NIH grants $15.1 million for research on increased Alzheimer’s disease risk in women – Healio

September 14, 2021

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The National Institute on Aging, a division of the NIH, has granted $15.1 million to Roberta Diaz Brinton, PhD, to aid her research on the increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease in women, according to a press release.

Brinton, the director of the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center for Innovation in Brain Science, and colleagues are focused on the earliest events during female midlife aging that can increase the risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), as the midlife aging transition during menopause could potentially trigger the prodromal phase of AD, according to the release.

A 2020 study that Brinton and colleagues published in Neurology showed that the increased prevalence of AD in women may be due to hormonal changes during menopause.

“The Center for Innovation in Brain Science has emerged as the vanguard for innovative Alzheimer’s disease research,” Robert C. Robbins, MD, president of the University of Arizona, said in the release. “Dr. Brinton and her team have the potential to make a transformational impact on the health of millions of women around the world. This award further illustrates the University of Arizona Health Sciences’ strength in aging research and our commitment to address critical global health challenges.”

According to the release, Brinton is developing neuro-immune biomarkers specific to stages of brain aging and creating a platform for precision therapeutics. Prior funding allowed Brinton and colleagues to investigate the cellular, molecular and systems biology of immune signaling in the brain that causes the advancement of AD. The grant is the fourth 5-year extension of the NIH-funded Program Project Grant and will allow Brinton to continue researching women’s brains to find the possible triggers of AD.

 

“Our research has shown that women are at greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease not because they live longer than men, but because the disease can start earlier in women, at midlife during their menopausal transition,” Brinton said in the press release. “With the continuation of this grant funding from the National Institute on Aging, we will continue to advance mechanistic, clinical and population discovery science and translate these discoveries into a platform for precision medicine to prevent, delay and treat Alzheimer’s disease.”

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