Expertise in Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease Research

Research on Alzheimer’s disease at Indiana University School of Medicine encompasses the full spectrum of medical research—basic and preclinical, translational and population science. Faculty investigators studying Alzheimer’s disease have a strong and long-standing commitment to neurodegenerative research and receive generous grant awards and international support to advance their studies. IU School of Medicine is committed to ending the suffering of this disease no matter how long it takes.

Alzheimer's Disease Research Objectives

Even after decades of research, very little is known about what goes wrong in a person’s DNA to cause dementia. Researchers in basic science are working to analyze data and identify the root causes of dementia. Without this understanding, scientists can’t begin to formulate effective solutions.

Physician scientists now know that Alzheimer’s disease begins to develop about 20 years prior to the onset of dementia. The current thinking is that available treatments have largely been unsuccessful because the disease is too advanced when they are administered. Investigators at IU School of Medicine envision that Alzheimer’s disease will one day be screened for routinely, just as cholesterol tests are regularly administered to detect potential heart problems decades before a heart attack may occur.

IU School of Medicine has played a major role in bringing some of today’s most commonly prescribed drugs to market—and continues to be a frontrunner in the development and testing of new drugs. Scientists are searching for new potential targets, developing new molecules and testing new interventions. Along with novel drugs, research teams are evaluating lifestyle interventions, including exercise and cognitive training, to slow or prevent dementia.

Researchers at IU School of Medicine study ways to improve the quality of life for both patients and caregivers. Across the United States, more than 15 million people are caring for a family member or close friend suffering from dementia. Although being a caregiver can be rewarding, it can also create physical, emotional and financial burdens.

Expertise and Collaboration across the Research Spectrum

At IU School of Medicine, collaboration is key to solving Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Interdisciplinary research teams share resources and facilities that enable interaction and innovation. Several departments, the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center and Stark Neurosciences Research Institute foster and facilitate the basic, translational and population science programs at IU School of Medicine.

Preclinical

Preclinical

Basic scientists explore the neurobiology and molecular genetics of Alzheimer’s disease.
Translational

Translational

Investigators build on preclinical studies to test new methods to diagnose and treat Alzheimer’s disease.
Population

Population

IU School of Medicine physicians and health services researchers apply clinical discoveries and evaluate their efficacy.

National Resources

Faculty researchers studying Alzheimer’s disease at IU School of Medicine are recognized national leaders in the advancement of basic science, diagnostic imaging, immunotherapy, drug discovery and genetics research. Together, these molecular, genetic and imaging-based approaches to disease discovery and treatment can enable physician scientists throughout the world to advance understanding of Alzheimer's disease and its progression.