Assistant Professor and Biostatician Awarded $6.6 Million Grant to Study Alzheimer's

lunLun-Ching Chang, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor and a Statistics Advisor from the department of mathematical sciences in FAU's Christine E. College of Science at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) is a co-investigator/lead Biostatistician in collaborating with PI Dr. Galvin and his research team recently received a five-years with $6.6 million R01 grant from the National Institute of Aging of the National Institutes of Health for a proposal titled, “Reducing Disparities in Dementia and VCID Outcomes in a Multicultural Rural Population.” The proposal is to compare the prevalence and incidence of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD), particularly vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia (VCID), between older adults living in rural areas and those dwelling in urban/suburban areas, and to identify the factors which may contribute to health disparities in these two groups.

Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) affect millions of Americans. Persons living in rural areas face increased prevalence (OR=1.1) and incidence (OR=1.2) of ADRD compared to urban/suburban dwellers with increased disparities affecting health outcomes. Underlying factors that may increase ADRD risk and disparities in health outcomes include poverty; low education; poor health literacy; poor nutrition; tobacco, alcohol, and substance abuse; limited access to care (specialists, diagnostic testing); migrant or marginal immigration status; and non- and underinsurance.

The Principal Investigator, James Galvin, M.D., MPH, is a Professor of Neurology at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. He is an internationally known ADRD investigator who has published more than 250 peer-reviewed articles on AD and other dementias (e.g., DLB) and developed a number of widely used ADRD screening scales. He has extensive experience leading large research projects.