Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease – often referred to as ‘younger Alzheimer’s’ to avoid confusion with early-stage Alzheimer’s – affects individuals younger than 65 years of age at the time of diagnosis. This rare form of the disease affects approximately 250,000 of the 5.8 million people in the United States diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. An even smaller fraction of those diagnosed with early-onset carry one of the three known gene mutations that cause the disease to be passed from one generation to the next.
Led by Liana Apostolova, MD, the Longitudinal Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Study (LEADS) is interested in exploring cases that do not contain one of these mutations, focusing only on cases that are sporadic. Partnering with an elite team of researchers from across the country, investigators at IU School of Medicine are comparing baseline and longitudinal cognitive and functional characteristics of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease with those of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. This study aims to fill the gap in research for those with early-onset Alzheimer’s to better identify optimal outcome measures and eventually develop a cure for this devastating disease.