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The art of reading tea leaves

As mentioned in last week’s blog, our current appropriations situation presents us with a conundrum. It is possible that we will see an increase in support for Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease-related dementias research and perhaps some additional funds for our general allocation. Yet, for now, we are working with a continuing resolution that—if projected over the full year—reduces our budget by a small amount relative to last year.
Dr. Robin Barr
Robin BARR,
Director, DEA,
Division of Extramural Activities (DEA)
.
Dr. Robin Barr
Robin BARR,
Director, DEA,
Division of Extramural Activities (DEA)
.

Regenerative medicine conference points to new research opportunities

Among the initiatives launched under the 21st Century Cures Act, which brought us the Cancer Moonshot, the BRAIN initiative, and the All of Us precision medicine program, is the Regenerative Medicine Innovation Project (RMIP). NIH, in coordination with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is taking the lead on this exciting new venture, which seeks to accelerate clinical research on adult stem cells.
Candace Kerr
Candace KERR,
Health Scientist Administrator,
Division of Aging Biology (DAB)
.

A new era of clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias

You may have already heard that the NIA has awarded a new cooperative agreement establishing the Alzheimer’s Clinical Trial Consortium (ACTC). We expect the ACTC to accelerate and expand studies for therapies in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. We hope you’ve also heard that the funding opportunity for ACTC trials is open. The first submission date for applications is March 29 and we strongly encourage interested investigators to reach out to the ACTC leadership and NIA well in advance.
Laurie Ryan
Laurie RYAN,
Chief, Dementias of Aging Branch,
Division of Neuroscience (DN)
.

Join us in setting the next phase of Alzheimer’s research strategy

Driven by an ambitious national goal to treat or prevent Alzheimer’s disease by 2025, funding and progress in research have expanded dramatically in the six years since the first NIH Alzheimer’s Research Summit. Today, we seek a precision medicine approach to treatment and prevention—the ability to develop interventions that can address the underlying disease process and be tailored to a person’s unique disease risk profile.
Dr. Richard Hodes
Richard HODES,
Director,
Office of the Director (OD)
.
Eliezer Masliah
Eliezer MASLIAH,
Director,
Division of Neuroscience (DN)
.
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States and regions differ widely in longevity trends

The late Mayor Ed Koch of New York used to roll down the back window of his limousine when he was stopped at an intersection and yell out to nearby pedestrians: “How’m I doin’?” After an initial startle, many of them would yell back congratulations, complaints, or both. When Koch died, the New York Post published a memorable cover with his photo and the banner headline: “Ya did fine!”
John Haaga
John HAAGA,
Director, Division of Behavioral and Social Research,
Division of Behavioral and Social Research (DBSR)
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Older adults may not want to talk about it. But we do!

It’s one of those things that no one really wants to talk about. People are often uncomfortable and embarrassed to mention it to their physician or other primary care provider. It’s also one of the most common medical conditions among older people, affecting more than half of women and more than a quarter of men age 65 and older, according to the CDC. Yes, we’re talking about urinary incontinence.
Marcel SALIVE,
Health Scientist Administrator,
Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology (DGCG)
.

Beginnings: Our first steps in making awards in FY 2018

The new fiscal year started on October 1, and we began it with hope in our hearts for continued good news on our budget. Our increased appropriations in FY 2017 allowed us our most generous funding lines in our general allocation in many years, along with a positive windfall for research in Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Still, we started the year again on a now-familiar continuing resolution, which holds our current funding to the FY 2017 level—at least until December 22.
Dr. Robin Barr
Robin BARR,
Director, DEA,
Division of Extramural Activities (DEA)
.

Natural disasters: Conducting research, supporting affected labs

Harvey … Irma … Maria … hurricanes that won’t be forgotten any time soon. And, although they don’t have names, let’s not forget the Mexico City earthquake in September and the northern California wildfires in October. We know that the human, environmental, and economic costs of natural disasters are high. Older people face a number of challenges during natural disasters and we need to learn more about how to mitigate these challenges.
Amelia Karraker
Amelia KARRAKER,
Health Scientist Administrator,
Division of Behavioral and Social Research (DBSR)
.

A second chance for unfunded grants

You can't believe that with NIA's recent growth, your innovative and inspiring application remains unfunded and lost somewhere deep in the NIA vaults? We have good news for you!

Dr. Robin Barr
Robin BARR,
Director, DEA,
Division of Extramural Activities (DEA)
.

Targeting a prize for Alzheimer's and related dementias research

In December 2016, the President signed the 21st Century Cures Act (P.L. 114-255)—legislation that included many components relevant to the NIH—into law. One requires the NIH to support and report on prize competitions in biomedical research that can advance a field and potentially improve health outcomes. NIA now stands ready to join the action, by initiating the first step in a prize for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) research.
Dr. Richard Hodes
Richard HODES,
Director,
Office of the Director (OD)
.