Nearly seven million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease today. By 2060, this number is projected to double.
That is, unless new medical breakthroughs are developed—which is exactly what scientists at Brown’s Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research are trying to achieve.
The center—established in April 2021 as a joint initiative between Brown’s Robert J. and Nancy D. Carney Institute for Brain Science and the University’s Division of Biology and Medicine—aims to build a world-class research program focused on early detection and treatment of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. By catalyzing collaborations across basic and clinical research groups at Brown and its affiliated hospitals, researchers at the center hope to uncover when, where, and how Alzheimer’s disease first arises.
But, that aspiration is easier said than done. Of the top 10 causes of death in the United States, Alzheimer’s disease is the only one we cannot cure, prevent, or slow down.
“It’s unlike most diseases,” says Diane Lipscombe, Reliance Dhirubhai Ambani Director of the Robert J. and Nancy D. Carney Institute for Brain Science. “With cancer, we’re able to get a piece of the cancerous tissue and analyze it, understand it, and identify the best way to treat it. That is typically not possible with the brain. Progress on treatment of neurogenic diseases, like Alzheimer’s, is going to require an equivalent and noninvasive ability to do that with the brain.”