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Current Research and Clinical Studies

With more than 50 subject-matter experts from Indiana University School of Medicine and IU, the Indiana Alzheimer's Disease Research Center is a leader in Alzheimer's disease research. From the discovery of new medications and unraveling mysteries behind rare forms of dementia to shedding light on early-onset Alzheimer's— the center investigates all realms of brain health and dementia-related disease.
Four brain scans

The connection between cell dysfunction and delirium

IADRC expert, Sophia Wang, MD, received a grant from the National Institute on Aging to explore an area of the COVID-19 pandemic that connects endothelial cell dysfunction with intensive care unit (ICU) patients who develop delirium.

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Researcher, Shannon Risacher stands in the foreground smiling with arms crossed. In the background is a screen with a blurred image that appears to reflect brain scans.

Could the eye be a detector for Alzheimer's?

While experts at IU School of Medicine pursue research that could lead to effective treatment, researchers at the IADRC aim to discover new methods for screening at-risk older adults for early symptoms of the disease.

Check out interview with Shannon Risacher, PhD

Current Research

  • LEADS

    Funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the Longitudinal Early-onset AD Study (LEADS) addresses several major gaps in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias research. LEADS is an observational study working to develop sensitive clinical and biomarker measures for future clinical and research use. LEADS enrolls and follows 500 cognitively impaired participants and 100 cognitively normal participants ages 40-64 years at approximately 15 sites in the United States. 

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  • IMAS

    The Indiana Memory and Aging Study uses brain imaging and genetic biomarkers, cognitive and sensory testing and behavior ratings to study memory processing as it relates to aging in the brain.

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  • DIAN

    The Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN) works to find solutions to treat or prevent all forms of Alzheimer’s with a special focus on Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s disease (DIAD), a rare form of Alzheimer’s that causes memory loss and dementia in individuals, typically those in their 30s to 50s. The disease affects less than one percent of the total population of people with Alzheimer’s.

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  • ADNI

    The Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) unites researchers with study data as they work to define the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers collect, validate and utilize data, including MRI and PET images, genetics, cognitive tests, CSF and blood biomarkers as predictors of the disease. Since its launch in 2004, the study has made major contributions to Alzheimer's disease research, enabling the sharing of data between researchers around the world.

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  • DTAD

    The Novel Diagnostic Test for Alzheimer's Diseases aims to determine if pramlintide, an injectable drug that lowers the level of sugar in the blood, can be used to help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.

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  • SNAD

    Since 2016, the Social Networks and Alzheimer’s Disease leverages neuroimaging biomarkers to examine social and biological mechanisms underlying relationships between personal social networks and patterns of neurodengeration in early stages of Alzheimer's disease.

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  • AD-REACH
    The purpose of this study is to develop a deeper understanding of views of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research in underrepresented populations. The goal is to examine how to develop message content that may motivate potential participants to engage in or avoid AD studies. This study will fill a significant gap in the literature by providing valuable information about cultural differences in perceptions and motivations to participate in AD biomarker studies.
  • AGMP
    The Alzheimer Gut Microbiome Project aims to understand the gut microbiome's role in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. Samples collected as part of the project are analyzed in an attempt to define the communication between the brain and the gut, and to improve the understanding of neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases in the context of influences including diet, lifestyle and the microbiome.

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Faculty Spotlight

7155-Nho, Kwangsik

Kwangsik Nho, PhD

Associate Professor of Radiology & Imaging Sciences

7050-Risacher, Shannon

Shannon Risacher, PhD

Associate Professor of Radiology & Imaging Sciences

Kwangsik's work has helped the Center explore the relationship between blood-based biochemical markers of liver function and established Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers including multi-modal neuroimaging. 

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Having completed her PhD at IU, Shannon has particular expertise in visual, olfactory and other sensory measures as potential biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease pathology in early stages of disease.

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The stories behind the research