Local Alzheimer’s Association awards $500,000 research gift

Researcher Ines Moreno-Gonzalez and her colleague study positron emission tomography (PET) to visualize brains that have experienced traumatic brain injury in correlation to Alzheimer's at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston (UTHealth). UTHealth is one of the recipients of the Alzheimer's Association's grant. Photo courtesy of the Alzheimer's Association – North Central Texas Chapter

The North Central Texas chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association will donate $500,000 to five research studies, two of which are based in Texas.

It’s the largest amount that the nonprofit organization has ever given toward research, the association said in a news release.

The amount will be distributed to research programs at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston (UTHealth), University of Texas at Dallas, New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Columbia University Medical Center and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Each institution’s project deals with studies of the brain. UTHealth’s study, for example, analyzes how brain trauma affects a person’s risk to develop Alzheimer’s.

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“These are the investigators that I’m passionate about – I want these young researchers to stay in the pipeline after I retire because I want to make sure someone else continues the fight,” said Meharvan “Sonny” Singh, chairman of the local Alzheimer’s Association board of directors. Singh also serves as dean of the graduate school of biomedical sciences for the University of North Texas Health Science Center.

Since 1982, the national Alzheimer’s Association has awarded grants totaling more than $350 million to about 2,300 projects.