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.
- IU School of Medicine awarded $36 million NIH grant for Alzheimer’s disease drug discovery center
- Alzheimer’s Association Greater Indiana Chapter announces $1 million grant for LEADS study
- Novel discovery of links between liver dysfunction and Alzheimer’s disease
- Researchers discover hidden differences between pathology of CTE and Alzheimer’s disease
- IU-led study of younger Alzheimer’s patients aims to pave the way toward new treatments