The NIH is launching a study to determine if Alzheimer’s patients are suffering from the disease, the agency announced on Monday.
The agency has previously acknowledged that it is not able to identify the cause of Alzheimer’s, and has said that it needs to wait for further research before concluding that the disease is a significant health problem for millions of Americans.
The Alzheimer’s Association, which has called for a greater focus on the disease in the last several years, is pushing for the study to begin.
The organization said in a statement that it would continue to press the NIH to release more data about the disease and seek an outside panel to determine whether patients with Alzheimer’s are suffering.
The NIH will conduct a clinical trial in 2021 and then conduct a follow-up study in 2022, the statement said.
It said it would also fund additional research to determine the safety and efficacy of treatment.
In January, the NIH announced that it was looking into how the disease may affect the brains of people with cognitive disabilities.
The study would likely use a blood sample from the patient to determine how much damage Alzheimer’s has on the brain, according to the NIH.
The NIH has also asked for a blood test from people who have Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
The results of the study will be used to help determine whether treatments can help people with the disease.
It would not provide a specific target number for the trials.