Announcements

  • March 12, 2014

    Cartoon of four people in conversation.

    The March 28, 2014 application deadline is fast approaching for NIA’s summer training opportunity: the Butler-Williams Scholars Program.

    Dr. Carl V. Hill, director of the NIA Office of Special Populations, has a new blog post encouraging researchers to apply. In his post, Dr. Hill sits down with NIA Deputy Director Dr. Marie A. Bernard for a personal conversation about the program and what it offers. "Marie is a longtime advocate of this program," he writes, "an intensive week-long training whirlwind to boost the careers of emerging scholars in aging research."

    Read the full blog post: Applications due March 28: Butler-Williams Scholars Program

    The NIA blog publishes weekly with information on grants and funding policy, research priorities, scientific meetings, and topics of interest to researchers and others in the scientific community. Subscribe to get it weekly in your email inbox, or grab the RSS feed.

  • March 10, 2014

    The National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA) periodically reviews each of the extramural divisions of the NIA to assess whether the overall performance and the future trajectory of research being supported are appropriate. The council evaluates the research portfolio and identifies areas that merit greater or less emphasis. This report (PDF, 768K), adopted at the February 25-26, 2014 NACA Meeting, summarizes the review of BSR conducted during 2013.

  • March 6, 2014

    Scientists have identified a possible cellular mechanism triggered by oxidative stress and DNA damage that is linked to tau, a protein commonly seen in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease and certain other neurodegenerative diseases called “tauopathies.” The effect was observed in fruit fly and mouse tauopathy models and in human Alzheimer’s brains.

    The laboratory study, led by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and supported in part by NIA, was published online January 26 in Nature Neuroscience. The research suggested a novel pathway in tauopathies by which oxidative stress may lead to a change in chromatin, a complex of DNA and proteins that is found in the nucleus of a cell, that is not seen in the normal aging brain. The analysis indicated that the way genes are expressed in Alzheimer’s brains because of this change in chromatin is consistent with a shift toward a less mature genetic state.

    The data identified chromatin as a potential therapeutic target in Alzheimer’s disease and suggested one mechanism by which changes in chromatin are associated with aberrant gene expression, and, ultimately, neurodegeneration in tau-related brain disorders. Further research may reveal additional mechanisms.

    Reference: Frost B, et al. Tau promotes neurodegeneration through global chromatin relaxation. Nature Neuroscience, published online Jan. 26, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/nn.3639.

  • March 6, 2014

    The National Advisory Council on Aging met on February 26, 2014, and the video recording of the meeting is now available. The agenda and other meeting materials are also available.

    To learn more about what the National Advisory Council on Aging does, why the meetings are of interest to the research community, and the schedule for upcoming meetings, please see this recent blog post by Dr. Robin Barr, director of the NIA Division of Extramural Activities.

    For a captioned version of this video, please view it at the NIH Livecast website.

  • March 5, 2014

    Cartoon of four people in conversation.

    Researchers know relatively little about the health of older lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans. When it comes to research on aging, these communities are significantly under-studied. In a new blog post, Kate Nagy of NIA's Office of Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation describes NIA and NIH activities and funding opportunities for health research with these groups.

    Read the full blog post: Adding gray to the rainbow: NIA’s support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender research

    The NIA blog publishes weekly with information on grants and funding policy, research priorities, scientific meetings, and topics of interest to researchers and others in the scientific community. Subscribe to get it weekly in your email inbox, or grab the RSS feed.

  • February 26, 2014

    Cartoon of four people in conversation.The National Advisory Council on Aging is holding one of its thrice yearly meetings today. Did you know you can watch online?

    The next meeting is on May 21, 2014, from about 8am to 3pm EST, so please save the date. Dr. Robin Barr, director of the NIA Division of Extramural Activities, has a new blog post with more information. He explains what NIA’s Council does, why the meetings are important to grant applicants and other members of the science and research community, and how to access meeting materials.

    Read the full blog post: Save-the-date: on May 21, 2014, tune in to NIA Council webcast

    The NIA blog publishes weekly with information on grants and funding policy, research priorities, scientific meetings, and topics of interest to researchers and others in the scientific community. Subscribe to get it weekly in your email inbox, or grab the RSS feed.

  • February 25, 2014

    NIH-funded researchers are testing interventions to alleviate psychiatric conditions and symptoms, such as agitation, that distress people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. The goal is to identify treatments that are safer and more effective than the currently available antipsychotic drugs that are linked to increased risk for stroke and excessive sedation. Agitation, a syndrome that includes anxious, disruptive, or aggressive behavior, is common in the later stages of dementia and often leads to placing a loved one in residential care.

    The online Feb. 19, 2014 Journal of the American Medical Association reported results from the NIH-supported Citalopram for Agitation in Alzheimer’s Disease Study (CitAD) clinical trial of the antidepressant citalopram (Celexa, Cipramil) as a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s agitation. Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, led the randomized, double-blinded trial involving 186 Alzheimer’s volunteers experiencing agitation. Ninety-four participants at eight sites in the United States and Canada received citalopram in dosages that gradually increased from 10 mg. to up to 30 mg. per day over 9 weeks; 92 participants received placebos. All the trial volunteers and their caregivers received psychosocial interventions, which included educational materials, supportive counseling, and care plans.

    The results were intriguing. About 40 percent of the citalopram group showed significant improvement in agitation symptoms compared to 26 percent of those receiving the placebo. The caregivers of those receiving citalopram also reported feeling less stress. However, citalopram volunteers showed some decline in cognition and heart function. In light of the even greater heart health risks associated with antipsychotic treatments, the researchers concluded that citalopram, especially in lower doses, may be a more effective and safer alternative to treating agitation in Alzheimer’s patients.


    Reference: Porsteinsson, A.P., et al. Effect of citalopram on agitation in Alzheimer’s disease: The CitAD randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2014 Feb. 19;311(7):682-91. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.93.

  • February 19, 2014


    Cartoon of four people in conversation.Researchers sometimes wonder when and how to communicate with staff at the National Institute on Aging. "I hope you’re not agonizing over whether now is the right moment or whether your message will be well received," writes Dr. John Haaga, deputy director of NIA's Division of Behavioral and Social Research. "So, here are some tips that might make you more comfortable hitting send on that email to a program officer."

    Read the full blog post: What can your NIA program officer do for you? Part 2—how to get in touch

    The NIA blog publishes weekly with information on grants and funding policy, research priorities, scientific meetings, and topics of interest to researchers and others in the scientific community. Subscribe to get it weekly in your email inbox, or grab the RSS feed.

  • February 12, 2014

    Cartoon of four people in conversation.Last month, Congress and the President finalized NIA's budget for the fiscal year. Dr. Richard J. Hodes, NIA director, has a new blog post about what this means for the aging and Alzheimer's disease research community. He explains, "the NIA got good news about our budget for fiscal year 2014: $130 million more than last year."

    Read the full blog post: NIA budget update

    The NIA blog publishes weekly with information on grants and funding policy, research priorities, scientific meetings, and topics of interest to researchers and others in the scientific community. Subscribe to get it in your email inbox, or grab the RSS feed.

  • February 5, 2014

    Cartoon of four people in conversation.NIA's Office of Special Populations promotes research on health disparities, career development for a more diverse research workforce, and additional priorities. Dr. Carl V. Hill, new director of the Office of Special Populations, describes his plans in a blog post.

    Read the full blog post: What is NIA’s Office of Special Populations and what does it do?

    The NIA blog publishes weekly with information on grants and funding policy, research priorities, scientific meetings, and topics of interest to researchers and others in the scientific community. Subscribe to get it in your email inbox, or grab the RSS feed.

Pages