DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED MEDICAL RESEARCH PROGRAMS

Vision - To address the long-term consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI) as they pertain to Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Alzheimer's disease-related dementias (ADRD).

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Military personnel and other individuals living with traumatic brain injury (TBI) face an increased risk for developing several long-term health problems. These include Alzheimer’s-like dementia, aggression, memory loss, depression, and symptoms similar to those of other neurological diseases. The PRARP (formerly the Militarily Relevant Peer Reviewed Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program) was initiated in 2011 to address the long-term consequences of TBI as they pertain to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In FY16, the program was expanded to include AD-related dementias (ADRD) research as it pertains to TBI.


Consistent with the PRARP's mission and vision, the program faces 6 overarching challenges for FY17. These overarching challenges represent longstanding research goals for the program:

  • Paucity of Research Resources: The paucity of research resources to examine the interrelationship between TBI and subsequent AD/ADRD for the military, Veteran, and civilian communities.
  • Paucity of Clinical Studies: The paucity of clinical studies to examine the interrelationship between TBI and subsequent AD/ADRD for the military, Veteran, and civilian communities. This includes research into risk factors which may predispose individuals to AD/ADRD subsequent to TBI.
  • Diagnostic Technologies, Tests, Biomarkers, or Devices: The need for technologies, tests, or devices to detect or prognose the progression to AD/ADRD subsequent to TBI. This includes research into risk factors which may predispose individuals to AD/ADRD subsequent to TBI.
  • Quality of Life: The need for technologies, assessments, interventions, or devices to benefit individuals living with the common symptoms or deficits of TBI and AD/ADRD.
  • Caregiver Burden: The need for technologies, assessments, interventions, or devices with the goal of reducing burden for caregivers of individuals living with the common symptoms or deficits of TBI and AD/ADRD.
  • Epidemiology: The paucity of epidemiological research to examine the interrelationship between TBI and subsequent AD/ADRD for the military, Veteran, and civilian communities. This includes research into risk factors which may predispose individuals to AD/ADRD subsequent to TBI.

The PRARP has identified 7 research focus areas which are viewed as avenues towards addressing the FY17 PRARP overarching challenges. These are technical in nature, and represent research disciplines most suited to the PRARP's overarching challenges:

  • Genomics/Proteomics: Studies or technologies (e.g., genetic, proteomic, bioinformatics and epigenetic strategies) intended to characterize neurological change(s) associated with TBI and subsequent AD/ADRD. In addition, relevant technologies or tests may be considered under this focus area.
  • Mechanisms of Pathogenesis: Identification of contributing mechanisms (e.g., pathology of Tau, non-neuronal cells, inflammatory factors, and vascular contributions) associated with TBI and subsequent AD/ADRD pathogenesis.
  • Quality of Life: Research intended to alleviate, stabilize, or characterize the symptoms, or deficits, common to TBI, Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Alzheimer's disease-related dementias (ADRD). Examples of research in this Focus Area include: Identification and management of co-morbidities and modifiable risk factors (e.g., sleep apnea, obesity); cognitive training interventions; studies of health and wellness and behavioral interventions.
  • Caregiver Support: Research intended to reduce the burden of care on the caregiver for individuals living with the common symptoms or deficits of TBI and AD/ADRD. Examples of research in this focus area include: Caregiver training, home-based support, behavioral interventions, and relationship interventions.
  • Biomarkers: Development of strategies to diagnose, prognose, or characterize neurological changes or risk factors associated with TBI and subsequent AD/ADRD (e.g., fluid based, imaging, physiological, and clinical approaches).
  • Novel Target Identification: Basic research (non-human) directly leading to the identification of new targets for the development of existing or new investigational medicines, drugs, or agents.
  • Epidemiological Research: Research focusing on the incidence, distribution, and other factors relating to the health of individuals affected by TBI and subsequent AD/ADRD.
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Congressional Appropriations

Congressional
Appropriations

  • $78 million
    FY11-FY16
  • $15.0 million
    FY17

Funding Summary

Funding
Summary

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Peer Review Participants


Alternate Text

International Alzheimer's Disease Research Portfolio

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A Link between TBI and Alzheimer's Disease?
The Advocate's Perspective

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Vision

To address the long-term consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI) as they pertain to Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Alzheimer's disease-related dementias (ADRD).

Mission

The PRARP's mission is devoted to (1) understanding the association between TBI and AD/ADRD and, (2) reducing the burden on affected individuals and caregivers, especially in the military and Veteran communities. Support for the PRARP's mission is anticipated to be delivered by the research community through a combination of mechanistic and preclinical studies.


Last updated Tuesday, June 6, 2017