brain scans


Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in Wisconsin, and there are currently more than 120,000 residents with the disease. In addition, there are more than 196,000 family caregivers in the state caring for a family member or loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia.

The vision of UW–Madison Alzheimer’s disease research programs is to improve early and accurate diagnosis, treatment and care for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias while, at the same time, focusing on the program’s long-term goal of finding a way to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease. UW Alzheimer’s disease researchers are leaders in the science — part of a network of Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers across the country, and also involved in international collaborations.

Philanthropy is crucial to the success of the UW–Madison Alzheimer’s disease programs to fund research advancements:

  • Research has shown some preventive health and lifestyle factors can slow cognitive decline. Our scientists study a range of risk and resilience factors for Alzheimer’s disease, including genetics, exercise, gut health, stress, environmental factors and social determinants of health.
  • Early and accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias is critically important. Researchers are developing new diagnostic techniques to detect cognitive changes in their earliest stages.
  • By using advanced brain imaging techniques such as positron emission tomography (PET), scientists have learned how to identify people at risk for Alzheimer’s disease up to 30 years before the onset of dementia symptoms.
  • Several research and outreach programs are focused on identifying health disparities and working toward equity in Alzheimer’s disease research and care.
  • Our statewide memory clinic network is improving access to quality dementia care and research opportunities throughout Wisconsin.

Cynthia Carlsson, MD, MS, and Sterling Johnson, PhD, share recent advances in research at the UW. Watch the recording

The UW Initiative to End Alzheimer’s supports the development of new treatment strategies and continuous research on Alzheimer’s disease and related memory disorders. With your help, we can improve lives and build a future without Alzheimer’s disease — in Wisconsin and beyond.

Support Alzheimer’s disease research at UW–Madison

Nearly 5,000 Wisconsinites are currently enrolled in Alzheimer’s disease research studies at UW–Madison

Volunteer for a study at the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center

Learn about the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention (WRAP), the largest and one of the longest running family history studies of Alzheimer’s disease in the world