Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN)

At a Glance
  • Status: Completed Consortium
  • Year Launched: 2008
  • Initiating Organization: National Institute of Aging
  • Initiator Type: Government
  • Disease focus:
    Alzheimer's Disease
  • Location: International


Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN) is an international research partnership of leading scientists determined to understand a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) that is caused by a gene mutation. Understanding of this form of AD may provide clues to decoding other dementias and developing dementia treatments.


Research suggests that brain changes may occur years before actual AD symptoms are detected. The major goal of DIAN is to study these changes in people who carry an AD mutation to determine how the disease process develops before there are any symptoms. Ultimately, knowledge gained from DIAN may lead to tests that detect people who are still normal but are at very high risk of developing dementia caused by AD. All DIAN participants will be members of families with dominantly inherited AD caused by a known mutation. These individuals may be ideal candidates to participate in future studies of drugs that have the potential to halt the AD process and prevent dementia, although these studies are not currently part of DIAN.

DIAN is an international network that has been established by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health to bring together researchers who study genetic forms of AD. The DIAN research volunteers are members of families in which AD is dominantly inherited, meaning that about 50 percent of the individuals in each generation of a family develop AD, generally before age 60. These rare forms of AD are caused by a mutation in one of three genes. Each child of an affected parent has
a 50 percent chance of inheriting the mutation. If they do, then they will develop the dementia of AD at about the same age as their parent. Siblings who do not have the mutation have no greater risk of developing AD than someone without a family history and will participate in DIAN as part of a comparison group for their mutation-carrying siblings.


DIAN was established in 2008 with the grant U19 AG032438 to Washington University (J.C. Morris, principal investigator) from the National Institute on Aging. Generous support was also provided by grants from an anonymous foundation and from the philanthropy of F. Simmons and O. Mohan. The DIAN sites in Germany are generously supported by the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases.


Points of Contact

Washington University in St. Louis (Coordinating and Performance Site)
Coordinating Site Leader: John C. Morris, M.D. (
Performance Site Leader: Randall Bateman, M.D.
Washington University School of Medicine Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center
4488 Forest Park Ave., Suite 130, St. Louis, MO 63108-2292

Global Clinical Coordinator: Angela Oliver
phone: 314-286-2683

Contact: Wendy Sigurdson
phone: 314-362-2256

Sponsors & Partners

Brigham and Women’s Hospital—Massachusetts General Hospital

Brown University—Butler Hospital

Columbia University

Edith Cowan University, Perth

German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) Munich

German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) Tubingen

Indiana University

Mayo Clinic Jacksonville

Neuroscience Research Australia

University College London

University of California, Los Angeles

University of Melbourne

University of Pittsburgh

Washington University in St. Louis

Last Updated: 04/14/2016

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