At the time the National Centralized Repository for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (NCRAD)
renewal was submitted in June 2020, NCRAD proposed to continue to bank a wide range of samples from
National Institute on Aging (NIA)-supported studies focusing on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias
(ADRD). NCRAD did not propose to establish a biomarker laboratory; however, with the rapid development of
blood-based biomarkers, there is an urgency to have a central laboratory in the United States that can process
large numbers of samples in a standardized manner and return the assay data to the contributing study as well
as the broader research community.
To meet this important NIA goal of expanding the availability of biomarker assays, NCRAD has established a
new biomarker laboratory that will produce key plasma assays for samples banked at NCRAD. NCRAD will not
focus on novel biomarker development. This work is best done by researchers funded through independent
research grants. NCRAD will limit its focus to fluid-based biomarkers that are well established and can be
implemented as commercial assays.
This administrative supplement requests funds essential to moving the new NCRAD biomarker laboratory from
assay validation to production. The focus will be on generating a core set of four plasma assays validated in the
NCRAD biomarker laboratory in plasma samples provided by the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers
(ADRCs) and the Indianapolis Ibadan Dementia Study. Success of this initiative will support joint analyses and
collaboration across the ADRCs and ensure that these data are widely available to the research community. In
addition, by supporting centralized assay production as well as planned cross laboratory comparisons, the
research community will be able to confidently plan analyses utilizing assays generated from samples across
many different ADRCs. This administrative supplement allows the momentum for the NCRAD biomarker
laboratory to grow so that it can support many more studies and research groups over the next 5 years.