Research and Funding

Division of Neuroscience

Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Initiative

NIA is accelerating the search for genes involved in late onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) through the AD Genetics Initiative. NIA is stepping up the collection of a large bank of genetic material, cell lines, and data from families with multiple members with late-onset AD at the National Cell Repository for Alzheimer's Disease. A case-control series also is being developed. Qualified scientists will use the bank to search for the remaining risk factor genes that contribute to late-onset AD, the most common form of the disease. Scientists will share genetic data developed from their research on an NIA-approved Web site, usually the NIA Genetics of Alzheimer’s Disease Data Storage Site. Discovery of risk factor genes will help illuminate the underlying disease processes of AD, open up novel areas of research, and identify new targets for drug therapy.

Alzheimer’s Disease Centers (ADCs), NIA-supported researchers across the United States, and the Alzheimer’s Association's network of local chapters are recruiting families with multiple members diagnosed with late-onset AD to collect samples and supporting data from 1,000 of these families over 3 years (see NIH-supported clinical trials and clinical trials listed on NIA's Web site).

NIA, in consultation with the Alzheimer’s Association, has developed informational materials to aid NIA-supported ADCs and local Alzheimer’s Association chapters in recruitment and to provide detailed information on the project (see the AD Research Update "NIA and Alzheimer's Association Join Forces Promoting Major AD Genetics Initiative").