The Academy expanded its diverse portfolio of interdisciplinary scientific programs to launch the Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Initiative (ADDI) in response to the global health and economic challenges dementia will pose. Currently more than 5 million people in the U.S. suffer from Alzheimer's disease, and that number is expected to grow to 16 million by 2050. The cost of care for dementia patients worldwide consumed an estimated 1% of the global GDP ($604 billion) in 2010 and is expected to exceed $1 trillion annually in the US alone by 2050. Absent major breakthroughs, Alzheimer’s will move from a major health challenge to a global economic crisis. However, only five drugs are approved to treat symptoms of the disease, and none effectively modify or treat the underlying cause.
ADDI aims to accelerate the transfer of basic research about disease mechanisms into the development of new methods for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of AD. Our initiative has organized international meetings, offered challenge grants, and produced economic analysis, strategy and research roadmap reports. We are working with partners around the globe to advance clinical trial innovations and stimulate new models of funding for disease research and care delivery.
ADDI has assembled a Leadership Council comprised of multi-sector stakeholders — academic researchers, industry scientists, patient advocates, and government and foundation representatives — to define priorities and develop actionable plans. This includes identifying bottlenecks and barriers to translation and defining goals and action items around four key areas: the basic research landscape, early drug development/translation, prevention trials, and the public-private interface.
This coordinated powerhouse of participants, ideas, infrastructure, and resources, combined with the Academy's core strengths of convening, publishing, entrepreneurship training, career mentoring, and fostering innovation through precompetitive partnerships, aims to facilitate the discovery of improved diagnostics, preventative measures, and disease-modifying therapeutics to treat Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Kalyani Narasimhan, PhD
Executive Director, Brain and Cognition Initiatives
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