University of Iowa lands almost half-a-million dollars for Alzheimer’s research

The Alzheimer’s Association is celebrating the major landmark of seeing 100-million dollars invested in research initiatives nationwide during the past year, including nearly 500-thousand dollars that targets studies solely at the University of Iowa.

U of I researcher Juliana Talarico says the work they’re doing is vital in examining risk factors — like the impact of sleep and stress — on the development of Alzheimer’s.

Talarico is considered a leading researcher in the field of psycho-social stress and cognitive decline within aging populations. Her work identifies opportunities for early prevention that may bring resilience against cognitive health issues that stem from sustained stressors.

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, recent advances have produced medications that can slow the disease’s progress when identified early. Talarico says the U of I’s College of Nursing is in the midst of two key Alzheimer’s research studies.

U-I researcher Wen Liu is focused on how dementia patients act and how they’re helped at mealtime. Liu has been studying countless patients in hospitals, nursing homes and memory care settings both in the U.S. and China.

Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. In Iowa, more than 66,000 people have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and there are nearly 100,000 family and friends caring for their loved ones with the disease. This year’s unparalleled 100-million dollar commitment to research stands as the largest single-year investment since the organization’s founding in 1980.