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Behavioral and Social Research Areas in Alzheimer's Disease

The National Institute on Aging's (NIA) Division of Behavioral and Social Research (BSR) supports research and initiatives on the social, behavioral, and economic factors pertaining to cognitive health and Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's disease related dementias (AD/ADRD) at both the population and individual levels. BSR is committed to advancing high-caliber science in a variety of disciplines, including demography, lifespan development, psychology, behavioral medicine, behavioral economics, sociology, interpersonal relationships, health services research, behavioral genetics, and social epidemiology to promote the health and wellbeing of persons living with AD/ADRD and their caregivers.

Research Areas

BSR supports research on a variety of topics related to AD/ADRD at multiple levels from genetics to cross-national comparative research, and at stages from basic through translational. Below are research areas that illustrate BSR's commitment to understanding AD/ADRD etiology and epidemiology, preventing age-related cognitive decline, addressing challenges associated with AD/ADRD care, developing interventions to improve the health and well-being of persons with dementia and their caregivers, and fostering data resources to the scientific research community.

To contact a BSR Program Official regarding projects related to any of these areas please send a brief email to BSR with specific aims attached.

Dementia Care
  • Economic aspects of care
  • Promoting health in persons with dementia
  • Challenges and burdens associated with care
  • Health services, systems, and settings
  • Measure and tool development
  • Basic research on potential intervention targets
  • Non-pharmacological intervention development
  • Models of care in long-term supports and services
  • Prevention and detection of elder mistreatment
  • Management of communication and decision making
  • Management of non-cognitive symptoms
  • Technology development for aging in place
  • Dementia care workforce
Caregiver Research
  • Demography of caregiving
  • Economic aspects of caregiving
  • Promoting health in caregivers
  • Challenges and burdens associated with caregiving
  • Measure and tool development
  • Basic research on potential intervention targets
  • Non-pharmacological intervention development
  • Prevention and detection of elder mistreatment
  • Management of communication and decision making
Cognitive and Dementia Epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Incidence
  • National estimates of burden of illness
  • Cross-national comparisons
  • Trajectories of cognitive aging and decline
Behavioral and Social Pathways
  • Behavioral and social risk and protective factors
  • Basic behavioral, social, and biobehavioral research on causal pathways to cognitive decline and AD/ADRD
  • Basic research on malleable mechanistic targets on behavioral and social pathways
Early Psychological Changes
  • Early detection of cognitive decline
  • Mobile monitoring or passive detection of cognitive change
  • Non-cognitive psychological processes—including affective function, motivation, social function, and decision making—in AD/ADRD and their neurobiological, genetic, and physiological underpinnings
  • Life-course longitudinal studies of age-related change in psychological processes
Prevention
  • Non-pharmacological interventions to prevent, remediate, or delay age-related cognitive decline and AD/ADRD
  • Interventions on behavioral risk factors
  • Cognitive training
Disparities
  • Disparities in health care access or health outcomes in any of the other portfolio categories based on factors including, but not limited to, race/ethnicity, gender, geographic location, and socioeconomic status
Research Resources
  • Centers and research networks
  • Professional and career development
  • Data repositories, infrastructure, bioinformatics

 

Funding Opportunities

BSR is currently accepting grant applications to several funding opportunities in different scientific domains related to AD/ADRD. The full list of BSR's active AD/ADRD funding opportunities can be found below. A list of BSR's active funding opportunities in other research areas is available.

A full list of NIA-wide active funding opportunities is available, as are NIA-wide AD/ADRD funding opportunities.

FOA Number Title Release Date Expiration Date
RFA-AG-20-037 Dementia Care: Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) 09-16-2019 02-04-2020
RFA-AG-20-038 Dementia Care: Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) (R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) 09-16-2019 02-04-2020
RFA-AG-20-033 NIA Behavioral and Social Research LEaders in Alzheimer’s Disease and Its Related Dementias (NIA BSR LEADR) (DP1 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed) 10-17-2019 02-04-2020
RFA-AG-20-051 Low Cost Detection of Cognitive Decline in Clinical Settings (R01 Clinical Trial Required) 09-27-2019 01-31-2020
RFA-AG-20-050 Low Cost Detection of Cognitive Decline in Clinical Settings (R61/R33 Clinical Trial Required) 09-27-2019 01-31-2020
RFA-AG-20-031 Research Education: Short Courses on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias for the Behavioral and Social Sciences (R25 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) 08-14-2019 01-22-2020
RFA-AG-20-016 Lucidity in Dementia (R21 Clinical Trial Optional) 05-06-2019 02-04-2020
RFA-AG-20-017 Lucidity in Dementia (R21/R33 Clinical Trial Optional) 05-06-2019 02-04-2020
PAR-17-054
Leveraging Existing Cohort Studies to Clarify Risk and Protective Factors for Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias (R01) 11-16-2016 05-08-2020
PAS-17-026
Improving Quality of Care and Quality of Life for Persons with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias at the End of Life (R03) 10-21-2016 01-08-2020
PAS-18-030
Improving Quality of Care and Quality of Life for Persons with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias at the End of Life (R01 Clinical Trial Optional) 11-01-2017 01-08-2020
PAR-18-587
Assistive Technology for Persons with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias and Their Caregivers (R41/R42 Clinical Trial Optional) 01-26-2018 01-09-2020
PAR-18-588
Assistive Technology for Persons with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias and Their Caregivers (R43/R44 Clinical Trial Optional) 01-26-2018 01-09-2020
PAS-19-316 Advancing Research on Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and Alzheimer's-Disease-Related Dementias (ADRD) (R43/R44 Clinical Trial Optional) 07-18-2019 09-07-2022
PAS-19-317 Advancing Research on Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and Alzheimer's-Disease-Related Dementias (ADRD) (R41/R42 Clinical Trial Optional) 07-18-2019 09-07-2022
NOT-AG-18-056 Notice to Specify High-Priority Research Topic for PAR-19-070 and PAR-19-071: Behavioral and Social Science Priority Areas in Dementia Care Research - Programs and services for persons with dementia 01-02-2019 11-13-2021
NOT-AG-18-057 Notice to Specify High-Priority Research Topic for PAR-19-070 and PAR-19-071: Behavioral and Social Science Priority Areas in Dementia Caregiver Research 01-02-2019 11-13-2021
NOT-AG-18-053 Notice to Specify High-Priority Research Topic for PAR-19-070 and PAR-19-071: Major Opportunities for Research in Epidemiology of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias and Cognitive Resilience 12-17-2018 11-13-2021
NOT-AG-18-047 Notice to Specify High-Priority Research Topic for PAR-19-070 and PAR-19-071: Health Disparities and Alzheimer's Disease 11-20-2018 11-13-2021
PAR-19-070 Research on Current Topics in Alzheimer's Disease and Its Related Dementias (R01 Clinical Trial Optional) 11-16-2018 11-13-2021
PAR-19-071 Research on Current Topics in Alzheimer's Disease and Its Related Dementias (R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) 11-16-2018 11-13-2021
PAR-18-585
Pragmatic Trials for Dementia Care in Long-term Services and Support (LTSS) Settings (R61/R33 - Clinical Trial Required) 01-24-2018 02-21-2020
PAR-18-877 Early Stage Clinical Trials for the Spectrum of Alzheimer's Disease and Age-related Cognitive Decline (R01 Clinical Trial Optional) 07-26-2018 09-08-2021
PAR-18-582 Emotional Function in Normal Aging and/or MCI and AD/ADRD (R21 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed) 01-12-2018 07-23-2020
PAR-18-581 Emotional Function in Normal Aging and/or MCI and AD/ADRD (R01 - Clinical Trial Optional) 01-12-2018 07-09-2020
PAR-18-538 Basic and Translation Research on Decision Making in Aging and Alzheimer's Disease (R21 - Clinical Trial Optional) 12-21-2017 07-23-2020
PAR-18-544 Basic and Translational Research on Decision Making in Aging and Alzheimer's Disease (R01 - Clinical Trial Optional) 12-21-2017 06-09-2020
PAR-18-185
Development of Socially-Assistive Robots (SARs) to Engage Persons with Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and AD-Related Dementias (ADRD), and their Caregivers (R41/R42 Clinical Trial Optional) 11-28-2017 04-06-2020
PAR-18-186
Development of Socially-Assistive Robots (SARs) to Engage Persons with Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and AD-Related Dementias (ADRD), and their Caregivers (R43/R44 Clinical Trial Optional) 11-28-2017 04-06-2020

Workshops and Meetings

BSR has convened a variety of workshops and meetings on different topics related to AD/ADRD and cognitive decline in recent years. Please click on the meeting titles below to access a summary of each meeting as well as meeting reports and other documents.

Improving Patient Outcomes through Effective Caregiver-Clinician Communication and Relationships Expert Meeting

May 17-18, 2018

State of the Science for Pragmatic Trials of Non-Pharmacological Interventions to Improve Outcomes Among Persons with Dementia and Their Caregivers

December 1, 2017

Cost-Effective Early Detection of Cognitive Decline

October 25, 2017

Innovating the Next Generation of Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease Care Interventions: Addressing the Needs of Persons Living with Dementia, Caregivers, and Care Providers

July 31, 2017 - August 01, 2017

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

June 12, 2017 - June 13, 2017

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

September 14, 2016

The Costs Associated with Alzheimer's Disease (AD)

October 26, 2011