The University of Kentucky is home to the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging (SBCoA), a powerhouse in the field of aging research. The Alzheimer's Disease Center (ADC) at Sanders-Brown is one of the oldest in the country, established through a federal grant in 1985 as one of the first 10 such centers in the U.S.
In September 2011, UK and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging received more than $7 million in funding from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to continue research and clinical intiative geared toward treating Alzheimer's disease. The funding award will continue the work of the Center through 2016.
"Recognized by continued federal funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Alzheimer's Disease Center is one of the University's outstanding centers of international excellence," said UK President Eli Capilouto. "As global experts in their field, our faculty researchers are committed to discovering solutions to many of society's greatest medical mysteries and challenges."
The faculty of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and the UK ADC are leaders in the detection of early neuropathological changes in the brain accompanying diminished cognitive abilities associated with Alzheimer's. UK also is home to an extensive research program involving brain donors both with and without Alzheimer's disease. The large number of normal control subjects participating in research studies at UK has enabled researchers to gather significant information about how healthy brain aging occurs, and to compare healthy brains to those of individuals with Alzheimer's disease.
In addition to research programs, the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging offers outreach, education and support related to Alzheimer's disease and other age-related conditions. Regular telemedicine programs deliver support to caregivers throughout the state of Kentucky, while programs such as the African American Dementia Outreach Partnership work with local agencies to offer the resources of the university to those who can most benefit from them. Health fairs, memory screenings and presentations serve as opportunities for experts to assess and respond to the needs of the community. More than 700 research volunteers, drawn from throughout the state, participate in clinical trials and the brain donation program.
UK initiated its aging program in 1963 with the formation of a Council on Aging. In 1972, as a result of a grant from the Eleanor and John Y. Brown Jr. Foundation, funding was obtained for the construction of the current Sanders-Brown Research Building and, with additional funding from the state, a program in biomedical research was implemented. In 1979, under the direction of the late Dr. William Markesbery, the Center emerged as a national leader in efforts to improve the quality of life for the elderly through research and education.
For more information on the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, visit http://www.centeronaging.uky.edu.
For more information on the National Institute on Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Centers, visit http://www.nia.nih.gov/Alzheimers/ResearchInformation/ResearchCenters/.