This June, in light of Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement at Cleveland Clinic (WAM at Cleveland Clinic) has revealed the five recipients of the 2021 WAM research grants, seed funding for new women-based Alzheimer’s disease research studies being conducted over the next two years (2022-2023).
The five endorsed programs intend to conduct studies aimed at discovering what causes the disproportionate effect Alzheimer’s disease has on women and communities of color, further advancing WAM at Cleveland Clinic’s mission. This declaration follows the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement’s recent partnership with Cleveland Clinic in February, establishing WAM at Cleveland Clinic.
Maria Shriver, founder of WAM and strategic partner to Cleveland Clinic regarding women’s health and Alzheimer’s, states, “Medical research has historically left women out of clinical trials and major brain-health studies… Getting to understand why women are at the center of this disease is why WAM was founded. We are proud to help support these new projects as we invest in the power of research to change the trajectory of women’s brain health and advance our knowledge of the ways in which Alzheimer’s disease affects women.”
The expansive research programs selected each aspire to answer two pivotal questions: why Alzheimer’s disease disproportionately affects women and what measures can be taken to reduce women’s risk of developing the disease. With the addition of these recent grants, WAM at Cleveland Clinic increases its amount of allocated funding to $4.25 million, supporting 40 studies at 17 outstanding institutions, and positions its grant recipients to earn $83 million more in additional government and foundation financing.
The 2021 grant recipients – all of leading medical institutions – include:
The Alzheimer’s Association co-funded this ambitious study that examines how dietary choices affect the cognition of older adults from different cultural backgrounds. This study aims to address the disproportionate impact of Alzheimer’s disease on communities of color.
Building on prior WAM-supported grants showing that certain breast cancer therapies can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, this project aims to determine the best therapies that control type 2 diabetes while reducing the risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
By expanding research on women at risk for Alzheimer’s disease, this grant promotes the growth of the WAM Prevention Center at Cleveland Clinic located in the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas.
This grant is awarded as part of the UCI MIND WAM Women’s Research Initiative lead by Joshua Grill, Ph.D, and it examines sex differences in the neuropathology of people with Down’s syndrome, as all people with Down’s syndrome eventually develop Alzheimer’s disease.
This study examines the existence of neurophysiological subtypes of menopause for the purpose of determining whether certain areas of the brain are responsible for specific symptoms of menopause in middle-aged women at risk for Alzheimer’s disease.