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IU School of Medicine Leads Research to Treat Alzheimer’s Disease by 2025

Tatiana Foroud, PhD

Dr. Tatiana Foroud, the school’s Chair of the Department of Medical & Molecular Genetics, is internationally recognized for her global collaboration of dementia research.

Alzheimer’s disease affects 5.3 million Americans and its frequency is increasing as the U.S. population ages. It’s estimated that by 2025, there will be 7.1 million Americans 65 years and older with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

To end the suffering related to this devastating disease, IU School of Medicine pioneers collaborative local and international research across six centers in Indianapolis, Indiana to support the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA), an initiative to lead research to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer disease by 2025.

Dr. Tatiana Foroud, the school’s Chair of the Department of Medical & Molecular Genetics, is internationally recognized for her global collaboration of dementia research. She recently answered some questions on how IU School of Medicine is leading the research behind the federal Act to solve the Alzheimer’s disease epidemic.

What is the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s by 2025?

NAPA was signed by President Barack Obama and offers a historic opportunity to address the rising frequency of Alzheimer’s disease. The Act has the ambitious goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025 through the support of innovative research focused on etiology, early detection and therapeutics.

How will IU School of Medicine contribute to the national plan to overcome Alzheimer’s disease?

The School will be contributing to NAPA through a number of ongoing research efforts. The Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center is at the center of this endeavor. Also, IU School of Medicine is home to the IU/JAX Alzheimer’s disease precision models center which is leading the development to validate and disseminate new mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease.

School Investigators also lead the National Cell Repository for Alzheimer Disease, which serves as a biobank that stores research samples that are then made available to other researchers. Researchers also lead studies across a wide range of areas that include basic research studies to understand the causes of Alzheimer disease, clinical trials of new treatments, improved patient care and early detection of cognitive changes that may lead to Alzheimer disease.

How does the School accelerate the development of treatments that would prevent, halt or reverse the course of Alzheimer’s disease?

IU School of Medicine researchers are committed to achieving this goal. Scientists are involved in research at many different levels. Investigators in the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center perform clinical and laboratory experiments to understand the changes that occur in the brain prior to the onset of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

These studies include brain imaging (MRI, PET) as well as pencil and paper tests to better understand the range of cognitive changes. Understanding the underlying causes and pathways affected in Alzheimer’s disease is one way to begin to develop new treatments.

Learn more about the IU School of Medicine’s local, national and global research collaborations to treat and prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
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