NIA releases recommendations from 2015 Alzheimer’s summit

Focus is on research, technology and public engagement.

The National Alzheimer’s Plan Act of 2011 set up a national planning process for governmental and private sector participants to coordinate and advance the prevention, treatment and cure of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Its primary research goal is to find effective interventions to treat or prevent AD by 2025. As part of that planning process, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) has taken the lead on two research summits to develop recommendations on ways to propel the science forward. The first took place in 2012.

The February 2015 summit recommendations released on May 1 were developed by an interdisciplinary group of scientists, including psychologists Lisa Barnes of Rush University-St. Luke’s, Suzanne Craft of Wake Forest University, Abby King of Stanford University, , Jenifer Manly of Columbia, Paul Maruff of the University of Melbourne, and NIH-based psychologists Neil Buckholtz of the National Institute on Aging and Wendy Nilsen of the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research.

The recommendations, which will be considered by the National Advisory Council on Aging (the advisory body to NIA) at its meeting on May 12 and 13, fall under the following overarching themes:

 “-- Understand all aspects of healthy brain aging and cognitive resilience to inform strategies for Alzheimer’s disease prevention.

-- Expand integrative, data-driven research approaches such as systems biology and systems pharmacology.

-- Develop computational tools and infrastructure in order to enable storage, integration and analysis of large-scale biological and other patient-relevant data.

-- Leverage the use of wearable sensors and other mobile health technologies to inform discovery science as well as research on Alzheimer’s disease care.

-- Support and enable Open Science in basic, translational and clinical research.

-- Change the academic, publishing and funding incentives to promote collaborative, transparent and reproducible research.

-- Invest in the development of a new translational and data science workforce.

-- Engage citizens, caregivers and patients as equal partners in Alzheimer’s disease research.”

See the summit recommendations for the full list of specific recommendations for research, technology development and engagement of the public.  The videocast of the two-day summit can be viewed here