UK, Sanders-Brown Receive $7 Million for Alzheimer's Research
LEXINGTON, KY (Aug. 16, 2011) — University of Kentucky officials announced today that the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging (SBCoA) Alzheimer's Disease Center (ADC) is receiving more than $7 million from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to continue and further research and clinical initiatives geared toward treating Alzheimer's disease.
In 1985, the UK center was among the first 10 federally funded Alzheimer's Disease Centers in the U.S. and has been continuously funded by NIH. The award announced today will be for a five-year funding period through 2016.
“Recognized by continued federal funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Alzheimer’s Disease Center is one of the University’s outstanding centers of international excellence,” said UK President Dr. Eli Capilouto. “As global experts in their field, our faculty researchers are committed to discovering solutions to many of society’s greatest medical mysteries and challenges.”
The faculty of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and the UK Alzheimer’s Disease Center (ADC) are leaders in the detection of early neuropathological changes in the brain accompanying diminished cognitive abilities associated with Alzheimer's. UK also is home to an extensive research program involving brain donors both with and without Alzheimer's disease. The large number of normal control subjects participating in research studies at UK has enabled researchers to gather significant information about how healthy brain aging occurs, and to compare healthy brains to those of individuals with Alzheimer's disease.
"Today's announcement means much more than dollars and cents," said UK Provost Kumble Subbaswamy. "While funding is crucial to the program, this award means the continuation of a legacy of aging and Alzheimer's research that has benefited not only people in Lexington and the Commonwealth but also people from around the world as a result of research and programs led by a group of dedicated faculty scientists and clinicians."
In addition to research programs, the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging offers outreach, education and support related to Alzheimer's disease and other age-related conditions. Regular telemedicine programs deliver support to caregivers throughout the state of Kentucky, while programs such as the African American Dementia Outreach Partnership work with local agencies to offer the resources of the university to those who can most benefit from them. Health fairs, memory screenings and presentations serve as opportunities for experts to assess and respond to the needs of the community. More than 700 research volunteers, drawn from throughout the state, participate in clinical trials and the brain donation program.
"The work being done at UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging is another significant component in reaching our goal of becoming one of the country's preeminent academic medical institutions," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK vice president for health affairs. "This renewal of NIH funding as a nationally recognized Alzheimer's Disease Center, coupled with the recent $20 million CTSA (clinical and translational science award), and our sustained clinical growth at UK HealthCare, puts us in a category among the top academic medical centers in the country. Kentuckians should be proud of the fact that the Bluegrass is home to many of the leading researchers and physicians found anywhere in the country."
An ADC is divided into five cores: clinical, educational, neuropathology, biostatistics and administration. Each core plays an important role in carrying out research crucial to the fight against Alzheimer's disease.
"We are excited to take the Center forward into the next five years of research, education and discovery," said Linda Van Eldik, SBCoA director. "I'm so grateful for the hard work of everyone at SBCoA to obtain this funding through an extremely competitive process. The renewal of our ADC will enable us to build on our existing strong research program, to further a new translational research focus."
UK initiated its aging program in 1963 with the formation of a Council on Aging. In 1972, as a result of a grant from the Eleanor and John Y. Brown Jr. Foundation, funding was obtained for the construction of the current Sanders-Brown Research Building and, with additional funding from the state, a program in biomedical research was implemented. In 1979, under the direction of the late Dr. William Markesbery, the Center emerged as a national leader in efforts to improve the quality of life for the elderly through research and education.
For more information on the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, visit http://www.centeronaging.uky.edu. For more information on the National Institute on Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Centers visit, http://www.nia.nih.gov/Alzheimers/ResearchInformation/ResearchCenters/.