To view an abstract, select an author from the vertical list on the left.
2013 Grants - Pa
Neurobiological Changes in Network Function and Amyloid Deposition in Alzheimer's Disease
Judy Pa, Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, California
2013 New Investigator Research Grant
One of the challenges involved in the development of treatments for Alzheimer's disease is knowing when a treatment is having a possible effect, negative effect, or no effect. Most scientists believe that treatments for the disease, when they become available, will be most effective in the earliest stages of disease, before memory or brain function changes noticeably.
In recent years, scientists have made significant advances in the ability to visualize disease markers in the brains of living people, including brain scans that show the presence of amyloid plaques, one of the characteristic features of Alzheimer's disease. Other types of brain scans, known as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), can show brain activity and how it changes as the disease progresses.
Judy Pa, Ph.D., and colleagues have proposed to use brain imaging to study how amyloid accumulation in specific brain regions affects brain function, focusing on how specific brain regions exchange signals with other brain regions. The researchers plan to study people who have early Alzheimer's disease or mild cognitive impairment, a condition that sometimes precedes Alzheimer's. They will also study people who are at high risk for Alzheimer's disease because of their genes. The goal of the research is to determine how genetic risk factors and amyloid deposits in specific brain regions affect brain function observed on imaging. The results of this research may provide scientists with tools that can be used to monitor disease progression or response to treatment.