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Timeline of the the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network

Timeline of the the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network

Washington University med school conducts Alzheimer's study

Dean DeMoe, (left) takes a neural exam on Thursday, May 31, 2018, with Barbara Snider, an investigator with Washington University School of Medicine's study of people living with dominantly inherited Alzheimer's disease. DeMoe, of Williams County, N.D., comes to the Knight Alzheimer's Disease Research Center once a year to undergo testing for researchers as part of the study.

Photo by Christian Gooden,

Milestones in the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN) started by the Washington University School of Medicine


• University establishes DIAN with federal support from National Institute on Aging to study rare, inherited forms of genetic mutations that make it almost certain a person will develop Alzheimer’s disease at a younger age.


• DIAN Observational Study enrolls first participant.


• DIAN-Trials Unit (DIAN-TU) forms, with funding from the Alzheimer’s Association and a consortium of pharmaceutical companies, to design and launch a trial to evaluate whether drugs can prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s in DIAN patients.


• With FDA approval, the first trial to test anti-amyloid drugs in people with mutation begins. The university serves as the lead center and FDA regulatory sponsor.


• DIAN-TU receives funding from National Institute on Aging, GHR Foundation and an anonymous foundation to continue efforts.


• DIAN-TU research involving two prevention drugs completes enrollment.

• DIAN-TU receives Alzheimer’s Association funding to design trials for new drugs and cover the cost of PET scans that measure tau proteins. This phase is called DIAN-TU Next Generation.

• The first international dominantly inherited Alzheimer’s disease family conference is held in Washington, D.C., in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association, and with support from the Charles and Joanne Knight and the GHR foundations. The conference brings together families and researchers and is now held annually with additional support from the aging institute.


• DIAN-TU receives aging institute funding to help continue the Next Generation research.


• DIAN-TU receives aging institute funding for the new Primary Prevention Trial, which will enroll patients with dominantly inherited Alzheimer’s disease earlier. Patients will have no signs of the disease and be enrolled up to 30 years before symptoms are expected to develop. Those in the trial will be followed for 15 years or more.

• Total federal funding for DIAN research reaches nearly $200 million. Donations from the Alzheimer’s Association total about $11.5 million.


• DIAN-TU research of the first two prevention drugs will be complete. Findings are expected to be released in early 2020.

• Primary Prevention Trial is expected to begin after drug selection.

— Michele Munz

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