National Institute on Aging Awards $15.4 Million to Continue Support for Cleveland Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center

Center is one of 31 NIH-Funded Centers in the Nation

August 24, 2021, CLEVELAND: The National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a grant expected to total $15.4million to continue funding the Cleveland Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. The new five-year award will support the multi-institution collaborative, which aims to accelerate research for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

The Cleveland Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (CADRC), led by James Leverenz, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic, is one of 31 NIH-funded Centers in the country that are part of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers Program. Established in 2019, the multi-institutional center – the only in Ohio – brings together top physicians and scientists from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), Cleveland Clinic, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center (VA), the MetroHealth System and University Hospitals (UH).

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

More than 6 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. By 2050 this number is projected to rise to 13 million. Between 2000 and 2019, deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased 145% while deaths from heart disease decreased more than 7%.

“Over the last two years, the Cleveland Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center has created a robust infrastructure to increase the speed of research efforts aimed at better understanding why the disease varies from person to person,” said Dr. Leverenz, director of Cleveland Clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Cleveland. “Ultimately, our collective goal is to contribute to a more individualized treatment approach for individuals with aging-associated brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.”

Since receiving initial funding in July 2019, the CADRC researchers have worked together to establish the critical infrastructure necessary to run the Center including databases, faculty training programs and a large biorepository. To date, the CARDC has enrolled over 150 research participants.

“This grant is both a measure of the accomplishments of the multiple institutions working together in the Cleveland Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and the continued need to make progress on the biology, diagnosis and treatment to improve the lives of those affected by Alzheimer’s and related disorders,” said Alan Lerner, M.D., director of the Brain Health and Memory Center at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.

The center supports a wide range of studies while also educating scientists, healthcare professionals and the public on the causes and treatment of dementias.  It has eight core areas of focus and a research education component designed to enhance research efforts of the Northeast Ohio Alzheimer’s medical community and add unique value to the national Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers program and other national and international research programs.

The cores are led by experts across the participating institutions: Administrative (Dr. Leverenz), Biomarkers (Lynn Bekris, Ph.D., Cleveland Clinic); Clinical (Dr. Lerner, UH/CWRU); Data Management and Statistics (Jonathan Haines, Ph.D., CWRU); Neuropathology (Mark Cohen, M.D., and Brian Appleby, M.D., UH/CWRU ); Outreach, Recruitment and Engagement (Martha Sajatovic, M.D., UH/CWRU), Research Education (Xiongwei Zhu, Ph.D., CWRU), Translational Therapeutics (Andrew Pieper, M.D., Ph.D., Harrington Discovery Institute at UH/VA), and Neuroimaging Core (Mark Lowe, Ph.D., and Frank DiFilippo, Ph.D., Cleveland Clinic).

Particular areas of focus for the center are the study of atypical Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia, healthy individuals at risk for developing dementia, and growing participation of historically underserved populations. In addition to community outreach, the center has developed infrastructure and support for investigators translating findings from the laboratory to new therapeutics for these devastating diseases.

“Our team is eager to continue providing state-of-the-art statistical and computational expertise, leveraging our extensive experience analyzing large-scale, complex Alzheimer’s disease data and integrating ‘omics’ and clinical data across tens of thousands of lives,” said Dr. Haines, chair of CWRU’s Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences. “Alzheimer’s cuts across all ethnicities and all socioeconomic classes and is a huge burden in Northeast Ohio. Our diverse urban and rural population, combined with detailed genetic and clinical information, and the wealth of additional data from electronic medical records, means this Cleveland center is uniquely positioned to contribute significantly to the national research agenda.”

To learn more about the CADRC, please visit
or call 1-833-311- ADRC (2372).

The Cleveland Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center is funded by NIH grant P30AG072959.

The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.