SWHR Comments to NIA on Alzheimer’s Research Gaps and Opportunities


Published 8/20/20

SWHR provided feedback in response to the National Institute of Aging’s request for information regarding Alzheimer’s and dementia-related research gaps and opportunities following the 2020 National Research Summit on Care, Services, and Supports for Persons with Dementia and their Caregivers.

SWHR’s comments highlighted the need to acknowledge the impact that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has on women. Of the 5.8 million American adults diagnosed with AD, about two-thirds are women. SWHR urged the steering committee to consider a more thorough incorporation of both sex and gender issues within their finalized review of opportunities for future Alzheimer’s-related research.

Scientists have often overlooked sex and gender differences in AD diagnosis, clinical trial design, treatment outcomes, and caregiving, hindering progress in detection and care. Our ability to devise new strategies for prevention and treatment is impeded by a lack of knowledge about how and why the disease differs between women and men. Unfortunately, in reviewing relevant research, most studies of AD risk combine data for women and men. Approaches that incorporate sex and gender differences into research have advanced innovation in many other diseases. We need to do the same for Alzheimer’s.

Read SWHR’s Comments