NIH Awards Grant to Cleveland Clinic to Establish Alzheimer Disease Research Center

September 14, 2020

The new center is part of the first cohort of centers nationally to receive this new NIH funding and is the first and only in Nevada.

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The National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a grant expected to total $3.3 million to the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health to establish the Nevada exploratory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (NVeADRC).

The 3-year award, which is the first of its kind to be presented as part of the NIH’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers Program, will help build the infrastructure and initiate state-wide collaborative activities needed to establish an Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center focused on reducing disparities faced by individuals with dementia in rural settings.

The Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers Program is a national network of researchers and clinicians at major medical institutions. Researchers at these centers are working to translate research advances into improved diagnosis and care for people with Alzheimer disease and related dementias, as well as finding a way to treat and possibly prevent the diseases.

Marwan Sabbagh, MD, FAAN, director of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas and Elko, will serve as director of the Nevada exploratory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, which is among the first cohort of centers nationally to receive this new award, and marks the first and only exploratory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in Nevada.

“As a state with historically low federal funding, the Nevada exploratory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center marks an important milestone for Nevada, allowing us to elevate the science we contribute to the NIH and effectively expand our research footprint,” Sabbagh said. “Alzheimer’s disease is a looming public health crisis and this grant will play an important role in advancing the science of this disease by contributing critical data from a massively understudied, underserved and under-supported rural population.”

The grant establishing the Nevada exploratory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center builds upon a successful collaboration since 2015 between the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who share a 5-year NIH Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant – the first to be awarded in southern Nevada. The Nevada exploratory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center is the next step in establishing an Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and is the latest collaborative effort between the 2 institutions that will specifically address rural disparities in dementia populations throughout Nevada.

Health disparities in rural areas have long been recognized; Alzheimer disease and Alzheimer disease-related dementias offer no exception. Those living with dementia in rural communities often go undiagnosed or are misdiagnosed due to lack of access to dementia specialists. In addition, data in rural areas is scarce and usually confined to a small number of individuals with limited sets of biomedical data.

The Nevada exploratory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center will leverage its status as a Frontier State to develop novel methodologies and technology to enroll research volunteers into a rural Nevada cohort. Data collected will provide resources that can be used by the broader scientific community and will contribute to the overall mission of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers network to improve diagnosis and care for people with Alzheimer disease.

The Nevada exploratory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center is funded by NIH Grant P20AG068053.

For more information about the Nevada exploratory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, call 702-701-7944.