To view an abstract, select an author from the vertical list on the left.
2014 Grants - Spreng
Dynamic Brain Network Changes in Healthy Aging and Alzheimer's Disease
R. Nathan Spreng, Ph.D.
Ithaca, New York
2014 New Investigator Research Grant
Alzheimer’s disease research has focused on how very specific regions of the brain are affected by the disease progression. Current findings, however, suggest that dementia-related brain changes may occur across wide-scale “networks” of brain cells — networks that include multiple brain regions and control different types of memory and other cognitive functions. Network changes in the brain can affect how nerve cells communicate with one another. Increasing evidence suggests that damage to brain networks may contribute to impairments in brain function associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
R. Nathan Spreng, Ph.D., and colleagues propose to look for wide-scale, brain network changes that may help to predict development of Alzheimer’s disease. Their effort will make use of the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), which has built an extensive collection of genetic, behavioral and brain imaging data. Once dementia-related changes in brain networks are identified, the researchers will then determine how they may be related to other factors involved with Alzheimer’s disease — including cognitive decline and genetic variations that increase Alzheimer’s risk. The results of these studies could help lead to novel methods of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease at its earliest stages.