A $1 million challenge grant from the Hartman Foundation is helping researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center as they study Alzheimer’s disease.
The grant supports a two-year study that will investigate a primary cause of Alzheimer’s and will also help to pilot innovative strategies for preventing and treating the disease. The study is led by Suzanne Craft, Ph.D., director of the Alzheimer’s disease program at Wake Forest Baptist, which is affiliated with the J. Paul Sticht Center on Aging and Rehabilitation. It examines abnormal shifts in brain metabolism that occur at the very earliest stages of Alzheimer’s and whether these shifts can be corrected with medication or lifestyle interventions.
The Austin, Texas-based Hartman Foundation is led by Douglas Hartman who made the grant in honor of his father, David. The challenge was issued to leverage additional philanthropic support for Alzheimer’s research and will provide a 1:1 match for all funds that are raised. The challenge grant already has generated a significant gift to Wake Forest Baptist’s Alzheimer’s Research Initiative Fund that is being used to help recruit faculty to assist with the study.
One of the few institutions in the country focused solely on dealing with the challenges of aging, the Sticht Center promotes the health and independence of older adults by fostering multi-disciplinary collaboration in basic and clinical research, research training, professional education and community outreach.
Craft is leading a five-year study funded by the National Institutes of Health to investigate nasal insulin as a treatment for Alzheimer’s. The study is the most comprehensive effort of its kind to date and involves clinical trials in 30 sites across the nation.
Craft’s team recently reported on a successful pilot study on the use of a man-made form of insulin delivered by nasal spray that may improve working memory and other mental capabilities in adults with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease dementia. That study was supported by the National Institute on Aging and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
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