World Alzheimer´s Day 2022: Top foundation funders for Alzheimer’s disease research

Written by: Amrita Chowdhury

A short history of World Alzheimer’s Day

Each year on September 21, the world commemorates Alzheimer´s day. World Alzheimer’s Day was first established in 1994 by Alzheimer´s Disease International. While Alzheimer’s awareness month is recognized at different times of the year depending on where you are in the world, what we can all agree on is that awareness and support for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are vital in an aging society. Given the importance of research in improving our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease, we use the opportunity of this special day to highlight some important research funders making an impact on Alzheimer’s disease prevention, treatment and care.

How research on Alzheimer´s disease can impact the world

Alzheimer´s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that leads to loss of memory, impaired thinking skills and eventually, the inability to perform even simple tasks. It is the most common form of dementia. According to Alzheimer´s Disease International, currently, over 55 million people suffer from dementia worldwide. Alzheimer’s disease leads to poor health and impacts not only the people with the disease, but also their caregivers and family members, both emotionally and financially. Alzheimer’s disease is considered incurable. But researchers are working hard to find some preventive measures and ways of detecting the disease in its initial stages. Research funding is crucial for new discoveries that can potentially help us slow disease progression and possibly prevent the disease.

Fundings for research on Alzheimer´s disease

Alzheimer´s disease was first identified by the German neuropathologist and psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer. The disease was named after him later in 1910 by his colleague to recognize his ground-breaking identification of this major disease. Modern research on Alzheimer´s disease started around 1970, yet much more needs to be done when it comes to improving our understanding of the genetic causes and environmental factors that contribute to the disease. Many governmental funders around the world have extensive funding programs that support dementia-related research. In this blog post, we cover foundation and society funders that support researchers and research projects working on Alzheimer’s disease.  

One of these funders is the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, which provides research grants to researchers worldwide and supports drug discovery research for the prevention or treatment of Alzheimer´s disease. An important part of research is collaboration and therefore the foundation also funds Alzheimer’s researchers to organize scientific conferences on Alzheimer’s drug discovery.

The BrightFocus Foundation is a charitable organization based in the USA. The foundation has several funding areas, including grants and fellowships for researchers working on Alzheimer´s disease worldwide. Applications are due in November annually. 

The Alzheimer´s Association, established in 1980, is a US-based charitable organization that provides research grants worldwide to help and support research with the mission to put an end to Alzheimer´s disease. The Association provides an extensive funding program with submission deadlines spread throughout the year.  

Cure Alzheimer´s Fund (CUREALZ), a nonprofit organization based in the USA, supports Alzheimer´s researchers and focuses on building collaboration amongst the researchers for quality research with the hope to put an end to Alzheimer´s disease. CUREALZ generally operates by funding through a referral system and actively seek out scientists to fund, but also welcomes letters of inquiry from all qualified scientists. Grant proposals are accepted throughout the year and are reviewed on a rolling basis. 

In the UK, charitable societies such as Alzheimer´s Research UK and the Alzheimer´s Society support researchers with research grants and fellowships that advance Alzheimer’s diagnosis and treatment. 

For researchers in Canada, the Alzheimer Society is a charitable organization dedicated to funding Alzheimer’s disease research. The Society funds Alzheimer’s researchers at all career stages, from PhD students to established principal investigators. 

For researchers in Sweden, Alzheimerfonden funds Alzheimer´s disease and dementia research. Alzheimerfonden funds scientific research grants for projects focused on finding treatment, preventive measures and ultimately a cure for Alzheimer´s. The Foundation also supports studies that address the care of people suffering from Alzheimer´s disease and other dementia. The application deadline for the scientific research grants is in September and for the care studies grants is in May. 

Dementia Research and Innovation Funding

Apart from Alzheimer´s disease, which is the most common type of dementia, the world is struggling with many other types of dementia such as Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD), frontotemporal dementia (FTD), vascular dementia, Huntington’s disease (HD) and more.  

Some funders that fund research on other forms of dementia include The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD), which supports researchers worldwide working on frontotemporal dementia (FTD) with fellowships and research grants. The American Federation for Ageing Research (AFAR) is dedicated to supporting researchers in the USA working on healthy aging, including research grants and fellowships that support Alzheimer’s disease research. The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) has an extensive research funding program supporting its members, including those working on dementia research. 

The Dementia Australia Research Foundation is the research branch of Dementia Australia and supports innovative dementia research. This organization runs the Dementia Grants Program, which includes project grants, travel grants, postdoctoral fellowships and postgraduate scholarships. The application window opens in June and closes in August. The research grants offered by the Dementia Australia Research foundation generally cover clinical, biomedical and psychosocial aspects of dementia research.  

BRACE Dementia Research is a charitable organization that supports Alzheimer´s and dementia research. Applications are open to researchers based in South-West England or South Wales. 

While basic research is vital, equally as important is the translation of research findings to real-world impact. To enable this, some venture capital funds, such as the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF), provide innovation grants and incubator support for researchers and innovators working towards dementia drug discovery and new therapeutics.  

Stay up to date with research funding for Alzheimer’s disease research

The world has benefited from the fruits of the research community. And still, much more needs to be done when it comes to advancing the global sustainable development goals, including SDG3, Good Health and Wellbeing. At scientifyRESEARCH, we connect researchers with research funding. On this year’s World Alzheimer’s Day, we highlight our curated and continuously updated funding list for neuroscience and neurology researchers. Bookmark this page today so that you always remember not only the importance of research for Alzheimer’s disease but also the funding that helps you make it happen.