URBAn Native Elders (URBANE): Risk and Protective Factors for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias

Status: Current

Grant Start: 09/01/2019

Grant End: 05/31/2025

Both comparative and single-race studies suggest that, with the reduction in life expectancy disparities experienced by American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) are becoming as prevalent among them as they are in the all-races population. However, most of the small amount of work in this area was conducted in rural or reservation settings, even though more than 70% of AI/AN people reside in urban areas. This study will address the epidemiology of ADRD in urban AI/AN Elders aged 55 and older and, using advanced imaging techniques and neurocognitive assessments, will examine how mechanisms related to vascular brain injury may contribute to ADRD pathology in order to establish a baseline cohort of urban Elders for a future longitudinal study. The URBANE study is a Native-led effort. All of our sites have Indigenous staff involved in a variety of roles within the study.


  • MedStar Health Research Institute (MHRI)
  • University of Oklahoma Health Science Center (OUHSC)
  • University of Washington
  • Banner Alzheimer's Institute
  • Southcentral Foundation
  • California State University, San Bernardino
  • Providence Imaging Center
  • University of California, Riverside

Funding Sponsors

  • Federal - National Institutes of Health
  • National Institute on Aging (NIA)

Study Locations

  • Washington
  • Alaska
  • Oklahoma
  • California
  • Arizona

Study Type

  • Observational study
  • Cohort study
  • Quanititative Research

Study Characteristics

  • Ages 50 plus

Principal Investigator(s)

Team Member(s)

Heath Research Initiatives

  • American Indian and Alaska Native
  • Urban

Focus Areas

  • Alzheimer's disease