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Research Grants 2011


To view an abstract, select an author from the vertical list on the left.

2011 Grants - Goveas

Multimodal Imaging in Depressed Adults at Risk for Alzheimer's Disease

Joseph Goveas, M.D.
Medical College of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

2011 New Investigator Research Grant

Late-life depression is associated with future incidence of Alzheimer's disease in a subset of older adults. The coexistence of late-life depression with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and with apolipoprotein E e4 (APOE e4), which is known to influence the risk of AD further increases the risk of incident cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease. Despite knowing several factors that predispose one to Alzheimer's, there is no way to predict which elderly depressed individuals are at-risk for progression to Alzheimer's.

Joseph Goveas, M.D., and colleagues propose to examine whether resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging methods can discriminate differences in the episodic memory associated with functional and structural brain networks of individuals with late-life depression, with and without aMCI. The research team also aims to identify the APOE genetic correlates of the neural network changes in late-life depression.

For this effort, the study will enroll elderly participants with late-life depression without aMCI; late-life depression with aMCI; aMCI without depression; and non-depressed, cognitively normal individuals. The participants will undergo detailed clinical, neurological, psychiatric and neuropsychological assessments, MRI scans and APOE genotyping.

By detecting the neural mechanisms underlying late-life depression with co-existing cognitive impairment and in those who are APOE e4 carriers, this study will improve our ability to predict individuals with late-life depression who are at-risk for progression to Alzheimer's disease. By using these imaging methods, the research may be able to identify which individuals with late-life depression will benefit from antidepressant and/or Alzheimer's disease delaying/modifying treatments, and may establish ways to monitor treatment response in this study population.