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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board On Behavioral Cognitive and Sensory Sciences
Board On Behavioral Cognitive and Sensory Sciences
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

Project Overview

Alzheimers 1The National Academies’ Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Education will appoint a committee to conduct a decadal survey focusing on developing a research agenda for the next decade in the behavioral and social sciences as it relates to Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Alzheimer's disease-related dementias (ADRD). For this Decadal Survey, drawing on extensive input from the scientific community and other stakeholders, the committee will assess the role of the social and behavioral sciences in reducing the burden of AD/ADRD. The study will identify research opportunities throughout the social and behavioral sciences, including psychology, sociology, demography, economics, and anthropology, cognition, and behavioral neuroscience, that can be brought to bear on prevention, care, and better understanding of the effects of the disease on society.

Various techniques will be used to identify the community of experts outside of the appointed committee including town halls, the use of social media directed towards science (e.g. IdeaBuzz), and webcasting of special workshops to draw attention to the initiative.

Statement of Task

The committee will conduct a decadal survey focusing on developing a research agenda for the next decade in the behavioral and social sciences as it relates to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Alzheimer’s disease-related dementias (ADRD). Drawing on extensive input from the scientific community and other stakeholders, the committee will assess the role of the social and behavioral sciences (including data sources and other resources) in reducing the burden of AD/ADRD.

The following areas will be reviewed:
  1. research using the methods of behavioral and social sciences on the burden of AD/ADRD on
           individuals, families, medical and long-term care systems;
  2. challenges associated with AD/ADRD care;
  3. intervention development for persons with dementia and their caregivers at different stages
           of illness;
  4. cognitive and AD/ADRD epidemiology;
  5. AD/ADRD prevention, leveraging basic and translational research on behavioral and social
           pathways to AD/ADRD and cognitive decline;
  6. detection of AD/ADRD-related change;
  7. the causes and consequences of AD/ADRD health disparities; and
  8. AD/ADRD data infrastructure needs. 

A final report will include recommendations for an agenda for social and behavioral science research on AD/ADRD during the next decade (2020-2030).



About Decadal Surveys at the National Academies

The Decadal Survey is a special method for engaging members of the research and stakeholder communities to identify new ideas and new lines of research with the greatest potential for impact.


National Institute on Aging


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If your organization would like information on sponsoring this project, please email Barbara Wanchisen, BBCSS Director.



We are seeking input from researchers and stakeholder communities for the first phase of this project

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Preliminary Timeline
for Year One Public Activities


April 2019: Issue Call for White Papers
August 2019: Workshop 1, Topics TBD
October 2019, Workshop 2, Topics TBD

Committee Membership

Patricia (Tia) Powell, Chair, Montefiore Einstein Center for Bioethics
Karen Cook, Stanford University
Margarita Alegria, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Deborah Blacker, Harvard Medical School and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Maria Glymour, University of California, San Francisco
Roee Gutman, Brown University
Mark Hayward, Population Research Center and Population Health Initiative at the University of Texas at Austin
Ruth Katz, LeadingAge
Spero M. Manson, Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health in  Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado, Denver
Terrie E. Moffitt, Duke University and King's College London
Vincent Mor, Brown University and Providence Veterans Administration Medical Center
David Reuben, UCLA Center for Health Sciences
Roland J. Thorpe, Jr., Johns Hopkins Alzheimer's Disease Research Center for Minority Aging and Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions
Rachel Werner, University of Pennsylvania
Kristine Yaffe, University of California, San Francisco
Julie Zissimopoulos, University of Southern California

Committee bios and more project info

Staff Information

Molly Checksfield, Study Director
Tina Winters, Associate Program Officer
Liane Kerry, Senior Program Assistant
Alix Beatty
, Senior Program Officer
Julie Schuck, Program Officer
Adrienne Stith Butler, Associate Director, BBCSS









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