Prioritizing Women and Genetics in Alzheimer Disease Trials: Jessica Caldwell, PhD


The director of the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement Prevention Center at Cleveland Clinic discussed the role genetics play in Alzheimer disease and the importance for all-women trials. [WATCH TIME: 2 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 2 minutes

"The simplistic argument is that we’ve been studying men only, and then men and women, for quite a long time. We don’t need that comparison. Of course, that argument could be made with other divisions as well."

Recently, Jessica Caldwell, PhD, was awarded a granted expected to total $1.8 million from the National Institutes of Health to study the interactive effects of gender and sex on biological processes in Alzheimer disease (AD). Over the next 4 years, Caldwell and her team will examine how gender-linked stress exposure and estrogen may interact to impact memory, inflammation in the body, and brain activation and connectivity in women at risk for AD.

Caldwell currently serves as the director for the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement Prevention Center at Cleveland Clinic, which celebrated its 1-year inauguration with the grant. Since opening its doors in summer 2020, the center has welcomed women from 40 states across the country and received honorable mention in Fast Company’s list of 2021 World Changing Ideas. Caldwell hopes that her research will continue to drive change within the space and create more all-women and women-inclusive trials.

In an interview with NeurologyLive, she provided perspective on the ways genetics impact AD trial design and the goal of enrolling homogenous populations. She also pled her case for why the space needs more studies focused on the effects of AD in women, considering women are at a higher risk for the disease.

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