NIH R01 – Neuropathological Interactions Between COVID-19 and ADRD

Funding Opportunity Number: PAR-24-203

Letter of Intent: September 4, 2024
Submission: October 4, 2024


Goal 1 of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease is to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Alzheimer’s disease-related dementias (ADRD) by 2025. As described in the National Plan, ADRDs include Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), Vascular Contributions to Cognitive Impairment and Dementia (VCID), Lewy Body Dementias (LBD), and Multiple Etiology Dementias (MED) based on similarities in clinical symptoms and brain pathologies between these and pathological AD and/or clinical AD. Starting in 2012, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) have held research summits to assess the needs and set AD/ADRD research implementation milestones. The NINDS ADRD Summit 2022 ( resulted in ADRD research priorities for advancing the state-of-the-science toward meeting Goal 1 of the National Plan. Four recently recommended ADRD Summit 2022 Milestones focused on interactions between COVID-19 and ADRD risk and outcomes. One priority is to advance understanding of basic mechanisms underlying cognitive impairment and dementia outcomes, including MED outcomes, that can occur following COVID-19.


The goal of this initiative is to solicit applications that propose studies in animal, cell culture, and/or human tissue models to elucidate the mechanisms by which COVID-19 interacts with and/or modulates ADRD-relevant mechanisms and outcomes. Either the model itself or the experimental readouts must incorporate ADRD risk factors, causes, pathologies, or relevant comorbidities. To this end, proposals should ultimately be centered around one or more of the following:

  • Mechanistic studies that address how COVID-19 impacts CNS pathology and cognitive decline when ADRD pathology is already present (for example, in a model of ADRD).
  • Mechanistic studies that address how COVID-19 accelerates ADRD pathology in a prodromal model (early phase, pre-symptomatic).
  • Mechanistic studies that address how COVID-19 predisposes for ADRD and/or interacts with relevant comorbid conditions and ADRD risk factors (cellular mechanisms that could increase the risk for ADRD development, with experimental readouts that are directly relevant to dementia).
  • Mechanistic studies that address how pre-existing ADRD enhances the risk of more severe post-COVID-19 neurological outcomes.

For more information, please see the opportunity webpage.