Raising the bar on Alzheimer's

November 01, 2019

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. More than 5 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. That number is expected to grow to 14 million by 2050, making it a public health crisis.

NYU Meyers is contributing important research and leadership around the disease. Here are some examples of what we are doing.

Testing “Real-World” Interventions through an NIH-Funded Collaboratory

Prof. Abraham Brody, PhD, RN, FAAN, FPCN, associate director of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing, is heading the Pilot Core portion of a $53.4 million clinical trial incubator that will massively expand Alzheimer’s research in the United States.

With a major award from the National Institute on Aging and led by Brown University and Hebrew SeniorLife, the nationwide study (or “collaboratory”) will fund and provide expert assistance for up to 40 pilot trials that will test non-drug, “real-world,” care-based interventions for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia and their caregivers. 

“These pilot projects will seed full-scale studies aimed at both improving the quality of life and health outcomes of people with dementia and reducing the immense stress and health effects that caring for this population has on family and professional caregivers,” said Brody.

“It will also foster the expertise and career growth of researchers in Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, enhancing the nation’s capacity to conduct clinical research on aging.”

The goal of the NIA Imbedded Pragmatic AD/ADRD Clinical Trials (IMPACT) Collaboratory is to accelerate the testing and adoption of evidence-based interventions within healthcare systems. The Pilot Core will receive roughly $10.3 million of the estimated $53.4 million NIA grant over five years.


For Alzheimer’s expertise, Senator Schumer relies on Jennifer Pettis

Jennifer Pettis, associate director of the long-term care program at NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) program of NYU Meyers, is Alzheimer’s Ambassador to US Senator Chuck Schumer of New York.

As Senator Schumer’s main point of in-district contact for all issues related to dementia and Alzheimer’s, Pettis helps shape and promote better policies, including through critical investments in research, enhanced care, and improved support.

“Alzheimer’s is not a red or blue issue,” said Pettis. “Rather, it is a purple issue, with strong bipartisan support aimed at funding Alzheimer’s research and programs to support those living with the disease.”

Appointed to the role in August, Pettis is helping to sound the alarm over the increasing number of New Yorkers and Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and other dementias every day.

In March 2020, she will join over 1,000 fellow Alzheimer’s advocates at the annual Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum in Washington, DC, the nation's premier Alzheimer's disease advocacy event. She will also attend several district meetings with Senator Schumer’s office and lead the activities of her local Alzheimer’s Congressional Team, a group of highly engaged advocates.

“Not only do we need to find a cure for this devastating disease, but we also need to support those afflicted by it and their caregivers as we work toward a cure. Additionally, we need to ensure that health systems are prepared to provide person-centered, quality care to individuals living with Alzheimer’s,” Pettis said.

Alzheimer’s Ambassadors are grassroots volunteers for the Alzheimer's Impact Movement, the advocacy arm of the Alzheimer's Association.