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Common Alzheimer's Disease Research Ontology (CADRO)

The creation of the first iteration of the Common Alzheimer Disease Research Ontology (CADRO) is a collaborative effort between the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the Alzheimer’s Association (AA). The project began in May 2010 for the purpose of conducting a comparative analysis of the NIA and AA Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research portfolios. See International Alzheimer's Disease Research Portfolio.

The purpose of this effort is to inform the development of a comparative analysis of research portfolios among multiple funders of AD research, inform strategic planning and priority-setting, and support coordination by federal and non-federal agencies supporting AD research in the United States and internationally.

The ultimate goal of this project is to support communication and facilitate in the sharing of priorities among federal and non-federal agencies that support AD research.


CADRO was developed as a three-tiered classification system to capture the complete range of AD research – (basic, translational and clinical) and AD research-related resources.

The first level of classification is organized around five broad research and two research resources-related categories:

  • Category A – Molecular Pathogenesis and Physiology of Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Category B – Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring
  • Category C – Translational Research and Clinical Interventions
  • Category D – Epidemiology
  • Category E – Care, Support and Health Economics of Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Category F – Resources for the Research Community
  • Category G – Consortia and Public Private Partnerships

Each category is divided into research “topics” and some of these topics are further divided into “themes.” Such level of detail can enable funders to identify research gaps, areas of duplication and opportunities for coordination with much greater specificity.

Getting Started