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Dementia Research Unit

The Dementia Research Unit is a clinical research unit of the Department of Cellular Neurology and the Department of Psychiatry. It closely collaborates with the outpatient Memory Clinic.

DIAN Study
Other clinical studies & research projects
Staff
Publications

What is DIAN?

DIAN (Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network) is an international research partnership established 2008 in the U.S. DIAN focuses on hereditary forms of Alzheimer`s disease. Findings on the hereditary disease form will also improve our understanding of the sporadic form of the disease. Tübingen and Munich are the two German participating DIAN sites. They are both funded by the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE).

What is hereditary Alzheimer`s disease?

Hereditary Alzheimer's disease is caused by autosomal-dominant inherited mutations in one of the three genes APP, PSEN1, or PSEN2. Mutation carriers are 50 percent likely to pass the mutation on to each of their children. Hereditary Alzheimer's disease is extremely rare (less than 1% of all Alzheimer's disease cases) - but those who carry it have a very high chance to suffer from dementia, usually before the age of 60.

DIAN Observational Study

The aim of the DIAN Observational Study is to get a better understanding of the development of hereditary Alzheimer's disease and to advance the development of early biomarkers. Participants in the DIAN Observational Study will be examined every 12 to 24 months. The examinations include a detailed physical assessment and an interview by a physician, a detailed neuropsychological testing (with testing of memory functions and other aspects of cognitive performance), the taking of a blood sample, a lumbar puncture (collection of a cerebrospinal fluid sample), a MRI brain scan and a brain positron emission tomography scan (FDG PET/MRI and PiB PET/MRI).

DIAN Trials Unit

Participants in the DIAN Trials Unit will have the chance to participate in clinical trials. The aim is to test compounds thought to delay the onset or progression of the disease or even better to prevent it.

Study participation

Eligible to participate in the DIAN Observational Study or DIAN Trials Unit are persons whose biological parents or siblings have an autosomal dominant Alzheimer`s disease mutation (see above). Participants do not need to know whether they carry the gene and they may or may not show disease symptoms. The minimum age for participants is 18 years.

Support for affected families

Every year we organize a family meeting in Germany for families with hereditary Alzheimer`s disease. At these events, we share our latest research results of the DIAN Observational Study and DIAN Trials Unit and inform the families about available resources, care and legal options. Moreover, the families have time to get to know each other and exchange experiences.

With the help of the „Deutsche Alzheimergesellschaft” we created a closed online forum for DIAN families.

If you are interested in the DIAN Observational Study or DIAN Trials Unit, please contact our study coordinator Ms. Kuder-Buletta.

 

 

Contact to DIAN Tübingen

Head of DIAN Germany: Prof. Dr. Mathias Jucker
mathias.juckeruni-tuebingen.de; phone: +49 7071 29 86863

Principal investigator: Prof. Dr. Christoph Laske
christoph.laskemed.uni-tuebingen.de; phone: +49 7071 29 83444

Study Clinician: Oliver Preische
oliver.preischemed.uni-tuebingen.de; phone: +49 7071 92 54337

Study coordinator: Elke Kuder-Buletta
elke.kuder-bulettadzne.de; phone: +49 7071 92 54337

 

 

 Ingo Rappers/HIH

DIAN team Tübingen
(from left to right, front: Dr. Susanne Gräber-Sultan, Elke Kuder-Buletta
middle: Oliver Preische, Prof. Dr. Christoph Laske
back: Prof. Dr. Mathias Jucker)

 

More information:

 

CLINICAL STUDIES

 

  • DELCO­­DE (DZNE – Longitudinal Cognitive Impairment and Dementia Study)

The DELCODE study focuses on the characterization of subjective cognitive decline (SCD) in patients recruited from memory clinics at the DZNE sites in Germany. In addition, individuals with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), mild Alzheimer's disease (AD), first-degree relatives of AD patients, and cognitively unimpaired control subjects are studied. The total number of subjects to be enrolled is 1000. The study is sponsored by the DZNE.

  • TAURIEL Study: A Phase II, Multicenter, Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Parallel-group, Efficacy and Safety Study of MTAU9937A in Patients with Prodromal to Mild Alzheimer's Disease

MTAU9937A is a pan-tau IgG4 monoclonal antibody that targets tauopathies including Alzheimer's disease (AD). MTAU9937A is designed to bind and intercept all extracellular tau isoforms, in order to stop or slow cell-to-cell spread and propagation of tau toxicity and pathology throughout cortical and sub-cortical networks. This international multi-center study sponsored by Genentech Inc. examines the efficacy and safety of MTAU9937A in patients with prodromal to mild AD.

  • HARMONY Study: A Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Relapse Prevention Study of Pimavanserin for the Treatment of Hallucinations and Delusions Associated with Dementia-related Psychosis

Pimavanserin is an atypical antipsychotic which was approved in April 2016 in the United States for the treatment of hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson's disease psychosis. Studies have also been conducted in Alzheimer's disease psychosis and schizophrenia. The present study examines the efficacy and safety of Pimavanserin for the treatment of hallucinations and delusions in patients with different types of dementia. This international multi-center study is sponsored by ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc.

 

RESEARCH PROJECTS

 

  • Intestinal microbiome in patients with Alzheimer's disease and healthy controls

The intestinal microbiome and its metabolic function is studied in 100 patients each with Alzheimer's disease (AD), with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and healthy controls. Aims are whether the intestinal microbiome and associated metabolic patterns remain stable or change over a one year period, and how this is related to cognitive changes of study participants. The research findings may provide new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of AD. The study is sponsored by the Applied Clinical Research program (AKF) in Tuebingen.

  • Computer-based Drawings - A new approach for the detection of cognitive impairment in patients with mild cognitive impairment and with Alzheimer's disease

The dominant feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive decline in cognitive performance. This cognitive decline already occurs in preclinical stages of AD. However, commonly used screening procedures, such as the mini-mental status test, are of limited use in the diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment. The aim is to investigate whether tablet-based acquisition of visuo-constructive abilities such as drawing a clock or a tree can be used to identify AD patients at high risk of developing the disease with higher accuracy and earlier than common neuropsychological tests. The study is performed in outpatients visiting the Memory Clinic in Tuebingen.

  • High Resolution Structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Alzheimer's disease

Important advancements in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been accomplished in the last decade, with significant contributions from the field of neuroimaging. Despite these advancements, a completely unambiguous answer regarding diagnosis is only available by post-mortem histology. The aim of the present study is to achieve in-vivo resolution that is beginning to approach postmortem histology in living AD patients by MRI at 9.4 T. This work is in collaboration with the MPI (Prof. Scheffler).



 


 
Name
Research Group
Phone
Email
Dr. Susanne Gräber-Sultan
Dr. Susanne Gräber-Sultan Neuropsychologist (DZNE)
Dementia Research Unit
07071 29-87606 
 Anna Hofmann
Anna Hofmann Clinician (DZNE)
Dementia Research Unit
07071 29-86855 
 Elke Kuder-Buletta
Elke Kuder-Buletta Study Nurse (DZNE)
Dementia Research Unit
07071 29-87584 
Prof. Dr. Christoph Laske
Prof. Dr. Christoph Laske Research Group Leader
Dementia Research Unit
07071 29-82444 
 Oliver Preische
Oliver Preische Clinician (DZNE)
Dementia Research Unit
07071 29-87091 

Preische O, Schultz SA, Apel A, Kuhle J, Kaeser SA, Barro C, Gräber S, Kuder-Buletta E, LaFougere C, Laske C, Vöglein J, Levin J, Masters CL, Martins R, Schofield PR, Rossor MN, Graff-Radford NR, Salloway S Ghetti B, Ringman JM, Noble JM, Chhatwal J, Goate AM, Benzinger TLS, Morris JC, Bateman RJ, Wang G, Fagan AM, McDade EM, Gordon BA, Jucker M; Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network. Serum neurofilament dynamics predicts neurodegeneration and clinical progression in presymptomatic Alzheimer's disease. Nature medicine 2019; 25(2):277-283 (Abstract)

Müller S, Herde L, Preische O, Zeller A, Heymann P, Robens S, Elbing U, Laske C. Diagnostic value of digital clock drawing test in comparison with CERAD neuropsychological battery total score for discrimination of patients in the early course of Alzheimer's disease from healthy individuals. Sci Rep 2019 Mar 5; 9(1):3543 (Abstract)

Müller S, Preische O, Sohrabi HR, Gräber S, Jucker M, Ringman JM, Martins RN, McDade E, Schofield PR, Ghetti B, Rossor M, Fox NN, Graff-Radford NR, Levin J, Danek A, Vöglein J, Salloway S, Xiong C, Benzinger T, Buckles V, Masters CL, Sperling R, Bateman RJ, Morris JC, Laske C; Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN). Relationship between physical activity, cognition, and Alzheimer pathology in autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimers Dement 2018; 14(11):1427-1437 (Abstract)

Müller S, Preische O, Sohrabi HR, Gräber S, Jucker M, Dietzsch J, Ringman JM, Martins RN, McDade E, Schofield PR, Ghetti B, Rossor M, Graff-Radford NR, Levin J, Galasko D, Quaid KA, Salloway S, Xiong C, Benzinger T, Buckles V, Masters CL, Sperling R, Bateman RJ, Morris JC, Laske C. Decreased body mass index in the preclinical stage of autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease. Sci Rep 2017; 7(1):1225 (Abstract)

Laske C, Sohrabi HR, Frost SM, López-de-Ipiña K, Garrard P, Buscema M, Dauwels J, Soekadar SR, Mueller S, Linnemann C, Bridenbaugh SA, Kanagasingam Y, Martins RN, O'Bryant SE. Innovative diagnostic tools for early detection of Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's & Dementia 2015; 11:561-578 (Abstract)

Laske C, Sohrabi HR, Jasielec MS, Müller S, Koehler N, Gräber S, Förster S, Drzezga A, Mueller-Sarnowski F, Danek A, Jucker M, Bateman RJ, Buckles V, Saykin AJ, Martins RN, Morris JC, Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN). Diagnostic Value of subjective memory complaints assessed with a single item in dominantly Inherited Alzheimer's disease: results of the DIAN study. Bio Med Research International 2015; 2015:828120 (Abstract)

 

 

Unit Leader
Prof. Christoph Laske christoph.laskeuni-tuebingen.de Address

Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research
Department Cellular Neurology
and
University Clinic of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

Osianderstraße 24
72076 Tübingen

Phone: +49 (0)7071 29-83444