Description of the following video:

[Video: Dr. Bruce Lamb]

Bruce speaks:

It's just so impactful because memory is who we are.

[Words appear: Memory is who we are.]

[Music plays.]

[Words appear: 10,000 baby boomers are approaching age 65 each day in the U.S.]

[Words appear: This is the population most at risk for Alzheimer’s.]

[Video: Anita Harden]
Anita speaks: My mom was in her late seventies at the time we got her diagnosed for Alzheimer's.

[Video: Photos of Anita’s mother.]

Anita speaks:

By that time she was probably in the moderate stages. My father kept saying, "Doris keeps losing her keys," things like that. But when I came home to visit and my mother and I had to travel and we got a layover in Denver, she went to the restroom and we couldn't find her 45 minutes later. Then I knew something was wrong.

[Video: Words display on screen, 5.7 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s.]

[Video: Words display on screen, By 2050, this number is projected to nearly triple.]

[Video: Exterior footage of IU School of Medicine Neurosciences Center. Footage of student working with burshes in petri dish.]
Bruce speaks:
It's important for IU School of Medicine to invest and develop the resources and capabilities and ultimately develop therapies for patients with Alzheimer's disease because of the potential impact it's going to have not only on Hoosiers and Indiana citizens, but across the nation, across the globe.

[Video: Photo of Anita’s mother. Photo of Anita’s father.]

Anita speaks:
At the point my mother got diagnosed, my father was perfectly fine. Then I started noticing he was having memory problems.

[Video: Anita Harden]

Anita speaks: But I said, if we get you diagnosed early, that will help slow the process down.

[Video: Photo of Anita’s mother. Family photo of Anita, her father, sister, and mother at sister’s graduation.]

At that point I became a caregiver for my mom who was more in advanced stages and my dad who was in the very early stages. It was very challenging, particularly challenging

[Video: Anita speaks]

in caregiving for my dad because he was a very strong figure and all of a

[Video: Photo of Anita’s father]

Anita speaks: Suddenly I was caregiver for the man who looked after me. That was hard.

[Words appear on screen: Last year American caregivers provided 18.5 billion hours valued at $234 billion.]

[Words appear on screen: Anita is just one of 16 million unpaid caregivers in the U.S.]

[Video: Dr. Bruce Lamb]

[Bruce speaks: We need big teams who bring in a lot of different people with a lot of different expertise and

[Video: Student and faculty researcher looking at petri dish. Faculty researcher and student looking at computer screen. Bruce working in petri dish. Researcher and patient conversation. Patient draws a clock on piece of paper. Computer screen.]

no one person can do it all. A lot of the big programs that we have funded here are part of these big team projects, including one on developing animal models for Alzheimer's disease that we call the Model-AD Consortium that I lead. Indiana University is also the main site for an early-onset study of Alzheimer's disease called LEADS. We competed for one of two successful slots for a new drug discovery center funded by the NIH.
Anita speaks:

With my generation, the baby boomers, we are just going to flood the system. We don't want to go to nursing homes. We want to stay independent as long as possible and so we need to find a cure.

[Video: Hand drawing fluid out of jar and inserting it into test tube. People open airport gates. Woman laughs. Man cooks with grandchildren. Man carries grandson across field.]

Bruce speaks:
I think the progress and the promise is yet to come. A lot of work ahead of us. There are a lot of really smart people working on it here so I'm very optimistic.

[Video: Dr. Bruce Lamb]

We will make a difference in people's lives.

[Words appear: Indiana University.]

Words appear: iu.edu.]

[End of transcript.]

 

To understand the impact of Alzheimer’s, look at the numbers

5.7 millionAmericans with Alzheimer’s or dementia

6thleading cause of death in U.S.

$290 billionAlzheimer’s medical costs to nation

Indiana University is working to end the suffering caused by Alzheimer’s, no matter how long it takes.

At the center of drug discovery

No new Alzheimer’s drug has been approved since 2003. And following years of expensive, unsuccessful drug trial failures, some drug companies are retreating from the Alzheimer’s space.

The federal government is turning to America’s leading research universities to accelerate the drug development pipeline.

Indiana University received a $36 million grant from the NIH for a new drug discovery centerone of two in the nation. The center leverages IU’s research expertise and infrastructure to lead the earliest stages of drug discovery and lessen risk for pharmaceutical companies, biotech firms, and investors.

Led by Dr. Alan Palkowitz and Dr. Bruce Lamb, the center will initially focus on proteins, or targets, related to the brain’s immune system that may contribute to Alzheimer’s.

Description of the following video:

[Words appear]: Indiana University School of Medicine

 

Voice over:

The journey to discover and develop new drugs begins and ends with the patient.

 

[Animation: hands unroll scroll; at center is a circle divided into four quadrants; male patient pops up out of a quadrant and waves]

 

Voice over:

Researchers study the role of proteins, which perform many important functions in the body, but may not operate properly in the case of disease. Once the erring protein or proteins are discovered, a team of researchers

 

[Animation: Proteins appear as squiggle lines and are shown inside outline of body; microscope zooms in to squiggle lines to show circle molecules]

 

Voice over:

are then charged with creating molecules that bind to those proteins in order to uniquely regulate their function, similar to flipping a light switch on or off.

 

[Animation: Scientists pop up; hand assembles molecules; zoom in to light switch attached to molecule; switch turns off]

 

Voice over:

Researchers use computers and other technologies that allow them to see what the protein looks like up close. (2) Then they either custom design molecules that bind to the target proteins or they find and modify pre-existing molecules as a place to start their work.   These new molecules must bind to the protein with a precise fit, like a key fitting into a lock.  

 

[Animation: Scientist on tablet and scientist on laptop sit at desk in office; proteins and molecules appear above them as thought clouds; zoom in to hands assembling molecules]

 

Voice over:

From there, researchers further create and test new molecules, working to optimize the many properties that are important for a successful drug candidate.

 

[Animation: Scientist points to chalkboard covered in formulas; scientists sits in lab setting]

 

Voice over:

Those characteristics include efficacy, safety and absorption.  Each structural change on a molecule can alter its profile and getting to the best one can be like solving a very complex Rubik’s Cube.  

 

[Animation: Blocks appear; letters fill blocks to spell efficacy, safety, absorption; blocks come together to form Rubik’s Cube.]

 

Voice over:

Once an appropriate molecule is identified, it is studied in clinical trials to determine its effectiveness in treating the disease in patients.

 

[Animation: Molecule appears then splits into many different pieces; pieces come together to form a pill shape.]

 

Voice over:

The Indiana University School of Medicine Alzheimer’s Disease Drug Discovery Center will investigate novel drug targets for Alzheimer’s Disease with the goal of increasing our understanding of how to combat the disease and discovering innovative molecules that might someday be developed into new medicines for patients in need.  

 

[Animation: Building exterior; puzzle piece and silhouette of face appears; puzzle piece moves into empty space in head of silhouette; zooms out to circle inside scroll; patient appears, waves.]

 

[Words appear: Indiana University School of Medicine]

Research models offer critical insights

Why do so many Alzheimer’s therapies perform well in mice but fail in clinical trials? Scientists say a lack of good models is to blame.

Indiana University is developing the next generation of animal models to support research across the nation.

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) selected IU as the principal site for a $25 million national consortium, Model Organism Development and Evaluation for Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease—or MODEL-AD.

Under the leadership of Dr. Bruce Lamb researchers are working to develop models that most closely mimic aspects of the human disease and move the most promising into a preclinical testing pipeline. The hope: These innovative models will be key to translating discoveries into new Alzheimer’s therapies.

The nation’s largest early-onset study

A rare early-onset form of Alzheimer’s afflicts roughly 200,000 Americans under age 65—some as young as 40—and often progresses more quickly than late-onset disease. There’s no known cause, but research points to genetics.

IU’s Dr. Liana Apostolova is working to demystify this form of the disease.

Apostolova received IU’s largest-ever NIH grant for the Longitudinal Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Study, or LEADS. She was first awarded $7.6 million from the NIA in 2017 followed by a landmark $44.7 million in 2018 from the NIH to support the study, which aims to better define and identify biomarkers and learn more about risk factors.

More than 20 clinical sites across the country are poised to enroll 700 participants by October 2020. Researchers will follow patients over 24 months through clinical and cognitive evaluations and biomarker collections, such as MRIs and DNA collection, then phase into clinical trials with investigational drugs. On the horizon for LEADS: international expansion.

Dr. Liana Apostolova assesses a LEADS participant. 

Biospecimens for early detection

To many in the research community, geneticist Dr. Tatiana Foroud is known as the “Amazon.com of Alzheimer’s.”

IU’s Foroud is keeper of half a million biological samples—DNA, brain tissue, and cell lines, to name a few—at the National Centralized Repository for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias, or NCRAD, funded by the NIA in 1990.

Scientists need NCRAD biospecimens to develop biomarker tests for early detection—a less expensive and invasive approach than current methods like PET scans and testing cerebrospinal fluid.

NCRAD samples come from Alzheimer’s and dementia patients as well as healthy individuals.

And thanks to increased Alzheimer’s research funding, NCRAD expects to receive 300,000 additional samples by 2022—adding to the 500,000+ collected since the center’s inception.

Caring in the shadows

Between two parents and an aunt, Anita Harden spent more than a decade as an Alzheimer’s and dementia caregiver—a role that jolted her personal and professional life.

Anita moved from Houston to Indianapolis to care for her parents. After they passed, she received shocking news: an aunt in New York was suffering from vascular dementia. Anita moved her aunt to Indianapolis where she could serve as caregiver a third time.

In 2019, caregivers provided about 18.5 million hours valued at $234 billion. Anita is just one of 16 million unpaid caregivers in the U.S.

Anita witnessed her father's financial vulnerabilities over the course of his diagnosis and shifted her career focus to elder care law, which she practices today. She’s also become an ambassador for Alzheimer’s research following an IU study involving her father. Anita is currently a participant in healthy brain research and has arranged to donate her brain to the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center after her death.

We’re fighting for the millions of Alzheimer’s sufferers, their families, and caregivers like Anita. This is a fight we can win.

Anita Harden, left, served as an Alzheimer’s caregiver to both parents, pictured during a family graduation. 

IU is working on all ends of the spectrum: prevention, cure, maintenance—the whole bit. That gives me a lot of hope.

Anita Harden, Alzheimer’s caregiver and research advocate

At Indiana University, we go all in

Shaping the world doesn't stop with Alzheimer’s research.

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