Significant breakthroughs in basic research on the pathophysiology of dementing disorders and new innovative models of dementia care hold the promise of reducing the future burden of dementia.
However, the majority of dementia research is conducted in specialized research centers among patients who represent less than 1% of the patient population with dementia, with ethnic minority groups being largely underrepresented.
Furthermore, the translation of innovative research discoveries into clinical practice typically takes an average of 17 years and the current research infrastructure fails to shorten this translational cycle.
The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Roadmap and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recognized the large gap in translating research innovations from discovery to delivery and recommended “Re-Engineering of the Clinical Research Enterprise.” In response to these recommendations, the Regenstrief Institute, Inc., the Indiana University Center for Aging Research, and the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center built a network of health care providers, clinical researchers, and community advocates dedicated to enhancing the quality of life and care of individuals with dementia and the life and care of their informal caregivers. The product of their collaboration was the Indianapolis Discovery Network for Dementia (IDND).
IDND has created an environment that supports information and idea exchanges among its diverse and autonomous individuals allowing the network to accomplish its three-fold mission of facilitating the development of rapid, innovative health care solutions that meet local research, clinical, and community needs; promoting a culture of discovery, cooperation, and team work among its diverse members; and disseminating novel and effective dementia care knowledge within the various health care systems in Indianapolis.
IDND was established in February 2006 and now includes more than 250 members from more than 30 local (central Indiana) organizations representing 20 disciplines.
To date, the network has accomplished the following:
- Accomplished the goals of the IMPACT project to improve mood and promote access to collaborative treatment of late life depression, resulting in the foundation of the Healthy Aging Brain Center at Eskenazi
- Produced clinical tools such as the Healthy Aging Brain Care Monitor and the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden Scale (click here to read more about these tools)
- Created eChAMP delirium protocols (Enhancing care for hospitalized older adults with CI) with help from the IDND Patient and Family Advisory Board
- Recruited over 2,500 community members to participate in the IU CHOICE study, a dementia screening trial
- Facilitated the translation and implementation of the collaborative dementia care model into two local health care systems
- Assisted in developing a symptom tracking tool to aid older primary care patients with multiple chronic conditions
- Developed a program of collaborative care for Alzheimer’s disease (PREVENT)
- Created a web-based tracking software to support care coordination for patients with dementia called the Enhanced Medical Record for Aging Brain Care (eMR-ABC)
- Adopted a new group-based problem solving process called the “IDND-Consultancy Round”
- Assisted in the creation of the ABC Medical Home
- Our members have received more than $24 million in funding for dementia-related research studies
Since its inception, IDND has conducted over 30 consultancy rounds that covered educational, research, and clinical problems presented by 20 different members. It incorporates both leadership and “front-line” representation from the disciplines of clinical medicine, economics, research, biostatistics, information technology and marketing. IDND has members from eight memory care practices representing five of the different Indiana health care systems.