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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.

Burden of AD/ADRD and Challenges Associated with Care
  • Cost to family and public programs
  • Demography and economics of AD/ADRD care
  • Disparities in AD/ADRD burden and AD/ADRD care
  • Improved assessment of burden and challenges associated with AD/ADRD and AD/ADRD care
  • Impact of health care services, the health care system, and different care settings

Program Contacts: Partha Bhattacharyya, Ph.D., Elena Fazio, Ph.D., Melissa Gerald, Ph.D., Amelia Karraker, Ph.D., Georgeanne Patmios, M.A.

Intervention Development for Persons with Dementia (PWD) and Their Caregivers at Different Stages of Illness
  • Use-inspired basic research on potential malleable intervention targets at all levels of analysis
  • Development of tools
  • Non-pharmacological interventions for PWD
  • Improvements in and new models of care in long-term supports and services (LTSS)
  • Pragmatic trials in health and LTSS settings
  • Prevention/detection of elder mistreatment
  • Improvements/management of communication, decision-making, planning
  • Improvements/management of non-cognitive symptoms of AD/ADRD
  • Stress reduction, skills building, education and training for caregivers and families
  • Technologies for aging in place, reducing unnecessary care transitions, socially assistive robots

Program Contacts: Partha Bhattacharyya, Ph.D., Melissa S. Gerald, Ph.D., Elena Fazio, Ph.D., Lisa Onken, Ph.D., Dana J. Plude, Ph.D.

Cognitive and AD/ADRD Epidemiology
  • Prevalence/incidence
  • Disparities
  • Cross-national comparisons
  • Identification of behavioral and social risk factors
  • Trajectories of cognitive aging and decline
  • Associations with cardiovascular disease

Program Contacts: Amelia Karraker, Ph.D., Jonathan W. King, Ph.D., Georgeanne Patmios, M.A.

Prevention: Basic and Translational Research on Behavioral and Social Pathways to AD/ADRD and Cognitive Decline
  • Basic behavioral, social, and biobehavioral research on causal pathways to AD/ADRD and cognitive decline
  • Early-stage studies of malleable mechanistic targets on behavioral and social pathways
  • Interventions to prevent, remediate, delay age-related cognitive decline and AD/ADRD

Program Contacts: Jonathan W. King, Ph.D., Lis Nielsen, Ph.D., Lisa Onken, Ph.D., Dana J. Plude, Ph.D.

Detection of AD/ADRD-Related Change
  • Passive detection of cognitive decline
  • Non-cognitive functions in AD/ADRD: social, affective, and decision neuroscience
  • Life course longitudinal studies of age-related change

Program Contacts: Amelia Karraker, Ph.D., Jonathan W. King, Ph.D., Lis Nielsen, Ph.D., Georgeanne Patmios, M.A.

Data Infrastructure
  • Development of data resources for behavioral and social science research on AD/ADRD and AD/ADRD care

Program Contacts: Partha Bhattacharyya, Ph.D., Jonathan W. King, Ph.D.

Health Disparities
  • Investigate disparities in priority populations in burden of ADRD, dementia care studies, epidemiology, and behavioral and social pathways to ADRD

Program Contacts: Melissa S. Gerald, Ph.D., Elena Fazio, Ph.D., Amelia Karraker, Ph.D., Jonathan W. King, Ph.D.

 

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
PAR-18-175
Pilot Clinical Trials for the Spectrum of Alzheimer's Disease and Age-related Cognitive Decline (R01 Clinical Trial Optional) 11-02-2017 09-08-2018
PAR-15-350
Emerging Directions for Addressing Health Disparities in Alzheimer's Disease (R03) 09-17-2015 09-08-2018
PAR-15-349
Health Disparities and Alzheimer's Disease (R01) 09-17-2015 09-08-2018
RFA-AG-19-007
Roybal Centers for Translational Research on Dementia Care Provider Support (P30 Clinical Trial Required) 06-07-2018 10-19-2018
PAR-15-356
Major Opportunities for Research in Epidemiology of Alzheimer's Disease and Cognitive Resilience (R01) 09-24-2015 01-08-2019
PAR-18-179 Research on Informal and Formal Caregiving for Alzheimer's Disease (R21 Clinical Trial Optional) 11-06-2017 01-08-2019
PAR-18-027 Research on Informal and Formal Caregiving for Alzheimer's Disease (R01 Clinical Trial Optional) 11-06-2017 01-08-2019
RFA-AG-19-016 High-Priority Behavioral and Social Research Networks in Alzheimer's Disease and Alzheimer's Disease Related Dementias (R24 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) 06-06-2018 02-02-2019
PAS-18-187
Advancing Research on Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and Alzheimer's-Disease-Related Dementias (ADRD) (R43/R44 Clinical Trial Optional) 11-28-2017 09-06-2019
PAS-18-188
Advancing Research on Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and Alzheimer's-Disease-Related Dementias (ADRD) (R41/R42 Clinical Trial Optional) 11-28-2017 09-06-2019
PAR-17-054
Leveraging Existing Cohort Studies to Clarify Risk and Protective Factors for Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias (R01) 11-16-2016 11-06-2019
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
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
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
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-18-185
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
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-18-581
Emotional Function in Normal Aging and/or MCI and AD/ADRD (R01 - Clinical Trial Optional) 01-12-2018 06-09-2020
PAR-18-538
Basic and Translation Research on Decision Making in Aging and Alzheimer's Disease (R21 - Clinical Trial Optional) 12-21-2017 06-23-2020
PAR-18-582
Emotional Function in Normal Aging and/or MCI and AD/ADRD (R21 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed) 01-12-2018 06-23-2020

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.

Pragmatic Trials of Non-Pharmacological Interventions in Dementia Care

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