- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Federal funds will provide $30 million for Alzheimer’s disease research at Washington University in St. Louis over the next five years.

The university announced Tuesday that the National Institutes on Aging and the National Institutes of Health have renewed grants that provide the funding.

The research includes an effort to identify biological changes or biomarkers that can detect the disease and track its progression. The goal is to start Alzheimer’s treatments years before patients develop memory loss and dementia.

Researchers hope to determine if sleep disruption accelerates development of symptoms and help predict when dementia begins. They are also looking at whether genetic variations can reduce the rate at which Alzheimer’s symptoms progress, and if those variations explain why some people with Alzheimer’s avoid memory loss and other cognitive problems.

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