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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
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
RFA-AG-20-002
Centers on the Demography and Economics of Alzheimer's Disease and Alzheimer's Related Dementias (P30 Clinical Trial Optional) 10-30-2018 06-04-2019
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
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

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