Alzheimer's Disease

Frequently Asked Questions

21. What is translational research and why is it an important part of Alzheimer's disease research?

Translational research grows out of basic research. It creates new medicines, devices, or behavioral interventions aimed at preventing, diagnosing, or treating a disease. An important goal of Alzheimer’s translational research is to increase the number and variety of potential new medicines and other interventions that are approved for testing in humans. Scientists also examine medicines approved to treat other diseases to see they might be effective in people with Alzheimer’s.

The most promising interventions are tested in test-tube and animal studies to make sure they are safe and effective. Currently, a number of different substances are under development that may one day be used to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment.

See the latest Alzheimer’s Disease Progress Report to read about results of NIA-supported Alzheimer’s research.