Biomarkers Across Neurodegenerative Diseases (BAND)
At a Glance
- Status: Active Consortium
- Year Launched: 2014
- Initiating Organization: Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
- Initiator Type: Nonprofit foundation
- Disease focus:
Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease
- Location: International
The Alzheimer’s Association (ALZ), The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF), and The W. Garfield Weston Foundation set up the Biomarkers Across Neurodegenerative Diseases (BAND) consortium to stimulate analyses across the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) research enterprises to engage in further data analysis of existing cohorts, including, but not limited to, biomarker discovery, standardization of assays, genetic profiles, and imaging modalities. The goal is to enable preliminary pilot research or proof-of-principle studies utilizing data and/or samples from two large biomarker studies, the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) and the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), in order to garner further research support from other funding agencies.
Although AD and PD are clinically distinct entities, research has hinted at underlying pathological, physiological, and possibly genetic linkages between these two diseases across the neurodegenerative continuum. ALZ, MJFF, and The W. Garfield Weston Foundation formed the BAND consortium to stimulate analyses across the AD and PD research enterprises to engage in further data analysis of existing cohorts, including, but not limited to, biomarker discovery, standardization of assays, genetic profiles, and imaging modalities. All projects must use data or specimens from both PPMI and ADNI.
Efforts under BAND include studies that:
analyze data sets to test hypotheses related to aging and neurodegenerative disorders;
seek to identify panels or pathways that may play a role in disease mechanisms, such as around inflammation;
pursue shared or disparate biochemical markers of disease risk, onset, or progression; and
assess potential commonalities across the disease spectrum, including around other neurological disorders such as Lewy body dementia.
Recent data reported at the 2013 Alzheimer’s Association’s International Conference stimulated discussion in the research community about the possible cross talk between AD and PD. For example, underlying pathologies/biomarkers, such as cerebrospinal fluid alpha-synuclein, have been measured in the sample sets collected for both diseases to help understand similarities and differences in these diseases. Furthermore, similar imaging modalities, such as magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography, are being employed to interrogate changes that occur with disease progression. As therapeutic approaches are developed that may be disease-modifying for several neurodegenerative diseases, stratification of clinical trial populations based on biomarker profiles may increase the probability of success in demonstrating a beneficial effect.
ALZ, MJFF, and The W. Garfield Weston Foundation anticipate funding multiple awards under this program. Applicants may request up to two years and $150,000 in total costs, inclusive of both direct and indirect costs. Exceptions for particularly unique projects or projects that span the globe will be considered, but requests that exceed $150,000 must be well justified. Indirect costs may not exceed 10 percent of direct costs. Rent for laboratory/office space is expected to be covered by indirect costs paid to the institution.
It is required that funds awarded under this program be used for direct research support. Budgets must be appropriate and justifiable for the work described.
Funds awarded may be used for
salary for the principal investigator and scientific (including postdoctoral fellows) and technical staff (including laboratory technicians and administrative support staff whose work is directly related to the funded project)
Funds awarded cannot be used for
computer hardware or software for investigators and other capital equipment
rent for laboratory/office space
construction or renovation costs
Both ALZ and MJFF are patient-driven organizations.
All projects must use data or specimens from both PPMI and ADNI, which are publicly available to qualified researchers.
Points of Contact
Alzheimer’s Association National Office
225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17
Chicago, IL 60601
Sponsors & Partners
The Michael J. Fox Foundation
The W. Garfield Weston Foundation