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Clinical Innovation

Microscopic image of a mouse brain showing blood vessels, nerve cells and the plaques that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Ketogenic Diet Leads to Cognitive Improvement in Patients with Mild Alzheimer’s Disease

NCATS-supported researchers tested the hypothesis that ketones could offer an alternate energy source for the brain in people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The study found improved brain function in people with mild AD after a three-month ketogenic diet.

Motor nerves send signals to muscles at neuromuscular junctions.
Rare Disease Research Teams Strive for Improved Diagnosis and Treatment Approaches

NIH has awarded approximately $38 million in grants to 20 teams and a data management center to study rare diseases. Research groups will collaborate to learn more about the causes and progression of rare diseases and develop new treatment approaches.

Clinical & Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program

The CTSA Program is designed to strengthen and support the entire spectrum of translational research from scientific discovery to improved patient care.

Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network (RDCRN)

The RDCRN is designed to advance medical research on rare diseases by facilitating collaboration, study enrollment and data sharing.

Patient Registries

Patient and contact registries are key tools that help researchers identify potential clinical study participants, including healthy volunteers.

Clinical Research Toolbox

NCATS supports clinical research tools that facilitate trial design, patient recruitment and partnerships for commercialization.

Clinical & Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program

The CTSA Program is designed to strengthen and support the entire spectrum of translational research from scientific discovery to improved patient care.

Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network (RDCRN)

The RDCRN is designed to advance medical research on rare diseases by facilitating collaboration, study enrollment and data sharing.

Patient Registries

Patient and contact registries are key tools that help researchers identify potential clinical study participants, including healthy volunteers.

Clinical Research Toolbox

NCATS supports clinical research tools that facilitate trial design, patient recruitment and partnerships for commercialization.

Work with Us

NCATS aims to address common barriers in clinical and translational research that scientists nationwide face every day, with the goal of delivering more treatments to more patients more quickly.

Contact the Division of Clinical Innovation

Learn more about NCATS’ Achievements in Advancing Translational Sciences.

Clinical Trials

NCATS programs support a broad range of clinical research, including clinical trials. NCATS authorization (PDF - 133KB) limits specific support for clinical trials only through the end of Phase II for all diseases and conditions, and through the end of phase III for a rare disease or condition.

Addressing Clinical Research Challenges

Researchers nationwide face common barriers in clinical and translational research that can delay the development of new interventions for patients in need. These challenges include:

  • Difficulties in recruiting, mentoring and retaining a critical mass of qualified clinical and translational investigators
  • Increased research costs and complexity
  • Low patient recruitment and retention in clinical research studies
  • Inflexible study designs
  • Increased regulatory burdens

NCATS supports innovative programs, such as the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program and Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network (RDCRN), to help address these challenges.