Lawmakers approve $10 million in funding for Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center

USC, Clemson University and MUSC are collaborating to conduct the research and improve treatment options in South Carolina.
Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 5:21 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Lawmakers and scientists are trying to improve research and treatment for Alzheimer’s here in South Carolina.

The Palmetto state is deemed a neurology desert, meaning there is a shortage of neurologists. The shortage is only expected to grow. Earlier this year, Fox Carolina interviewed a woman in Greenville who has tried to get into clinical trials to treat her Alzheimer’s, but she was often denied because it was too far away.

It’s why the Alzheimer’s Association has been pushing for more funding. And now lawmakers are putting $10 million towards the cause from our state budget. They hope to create a designated Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, also known as ADRC.

Three South Carolina schools are currently in the process of applying for the designation of a center. This has to be approved through the federal government. They include USC, Clemson University and MUSC. Dr. Lesley Ross is the chair of Aging and Cognition at Clemson University.

“We are one of the neurology deserts,” said Dr. Lesley Ross. “We don’t have enough individuals who are trained to identify and treat people with dementia. Because of that the government is putting in money so we can start these activities now.”

She said one of the reason’s it’s important to get federal designation as an ADRC is due to funding.

“When you have the designation of being an ADRC, it helps you to get additional funding,” Dr. Ross said. “It demonstrates to reviewers that you have that recognition and have proven that you have the resources and expertise and all the things to do the research.”

The three schools are in the process of submitting their applications, but it will likely take a few years until these research centers are established in South Carolina.