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Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive neurodegenerative condition, is the most common form of dementia. Common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease relate to memory and problems with other cognitive functions to a degree that inhibits daily tasks and activities. As the disease progresses, physical changes to a person’s brain tissue leads to the build-up of protein clusters (plaque) between nerve cells, making it difficult for neurotransmitters to connect and communicate in order to facilitate routine body functions. People with Alzheimer’s disease experience escalating levels of memory loss, declining quality of thought clarity and decision-making capabilities, and become unable to care for themselves.


Early Diagnosis, Risk Assessment and Biomarker Development

Liana Apostolova, MS, MD, leads a research lab that focuses on the characterization of early symptomatic and pre-symptomatic stages of Alzheimer’s disease and the development and validation of sensitive imaging and genetic biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementing disorders. The research program is affiliated with the Indiana Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, the Center for Neuroimaging, the Indiana University Network Sciences Institute, the Center for Enhancing Quality of Life in Chronic Illness, as well as the Departments of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, Medical and Molecular Genetics, Pathology, Psychiatry and Sociology.

6815-Apostolova, Liana

Liana G. Apostolova, MD, MS, FAAN

Associate Dean of Alzheimer's Disease Research

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Longitudinal Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease Study

The Longitudinal Early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease Study (LEADS) is funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to address several major gaps in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias research. Dr. Apostolova, principal investigator, and her IU research team lead the administrative and clinical cores of the study. It is an observational study that  will enroll and follow about 600 cognitively impaired participants and 100 cognitively normal participants between the ages of 40 and 64 years at 18 sites across the country. LEADS researchers aim to develop sensitive clinical and biomarker measures for future clinical and research in hopes of unlocking the mystery of early-onset Alzheimer's disease.

Learn more about LEADS

Alzheimer's Clinical Trials Program

The Indiana University Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials team specializes in clinical neurologic research of neurodegenerative diseases. IU ACT specialists in the Department of Neurology collaborate with colleagues in the Departments of Psychiatry, Medical and Molecular Genetics, Pathology and Medicine to offer an integrated approach to evaluation and treatment of patients with cognitive complaints, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Department physician scientists’ have a decades-long history of conducting clinical research studies of the latest investigational drugs targeting Alzheimer’s disease.

Learn more about the Alzheimer's Clinical Trials Program

Schoolwide Focus on Alzheimer's Disease

To better understand and end the suffering related to Alzheimer’s disease, IU School of Medicine’s cross-functional team of experts are pioneering global collaboration of multidisciplinary dementia research to study the fundamental causes and treatment options.

Alzheimer's Expertise

a close up photo of an elderly couple's clasped hands

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Center Resource Guide

Local community and federal resources are available to help patients and their families cope with Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia, including support groups, legal services and financial assistance.

Download the IU Health Resource Guide