Dr. Ozioma Okonkwo appointed to NIA-AA Alzheimer’s workgroup

Photograph of Dr. Ozioma Okonkwo in the lobby of a building

Ozioma Okonkwo, PhD, has been appointed to participate in a National Institute on Aging (NIA) Alzheimer’s and Alzheimer’s Association workgroup, establishing the definition and classification of Alzheimer’s disease.

Okonkwo is an investigator at Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC). His research lab focuses on clarifying how alterations in the brain and other biomolecules place some cognitively normal individuals on a pernicious trajectory that culminates in probable Alzheimer’s disease. Okonkwo is a co-investigator in WRAP and works on many linked studies with the study. Read more about his research on the lab’s website.

About the NIA-AA workgroup: In 2011, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Alzheimer’s Association published revised guidelines (NIA-AA) for modernization of the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. In these guidelines, the workgroups identified Alzheimer’s disease as a continuum with three distinct stages: Preclinical, Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia. In 2018, the NIA and Alzheimer’s Association released an update (the “NIA-AA Research Framework”) to the 2011 guidelines, developed by an international workgroup of scientific experts tasked with evaluating and revising the existing guidelines. Since 2018, there have been significant advances in the field with respect to early detection of Alzheimer’s disease, the role of vascular and inflammatory pathophysiology, and a deeper understanding of the temporal relationships among Alzheimer’s biomarkers. The new workgroup on which Dr. Okonkwo was appointed is charged with reflecting on the 2018 Framework and updating it to incorporate these advances.