The University of Mississippi Medical Center will lead a comprehensive $26 million study to identify risk factors for Alzheimer's disease and other forms of cognitive decline. Funded through a grant from the National Institutes of Health, the medical center joins four other research centers to conduct the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities neurocognitive study by examining thousands of patients using brain testing and imaging.
The study is expected to reveal risk factors for Alzheimer's disease and new targets for treatment. Researchers at UMMC will directly receive $9 million from the grant, and will work with scientists at Johns Hopkins University, Wake Forest University, the University of Minnesota and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to conduct the study
The ARIC study will build on information from a group of 16,000 participants that doctors have followed for more than 20 years, including 4,000 African Americans in the Jackson area. According to a UMMC statement, recent research has found African Americans may have a twofold or greater risk for Alzheimer's compared to whites.
"The new ARIC neurocognitive study will be one of the most comprehensive investigations to date into the role of vascular and related mid-life risk factors in Alzheimer's and cognitive decline," said Dr. Thomas Mosley, UMMC professor of geriatric medicine and study lead investigator, in the July 13 statement.
Mosley's team includes scientists from the Mayo Clinic, Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Texas at Houston, Boston University and Erasmus University in the Netherlands.