The PRARP (formerly the Militarily Relevant Peer Reviewed Alzheimer's Disease (MRPRA) Research Program) was initiated in 2011 to address the long-term consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI) as they pertain to Alzheimer's disease (AD). Military personnel and other individuals who suffer from TBI face an increased risk for developing several long-term health problems. These conditions include Alzheimer's-like dementia, aggression, memory loss, depression, and symptoms similar to those of other neurological diseases.
Consistent with the PRARP's mission, the program faces 5 overarching challenges. 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 for the military and Veteran communities.
- Paucity of Clinical Studies: The paucity of clinical or epidemiological studies to examine the interrelationship between TBI and subsequent AD for the military and Veteran communities.
- Diagnostic Technologies, Tests, or Devices: The need for technologies, tests, or devices to detect the progression to AD subsequent to TBI.
- Quality of Life: The need for technologies, assessments, interventions, or devices to benefit individuals living with the symptoms of TBI and AD.
- Caregiver Burden: The need for technologies, assessments, interventions, or devices with the goal of reducing burden for caregivers of individuals living with the symptoms of TBI and AD.
The PRARP has identified seven research focus areas which are viewed as avenues towards addressing the PRARP overarching challenges. These are technical in nature, and represent research disciplines most suited to the PRARP's overarching challenges:
- Genomics/Proteomics/Bioinformatics: Studies or technologies (e.g., genetic, proteomic, and epigenetic strategies) intended to characterize neurological change(s) associated with TBI and subsequent AD. In addition, relevant technologies or tests may be considered under this focus area.
- Pathology of Tau: Novel research and technologies dedicated to unraveling the basic pathological mechanisms of Tau associated with TBI and AD.
- Roles of Non-Neuronal Cells in TBI/AD Pathogenesis: Technologies, tests, studies, or devices that will examine the roles of astrocytes (or other non-neuronal cells) in AD neurodegeneration due to TBI.
- 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.
- Imaging: Development and application of anatomic and molecular imaging strategies to characterize neurological change associated with TBI and subsequent AD.
- Care Interventions and Quality of Life: Research intended to stabilize or improve the quality of life of those affected by TBI or AD. 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 affected by the symptoms of TBI or AD. Examples of research in this focus area include: Caregiver training, home-based support, behavioral interventions, and relationship interventions.
- $51 million FY11-FY14
- $12.0 million FY15
- 29 awards FY11-13
- Recent Applications Recommended for Funding