In a vote of confidence, the federal government has designated Yale as an Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC)‒the medical school will receive funding from the National Institutes of Health to compile and analyze data on Alzheimer disease patients. The designation comes with a five-year grant of more than $1.5 million per year that will support many facets of Alzheimer disease research, including basic research, collection of clinical data, community outreach, and education. The Alzheimer's Disease Research Unit, the Yale Memory Disorders Clinic, and the Dorothy Adler Geriatric Assessment Center already provide excellent care to Alzheimer disease patients. The grant will allow these groups to synthesize their information and resources, thereby fostering greater knowledge and advancing potential treatments, says Stephen M. Strittmatter, M.D., Ph.D., the Vincent Coates Professor of Neurology, professor of neurobiology, and director of the Yale Memory Disorders Clinic, and principal investigator of the ADRC grant from the NIH. He and Chris van Dyck, M.D., director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Unit, co-direct the Yale ADRC; Arash Salardini, M.D., co-director of the Memory Disorders Clinic, is its assistant clinical director. “The ADRC is composed primarily of people at Yale who were previously carrying out separate tasks. Through the new center they now work as a team in the sense of meeting together, sharing ideas and reagents, and coordinating studies across the translational research scale,” Strittmatter says.
As the search for a treatment continues, the number of Alzheimer disease cases‒an estimated 5.3 million Americans in 2015, according to the Alzheimer's Association‒continues to grow as the population ages.