Funding the World's Most Import Research / Annual Report 2015

Why Cure Alzheimer’s Fund?

Alzheimer’s: A Devastating Disease That Must Be Stopped

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia worldwide, affecting more than five million individuals in the United States alone. It is a progressive disease of the brain that develops slowly over time and leads to increasingly serious cognitive decline, causing problems with learning and memory, inducing personality changes and impairing motor skills. The disease is associated with the presence of amyloid plaques, tau tangles and inflammation in the brain, and it is always fatal. Alzheimer’s primarily affects the elderly, but it can also emerge as an early-onset form in middle age. With more than 70 million aging baby boomers, Alzheimer’s disease has the capacity to engulf and even bankrupt national healthcare systems in the coming decades. 

Even with adequate funding, finding medical solutions for this disease will not be easy. Alzheimer’s pathology starts 20 years or more before symptoms become noticeable, and scientists now believe that we need to tackle Alzheimer’s in these pre-symptomatic stages in order to fight the disease effectively.

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Finds Innovative Ways to Move Research Forward

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (CAF) finances high-potential research, some of it in the “proof of concept” stage, which might not be funded initially by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or other organizations. We support the scientists who are doing the most innovative work on Alzheimer’s pathology—high-potential research that also carries some risk. CAF’s “pump priming” approach is proving increasingly successful, as more of our early-stage grants are leveraged into substantial, longer-term funding by NIH and others. 

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund was created in late 2004 with a mission to end the disease by:

1. Identifying all risk genes; 

2. Investigating those genes to reveal underlying disease mechanisms; and 

3. Aggressively pursuing potential therapies based on the knowledge gained from studying Alzheimer’s genes. 

Using our genetic discoveries as guideposts, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has sponsored dozens of studies investigating the central mechanisms of action behind the disease. Fully 100 percent of funds raised by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund go directly to research—the Founders and Board of Directors covers all overhead expenses. Our unique funding strategy is focused on preventing, slowing or reversing the disease. Our ultimate objective is to stop the disease. 

Our Approach Is Working

Since our founding, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has contributed more than $38 million to research, and CAF-funded initiatives have been responsible for several key breakthroughs. We support many of the best scientific minds in the field of Alzheimer’s research, and we do it without any financial gain for our founders or donors. 

Our Research Consortium is an all-star team of scientists working at premier research institutions around the globe, regularly conferring with one another on the progress and challenges in their research and to share their findings even before publication.

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has dedicated substantial resources to identifying the full complement of Alzheimer’s genes. The Alzheimer’s Genome Project™ was launched in 2005—and the study’s first phase led to the identification of more than 100 new Alzheimer’s candidate genes. Our Genes to Therapies™ (G2T) initiative will determine how the top-priority genes affect Alzheimer’s pathology, thus leading to faster development of effective interventions. These initiatives, combined with many more promising research projects, will help bring us closer to developing effective therapies and, eventually, finding a way to prevent and cure the disease.

Please visit our website at curealz.org to join us in the quest for a cure.