The National Institute On Aging

What Is The National Institute On Aging (NIA)?

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) is an institute that is the federal government’s leader in research on aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and other related dementias. The NIA, under the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is aimed at providing a healthy and active lifestyle for senior Americans through supporting scientific research about the aging process.

The National Institute on Aging supports scientific innovations and discoveries at universities, medical centers, and research institutes across the United States. The NIA also has scientific laboratories located in Baltimore and Bethesda, Maryland for conducting research. The research information on the discoveries about the aging process, age-related diseases and age-related changes, and the needs of the growing population, is disseminated by the NIA to the research community and the public through outreach programs and active communications.

 

What Does The NIA Do?

The NIA conducts and funds research. The research is focused on exploring ways and treatments to prevent, delay, or slow age-related diseases. Age-related diseases include Alzheimer’s disease, dementia-related diseases, and other neurodegenerative diseases like cognitive impairment. The NIA also supports the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Geroscience Interest Group (GSIG). The GSIG is a leader in understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that are responsible for aging process, which is the common cause of most chronic diseases. Another group that the NIA supports is the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) Program. The SOBC program utilizes a systematic approach in order to find out the underlying conditions or mechanisms that are responsible for the change in a person’s behavior.

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) leads the research for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias like cognitive impairment. The increase in funding for the research on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias is crucial in advancing scientific growth and discovery. The advanced scientific growth and discovery are aimed at improving the diagnosis, treatment, and care of individual Americans with dementia. The NIA also gives support to scientists who are responsible for identifying and testing new drug candidates, advancing comprehensive models of care, developing new biomarker tests, and exploring disease risk and protective factors. These factors can serve as targets for preventive interventions, for dementia prevalence and care disparity examinations, and for genetics and other disease mechanisms understanding and improvement.

 

History Of The National Institute On Aging

The National Institute on Aging was established by Congress on October 7, 1974 in order to address the growing aging population in the United States. The growing aging population in the United States is estimated to have more people who are 65 years and older than people who are under 5 years of age by 2020. The National Institute on Aging  is one of the 27 institutes serving under the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The National Institutes of Health NIH is the U.S. main federal agency that conducts research for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and disabilities.

On April 3, 1975, the first National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA) meeting was held. The National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA) gives advice to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Director of the National Institute on Aging . In 1984, the National Institute on Aging  started funding Alzheimer’s Disease Centers. The Alzheimer’s Disease centers have researchers that prioritize prevention and treatment while at the same time improving diagnosis and care. Two years later, in 1986, the NIA, as directed by the U.S. Congress, funds the Federal Forum on Aging-Related Statistics. The Federal Forum on Aging-Related Statistics is a working group of 15 federal agencies that provides information to policymakers and the public about the physical, financial, social, and psychological well-being of senior Americans.

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) conducted studies and initiatives like the Alzheimer’s Diseasing Cooperative Study in 1991, Health and Retirement Study in 1993, and the Longevity Assurance Genes Initiative in 1994 in order to facilitate clinical trials research, gather data on the causes of retirement, and use genetics to find clues for longevity. The NIA collaborated with federal agencies, private companies like the Icelandic Heart Association, and organizations like the John A Hartford Foundation, and Atlantic Philanthropies and Staff Foundation to advance research in healthy aging and healthy human longevity.

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) organized and convened summits like the Summit on Global Aging in 2007, the Biology of Aging Summit in 2008, the Alzheimer’s Research Summit in 2012, Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementias: Research Challenges and Opportunities Summit in 2013, the Disease Drivers of Aging: Advances in Geroscience Summit in 2016, Cognitive Aging Summit III in 2017, the National Research Summit in Care, Services, and Supports for Persons with Dementia and Their Caregivers and the Alzheimer’s Research Summit in 2018 and 2021.

Since its establishment, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) has been committed to unlocking the secrets to healthy old age and also to having a better understanding of the diseases and disabilities that can occur as people grow older. Growing older healthy is a challenge in the United States which is why NIA is present to support and conduct cutting-edge research to extend the healthy, active years of the life of senior Americans.

 

Mission Of The National Institute On Aging

The main goal of the National Institute On Aging (NIA) is to support and conduct genetic, biological, clinical, behavioral, social, and economic research on aging. Research on aging has been focused on improving the quality of life for the aging American population through identifying factors, strategies and solutions for the prevention, delay, and slow down of age-related diseases, such as dementia.

Another main goal of the National Institute On Aging (NIA) is to encourage research and clinical science development in aging. Research at universities and medical centers is funded by the NIA.

The next main goal of the National Institute On Aging (NIA) is to provide research resources. Research resources are found in the NIA’s online database. The NIA’s online database contains NIA-supported scientific resources, datasets, informatics resources, and other resources.

The next main goal of the National Institute On Aging (NIA) is to distribute information about the advances in research on aging to the public, health care professionals, and the scientific community.

 

National Institute On Aging Programs

The National Institute On Aging programs are classified into intramural research and extramural research. Intramural research is conducted by scientists who are working for the Federal government. Extramural research, on the other hand, is done by investigators across the United States and in some foreign countries.

The programs under intramural research are the following:

  • Laboratory of Cardiovascular Science (LCS)
  • Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Immunology (LMBI)
  • Laboratory of Clinical Investigation (CLI)
  • Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Sciences (LEPS)
  • Laboratory of Genetics and Genomics (LGG)
  • Laboratory of Molecular Gerontology (LMG)
  • Laboratory of Neurogenetics (LNG)
  • Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience (LBN)
  • Translational Gerontology Branch (TGB)
  • Center for Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias (CARD)

The programs under extramural research are the following:

  • Division of Extramural Activities
    • Scientific Review Branch
    • Grants and Contracts Management Branch
    • Office of Strategic Extramural Programs (OSEP)
    • DEA Office of the Director (OD)
    • National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA)
  • Division of Aging Biology (DAB)
    • Office of the Division Director
    • Aging Physiology Branch
    • Biological Resources Branch
    • Cell Biology Branch
  • Division of Behavioral and Social Research (BSR)
    • Individual Behavioral Processes Branch (IBP)
    • Population and Social Processes Branch (PSP)
    • Behavioral and Social Research on AD/ADRD
    • Data Resources for Behavioral and Social Research on Aging
  • Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology (DGCG)
    • Geriatrics
    • Clinical Gerontology
    • Clinical Trials
  • Division of Neuroscience (DN)
    • Neurobiology of Aging and Neurodegeneration
    • Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience
    • Population Studies and Genetics
    • Translational Research
    • Clinical Interventions and Diagnostics

National Institute On Aging Grants

The National Institute On Aging (NIA) supports research and research training related to aging process through grants and funding opportunities. Research and research training are focused on basic biological, neuroscientific, behavioral and social research on aging processes and intervention studies, and clinical geriatric research. The NIA has an Intramural Research Program that does research in its laboratories located in Bethesda and Baltimore Maryland. The NIA Extramural division programs fund research institutions, such as universities, hospitals, and other medical institutions.

The National Institute On Aging (NIA) grant application starts with institutions submitting grant applications to the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The CSR assigns the initial review through its own review groups or to NIA. NIA is responsible for reviewing grant applications, such as program projects, cooperative agreements, centers, research careers, scientific meetings, clinical loan repayments, and institutional training grants. The secondary review is done by the National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA). The National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA) consists of scientists and public members of health and scientific disciplines who give advice to the NIA and NIH about the scientific and public importance of the proposal. The proposal after a careful review is approved by the Director of NIA with funds readily available.

 

Where Is The National Institute On Aging?

The National Institute On Aging (NIA) is located in Bethesda, Maryland where the main campus of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is situated. NIA also has other locations in the Greater Washington, D.C. and Baltimore Metropolitan areas.

The National Institute On Aging (NIA) offices in the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland include the Office of the Director, Office of International Activities, Office of Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation, Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Office of Administrative Management, and the Financial Management Branch.

The National Institute On Aging (NIA)’s Laboratory of Epidemiology, Demography, and Biometry is located in the Gateway Building in Bethesda, Maryland. The Gateway Building also houses the NIA’s Extramural Research Program Areas like the Office of Biological Resources and Resource Development, Office of Research Resources and Development, Division of Extramural Activities, Grants and Contracts Management Office, and the Scientific Review Office.

 

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