The University of Wisconsin-Madison will be named today as one of 17 national research centers for Alzheimer's disease.

The school already does a lot of Alzheimer's research. And as part of the new designation, the school will get a $6.9 million federal grant to expand its studies for the next five years.

The head of the center, Dr. Sanjay Asthana, says the facility will be able to recruit more scientists and attract more outside research funding. A

nd they hope to help reveal the true causes of Alzheimer's, so they can develop therapies and cures to prevent the brain disorder.

Alzheimer's is a progressive dementia which affects more than 5 million Americans, including 100,000 in Wisconsin.

It's best known as the disease that killed former President Ronald Reagan.

Among other things, the UW is conducting the nation's largest study of children whose parents have Alzheimer's.