Expertise in Alzheimer's Disease

National Biobank for Alzheimer’s Disease Samples

Biological samples, including DNA, cerebrospinal fluid, brain tissue and other biospecimens are the tools of laboratory research in Alzheimer’s disease. The National Centralized Repository for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (NCRAD) at Indiana University School of Medicine is the national resource where these biological materials are stored and made available for new and ongoing research around the world.

Since its creation in the early 1990s, the repository has collected more than 500,000 samples from individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and/or related dementias as well as healthy controls. With a significant national increase in Alzheimer’s disease research funding, the biobank expects to receive 300,000 additional specimens by 2022.

Discovering Biomarkers and Genetic Causes of Alzheimer's

One of the primary goals of research using the repository’s resources is to identify diagnostic signals—called biomarkers—for Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s disease process begins years before symptoms appear, so scientists hope to develop convenient and inexpensive biomarker tests that would identify problems early. Current experimental methods for early detection, such as PET scans and tests using cerebrospinal fluid, are expensive and invasive.

The repository provides resources that help researchers identify the genes that contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. NCRAD houses DNA samples and data from more than 900 families who have multiple members affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

NCRAD Investigators

Tatiana Foroud, PhD

Tatiana Foroud, PhD

Chair, Department of Medical & Molecular Genetics