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2006 Grant - Mosconi
Dynamic Brain Imaging Predicts Cognitive Decline in Normal Aging
Lisa Mosconi, Ph.D.
New York University School of Medicine
New York, New York
2006 New Investigator Research Grant
A major effort of Alzheimer's disease research is to develop procedures that will enable physicians to make a diagnosis early in the course of the disease. Early intervention may result in better treatment outcomes. In order to detect early Alzheimer's effectively, scientists will need to learn more about how the disease progresses over time, beginning at its earliest stages.
Lisa Mosconi, Ph.D., and colleagues propose to carry out a longitudinal study that follows the progression of Alzheimer's disease in living human brains. Mosconi's team will analyze data they obtained from earlier studies.
In one such study, the researchers had taken brain scans of older people over several years. A number of these people developed Alzheimer's disease or mild cognitive impairment, a disorder generally defined as a measurable decline in memory with no other dementia symptoms. In another study, the team had made brain scans of several people with a gene mutation for inherited early-onset Alzheimer's disease. People who have one of these gene mutations almost certainly develop Alzheimer's. Dr. Mosconi's team had used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fluoro-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) to obtain the brain scans.
The researchers plan to use this data in producing maps of brain deterioration over time. These maps should show when the paths of brain deterioration in Alzheimer brains and healthy aging brains begin to deviate. The team will also compare the rate of deterioration in Alzheimer brains and healthy brains. Such work should help scientists learn more about when and how Alzheimer's disease begins in people.