06 Mar 2020

HudsonAlpha joins collaborative international dementia research project effort

According to the World Health Organization, Alzheimer disease affects more than 50 million people. More than 3.4 million of these cases are in Latin America and the Caribbean. Without any known cure or effective treatments, it is expected that by the year 2050, the number of cases in this region will reach more than 16 million cases. 

On January 27, leaders in dementia research from South America and the United States gathered for the US-Latin American Networking on Dementia Symposium. HudsonAlpha senior scientist, Nick Cochran, PhD, attended the symposium which was co-hosted by the Global Brain Health Initiative (GBHI) and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Memory and Aging Center. The meeting started a new multinational consortium to expand dementia research in Latin America called Research Dementia Latin America, or ReDLat.

“Neurodegenerative diseases and forms of dementia need significant attention as our population ages,” said Rick Myers, PhD, HudsonAlpha president and science director. “These diseases are not just isolated to the United States so we are enthusiastic to be a part of this international effort to better understand dementia.”

ReDLat was created with support from a $2.5 million grant from the NIH as well as additional support from the Alzheimer’s Association, the Tau Consortium (part of the Rainwater Charitable Foundation), and the GBHI. In total, the effort will fuel more than $5 million in research projects.

The project is a five-year multidisciplinary collaboration that will study dementia in underserved and diverse populations in Latin America. Neuroimaging, genetic and behavioral data will be collected on over 4,000 individuals from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Mexico, Peru and the US to offer a unique understanding of the genetic and environmental underpinnings of dementia.

HudsonAlpha will process DNA samples and perform genomic assays (or tests) for the project. In addition, investigators at HudsonAlpha will leverage their expertise in data analysis to assist ReDLat collaborators.

“It is exciting for HudsonAlpha to play a role in this project,” said Cochran. “HudsonAlpha’s efforts in neurodegenerative research have expanded our collective knowledge about these diseases and I believe that this project is a natural extension of our efforts.”

HudsonAlpha’s neurodegenerative research projects are supported by the HudsonAlpha Foundation Memory and Mobility Program. If you would like to support this work, visit hudsonalpha.org/mm-give.


ReDLat will collaborate with the Latin American and Caribbean Consortium for Dementia and includes partners from the Alzheimers’ Association; Institute for Cognitive and Translational Neuroscience, CONICET- INECO Foundation (Argentina); Hospital das Clinicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Sao Paulo (Brazil); Geroscience FONDAP; Hospital Clinico, Universidad de Chile; Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez (Chile); Pontificia Universidad Javeriana – Hospital Universitario San Ignacio; Universidad de Antioquia (Colombia); Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Medicas y Nutrición; Instituto Nacional de Neurología y Neurocirugía (Mexico); Instituto Peruano de Neurociencias (Peru); HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Alabama; and University of California San Francisco (UCSF)-Memory and Aging Center (MAC), and Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI), and University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) (USA).