Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Cognitive and Dementia Epidemiology


It is estimated that as many as 6.25 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and the prevalence is expected to more than double to 13.85 million by 2060. The cognitive and dementia epidemiology portfolio supports studies of the social, economic, environmental, and regional factors that drive national prevalence and incidence of AD/ADRD, as well as national estimates of costs associated with dementia care. The portfolio includes international population-based studies that permit cross-national comparisons of cognitive decline, dementia prevalence, incidence, and risk/protective factors. Topics of interest include understanding disparities in trajectories of cognitive aging and decline, association of dementia with common comorbidities (e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular disease), augmentation of existing studies to improve assessment of cognition and dementia, life-course longitudinal studies of age-related change, and statistical modeling to estimate impacts on new interventions populational health and health care utilization and costs. Projects are encouraged that explicitly investigate links between environmental exposures, behavioral and social processes, biological (including genetic) risk, and later life cognitive impairment, as well as those that expand cognitive and dementia measures and biomarker collection in existing BSR-supported longitudinal cohort studies.

BSR supported the development and widespread implementation of a state-of-the-art protocol for assessing dementia on large nationally representative samples that meets AD Milestone 1.D – called the Harmonized Cognitive Assessment Protocol (HCAP) – which is now being implemented widely in the Health and Retirement Study and multiple international sister studies. The HCAP enables researchers to measure and understand dementia risk within ongoing longitudinal studies of aging around the world that have aimed to harmonize methods and content to facilitate cross-national comparisons.

Related AD+ADRD Research Implementation Milestones: 1B, 1C, 1D
Active Projects as of September 2021: Cognitive and dementia epidemiology

Research Programs and Contacts

Program Contact

Relevant Area(s)

Frank Bandiera
  • Racial/ethnic disparities in cognition and dementia
  • Immigration

Minki Chatterji

  • Global health cognitive and dementia epidemiology
  • International data harmonization

Elena Fazio

  • Ethical, health care, and economic implications of pre-clinical AD/ADRD diagnosis
  • Family demography and health disparities

Amelia Karraker

  • Education and cognitive function
  • Family demography and health disparities
  • Social epigenomics and population genetics
  • Place and Health: environmental, policy, regional, and neighborhood factors

Jonathan W. King

  • Harmonized Cognitive Assessment Protocol
  • Longitudinal studies of cognitive aging

John W.R. Phillips

  • Longitudinal population studies of life course health and aging
  • Data harmonization
  • Effect of occupational factors and employment on AD/ADRD

Funding Opportunities

Active funding opportunities related to cognitive and dementia epidemiology are listed below. In addition, any AD/ADRD-focused application can be submitted to NIA’s parent AD/ADRD R01 and R21 program announcements. Notices of Special Interest associated with these parent NOFOs specify high priority behavioral and social research topics. For a list of all of BSR’s active funding opportunities, visit our funding opportunities and applicant resources page.

Research Investments

BSR has supported research projects focused on cognitive and dementia epidemiology through targeted notices of funding opportunity. Although some of these funding opportunities are no longer active, the topics outlined in the announcements remain priority research areas for BSR. Applications on these topics should be submitted through a relevant active NOFO or through NIA’s parent AD/ADRD R01 and R21 program announcements.

Related Workshops & Reports

NIA Workshop on Bilingualism and Cognitive Reserve and Resilience, March 2-3, 2021

Understanding Pathways to Successful Aging: Behavioral and Social Factors Related to Alzheimer's Disease, June 2017

Cognitive Aging Summit III, April 6-7, 2017

The Effect of Education on Recent Dementia Trends: A Look Forward, September 2016

Return to BSR's AD/ADRD Page

An official website of the National Institutes of Health