A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

The exploration of dementia will continue at the Indiana University School of Medicine (Indianapolis) with the renewal of a National Institutes of Health grant for $7.3 million to fund the Indiana Alzheimer’s Disease Center (IADC). It is the fourth renewal of the original center grant which was awarded in 1991.

The NIH-funded Alzheimer’s disease (AD) centers are programs that foster interdisciplinary research for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of AD and other dementias. Healthcare delivery and other support services for patients and their families are part of the centers’ focus.

There are 29 NIH-funded AD centers in the U.S. Their role is to provide resources to enhance ongoing research, bringing together biomedical, behavioral and clinical investigators to study the cause, development, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of dementia.

A contribution of IADC researchers was the discovery of a genetic mutation in the amyloid precursor protein gene associated with AD. Based on the discovery, an animal model was engineered by other scientists and has become the most widely used animal model for AD research.

IADC researchers have made contributions to the field of prion diseases, including the discovery of the neuropathologic and genetic basis of two hereditary disorders: Gerstmann-Str ussler-Scheinker disease and a prion protein cerebral amyloid angiopathy or PrP-CAA.

One of the contributions of IADC scientists stemmed from the study of a large family affected by a hereditary frontotemporal dementia. IADC researchers were part of the team that identified mutations in the Tau gene as the culprit, the medical school said.