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PREPARE: Pioneering Research for Early Prediction of Alzheimer's and Related Dementias Challenge

Earlier, more accurate detection and intervention is essential for improving treatment and care options for people living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia, and for supporting care partners. But detecting the early signs of these diseases is challenging.

Scientists continue to seek innovations to improve clinical approaches used in identifying individuals at risk for developing dementia. Current methods have drawbacks such as cost, complexity, and accessibility.

Enter by January 31 to compete for part of the $650K prize

To spark innovation in this critical area, NIA has launched the PREPARE: Pioneering Research for Early Prediction of AD & Related Dementias EUREKA Challenge with a total combined prize purse of $650,000.

The multiyear challenge spans three phases:

  • Phase I: Participants will focus on finding, curating, or contributing data to open datasets representative of diverse populations that can be used for early prediction of Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Examples of data sources include NIH-supported research studies, electronic health records, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services claims. All challenge contestants must apply for Phase I by Jan. 31, 2024.

  • Phase II: The second phase will build on the data discovery of selected Phase I teams to focus on advancing state-of-the-art, ethical, and inclusive algorithms and analytic approaches, with an emphasis on tools for predicting early cognitive decline that are clear and easy to explain. Phase II is open to all interested applicants, and Phase I winners are expected to participate in Phase II. Anticipated start date: Sept. 1, 2024.

  • Phase III: The final phase will bring together the top teams in a virtual meeting to present their solution from the previous phase to demonstrate the effectiveness of their algorithmic approaches and to discuss them with experts from NIH and the broader data science community. Phase III is only open to winners of Phase II. Anticipated start date: March 1, 2025.

Prizes are available at each phase of the challenge, ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 for the strongest submissions. Since NIA is particularly interested in advancing equity for populations disproportionately affected by Alzheimer’s and related dementias, Phase 1 winners with proposals to address dementia research and diagnosis biases will also be eligible for bonus prizes. Challenge applicants will be judged by a panel of NIA staff, and the judging criteria are available on the PREPARE challenge website.

Submit ideas for earlier, more accurate dementia risk detection by January 31

If you’re interested in competing in Phase 1 of the PREPARE challenge, be sure to apply online by Jan. 31, 2024. For more information and for more details on the submission process and key dates for each phase, visit the challenge website. If you have questions, please email me or leave a comment below. We wish all applicants good luck in this exciting competition!


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