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History of IADC

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The Indiana University School of Medicine has a long and distinguished track record of accomplishments in the field of neurodegenerative diseases. Interest in Alzheimer Disease (AD) research at Indiana University can be traced back to the mid 1960s, when studies on familial AD and other adult onset dementias began in the Department of Neurology and Division of Neuropathology. These studies continued in the 1970s and 1980s. Over the past 20 years, the interest in the field has progressively grown and several investigators in the Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology, Pathology, Medicine, and Medical and Molecular Genetics have joined in the studies of AD. With this growth, new resources had become available and in 1991, the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center (IADC) was funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA). In 1993, the IADC was strengthened by the addition of the National Cell Repository devoted to the collection of immortalized cells from subjects affected by familial AD and related dementias. Over time, the IADC has undergone structural changes. First, the National Cell Repository Core was separated from the IADC into a stand-alone entity funded by the NIA in 2002. In 2004, the IADC competitively applied for and received funding for a Data Management and Statistics Core. The Data Core serves as the central repository for data collected by other IADC cores, and it is designed to provide analytical support to the research activities of the multidisciplinary IADC investigator team. In 2009, a Neuroimaging Core was established. Important advancements have been made in brain imaging thus this core is not only important for establishing diagnostic criteria but also to identifying biomarkers for dementia. The remaining cores of the center are unchanged. With the rapid changes occurring to Alzheimer Disease Centers both scientifically and structurally, it is necessary to have the flexibility to modify directions and to add new goals as needed for the IADC. This requires the interaction between the director and the NIA, executive committee, external advisory committee and National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center.

The focus of the IADC is on behavioral neurology, clinicopathological correlations, biochemistry, and genetics of AD, frontotemporal dementia and parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17), Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease (GSS), Parkinson disease and other hereditary diseases associated with abnormal protein accumulation.

Over 21 years, the IADC has contributed significantly to the field of dementia by the characterization of new diseases, the discovery of novel genetic mutations and characterization of the associated disease processes, and the production and characterization of transgenic animal models.