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2017 Grants - Edmonds
Longitudinal Cognitive and Biomarker Trajectories of MCI Subtypes
Emily Edmonds, Ph.D.
University of California, San Diego
San Diego, California
2017 Alzheimer’s Association Research Grant (AARG)
Can improved diagnosis of different types of mild cognitive impairment help predict who is at risk for Alzheimer’s disease?
Brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease begin many years prior to the appearance of clinical symptoms. Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is considered a transitional state between normal aging and dementia. Individuals with MCI demonstrate mild changes in their memory and thinking abilities, but they do not have notable difficulty with everyday activities. MCI is a very diverse diagnosis, as it includes people who have different types and different levels of impairment. More research is needed to determine how different subtypes of MCI may relate to the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
For this study, Emily Edmonds, Ph.D., and colleagues will examine data from over 1,000 older adults who have been diagnosed with MCI. These individuals have been divided into specific subtypes of MCI based on their performance on tests of memory and other thinking abilities. For example, some individuals have difficulty with only memory, while others show impairments in language and/or problem solving. The researchers will analyze data collected over several years (up to 10 years) in individuals with different types of MCI to determine who progressed towards Alzheimer’s disease and who remained cognitively stable. They will study changes in (1) memory and thinking abilities, (2) the size of different brain regions using brain scans, and (3) the ability to complete everyday activities.
The results of this study could provide novel information on the long-term brain changes associated with different types of MCI. In addition, this work could improve our ability to diagnose different types of MCI more precisely and better predict who may be at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.