreaking “Alzheimer’s in a Dish” study. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has received a score of 100 percent regarding its overall financial health from Charity Navigator and a four star rating from the organization five consecutive times. With 100 percent of funds raised going directly to research, Cure Alzheimer’s has been able to support some of the best scientific minds in the field of Alzheimer’s research. For more information, please visit http://www.curealz.org/