January 6, 2022
PAR-22-093, Research on Current Topics in Alzheimer's Disease and Its Related Dementias (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)
PAR-22-094, Research on Current Topics in Alzheimer's Disease and Its Related Dementias (R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
All applications to this funding opportunity announcement should fall within the mission of the Institutes/Centers. The following NIH Offices may co-fund applications assigned to those Institutes/Centers.
Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH)
For the purpose of this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI):
This NOSI promotes multidisciplinary research to clarify sex and gender differences in the risk, development, progression, diagnosis, and clinical presentation of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Alzheimer's disease-related dementias (ADRD). Studies that examine sex and gender differences in outcomes (e.g., clinical, functional, well-being) among people living with AD/ADRD as well as AD/ADRD caregiving-related outcomes are also relevant. Broad areas of interest include biological (e.g., hormonal, genetic, metabolic, comorbidity-related), neuroscientific (e.g., neural systems and functions), behavioral (e.g., physical activity, substance use, social engagement), social (e.g., history of maltreatment or adversity, parenthood, marital status, educational attainment, socioeconomic and employment status), psychological (e.g., depression, cognitive functioning, socio-emotional functioning and self-regulation, stress reactivity, personality), healthcare profession (e.g., provider knowledge and attitudes about dementia) and healthcare system-level (e.g., access to care) factors and processes that separately, or together, may drive observed differences by sex and gender and/or may operate differently by sex and gender. Studies that account for methodological and measurement issues that may drive sex and gender differences are also of interest.
Understanding sex and gender differences in AD/ADRD is critical for research recommendations to diversify research cohorts and improve methods and tools for conducting health disparities research related to AD/ADRD. This NOSI is based on the expert discussions from the 2019 National Advisory Council Review of BSR, the 2019 Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementia Summit, the 2020 National Research Summit on Care, Services, and Supports for Persons with Dementia and their Caregivers, the 2021 Alzheimer’s Research Summit, and NIA’s ADRD Research Implementation Milestones.
A challenge of understanding sex and gender differences in processes and outcomes related to AD/ADRD is that the terms “sex” and “gender” are often used interchangeably. A lack of clarification on “sex” and “gender” can obfuscate the identification of specific biological and neural systems and psychological, behavioral, sociocultural, and environmental pathways that may help identify individuals at higher risk of AD/ADRD as well as potential differences in disease progression. Ultimately, understanding the unique roles of sex and gender may facilitate the identification of therapeutic targets and interventions. For example, prior work suggests, but does not definitively indicate, that women may be at higher risk for AD/ADRD than men. Women’s survival advantage may explain part, but not all, of their potential elevated AD/ADRD risk, as age is the strongest risk factor for AD/ADRD. This survival advantage itself is thought to be a combination of biological factors (i.e., sex differences) which drive female survival advantages in many species, as well as a host of non-biological factors (i.e., gender differences). These gender differences include factors such as smoking, which, until relatively recently, was far more common among men than women. As the gender gap in smoking has narrowed as a result of societal change in the range of acceptable behavior for women in some societies, women’s longevity advantage over men has also decreased. How these and other gendered processes (e.g., changes in educational attainment, employment) and structural gender inequalities (e.g., barriers to access healthcare services and high-quality care) will impact AD/ADRD outcomes, such as overall population prevalence of AD/ADRD and gender differences in AD/ADRD over time, are unknown. Moreover, recent findings suggest that transgender and nonbinary (TNB) adults are more likely to report worsening memory and thinking and associated functional limitations compared to cisgender (non-transgender) adults. However, it remains unclear whether transgender adults are at greater risk of AD/ADRD, and if so, why. Other unanswered questions include how a variety of putative risk (e.g., low education, depression) and protective (e.g., social connectedness, self-regulation) factors for AD/ADRD operate along sex and gender lines. Finally, questions remain about the best methodological and measurement assessments in epidemiological and other studies to evaluate sex and gender with regard to AD/ADRD, including survival bias, competing risks, and sample selection.
Example research topics that may elucidate sex and/or gender differences in AD/ADRD risk, development, progression, diagnosis, clinical presentation, and outcomes (including related to caregiving) include, but are not limited to, the following:
Application and Submission Information
This notice applies to due dates on or after March 11, 2022 and subsequent receipt dates through November 13, 2024.
Submit applications for this initiative using one of the following funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) or any reissues of these announcement through the expiration date of this notice.
PAR-22-093 - Research on Current Topics in Alzheimer's Disease and Its Related Dementias (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)
PAR-22-094 - Research on Current Topics in Alzheimer's Disease and Its Related Dementias (R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the funding opportunity announcement used for submission must be followed, with the following additions:
Applications nonresponsive to terms of this NOSI will not be considered for the NOSI initiative.
Amelia Karraker, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)