UMMC gets $9 million to study Alzheimer’s

The University of Mississippi Medical Center announced today that it has received $9 million in grant money from the National Institutes of Health to study the risk factors for Alzheimer’s.

The funds come from a total $26 million grant that is shared with four prominent academic medical centers. The other collaborating institutions are John Hopkins University, receiving $4.6 million in grant money; Wake Forest University, receiving $3.6 million; the University of Minnesota, receiving $4.3 million; and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, receiving $4.6 million.

The grant will pay for the ARIC Neurocognitive Study, which has already begun and includes 16,000 participants who have been studied over 20 years. Approximately 4,000 African Americans from Jackson participated, being extensively evaluated for diseases and factors including heart disease, hypertension and cognitive function.

UMMC also announced it is seeking to raise an additional $8.9 million through a capital campaign to fund the creation of the MIND Center (Memory Impairment and Neurodegenerative Dementia Research).

The MIND Center director will be Dr. Thomas Mosley of Ridgeland, an internationally recognized expert in brain aging and dementia.

Mosley believes Alzheimer’s likely isn’t caused by a single factor, but rather be a complex process involving multiple factors interacting and accumulating over decades.

The ARIC study is monitoring the role that vascular risk factors — including hypertension, diabetes and lifestyle — experienced during middle age play in cognitive decline later in life.

Source: UMMC Division of Public Affairs’ reports.

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