Offered February 5, 2007
Commending the Alzheimer's and Related Diseases Research Award Fund on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.
Patron-- Plum

WHEREAS, in 2007 the Alzheimer's and Related Diseases Research Award Fund (ARDRAF), an innovative small-grant program used to jump-start research into Alzheimer's and related diseases at Virginia institutions, celebrates its 25th anniversary; and

WHEREAS, established in 1982, ARDRAF has been diligently administered over the years by the Virginia Center on Aging at Virginia Commonwealth University with superb results; and

WHEREAS, the idea for ARDRAF was born of the knowledge that researchers need initial research results in order to be successful in attracting funding from big donors such as the federal government and foundations; and

WHEREAS, ARDRAF awards grants in small amounts—the limit is $40,000 per award and the average grant is $15,000--which Virginia researchers use to investigate promising leads on the causes, consequences, and treatments of dementia; and

WHEREAS, ARDRAF casts a wide net with its grants, supporting studies that examine the causes, epidemiology, and treatment of Alzheimer's and related diseases; policies, programs, and financing for care and support of those affected by these diseases; and the social and psychological impacts of dementia-related illnesses on the individual, family, and community; and

WHEREAS, in its 25-year history, ARDRAF has supported 105 pilot studies with small grants totaling $1.6 million, and these small grants have subsequently produced over 180 scientific research publications and brought in over $16 million in funding from non-Virginia resources, an astounding return on the state's investment; and

WHEREAS, some of the practical results of studies conducted with ARDRAF seed money include clinical tools to help physicians diagnose dementia, web-based help for family caregivers, therapeutic interventions for persons with Alzheimer's, and improved drug regimens; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby commend the Alzheimer's and Related Diseases Research Award Fund on the occasion of its 25th anniversary; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the Alzheimer's and Related Diseases Research Award Fund as an expression of the General Assembly's admiration and gratitude for its outstanding support of research initiatives in Virginia that may lead to improved care and quality of life for persons suffering from such illnesses.

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