<< Back

2022 Pilot Awards for Global Brain Health Leaders (GBHI)

Early Identification of Neurodegenerative Dementias in Psychiatry Clinics

How is mild behavioral impairment related to brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s?

Yavuz Ayhan, M.D.
Hacettepe University
Ankara, Turkey


Mild Behavioral Impairment (MBI) may be associated with neuropsychiatric symptoms such as apathy, depression, anxiety, and sleep difficulties. Studies have shown that symptoms of MBI can occur early during Alzheimer’s development before the initial signs of cognitive impairment and may be associated with accumulation of beta-amyloid and tau tangles, two hallmark brain changes that occur in individuals with Alzheimer’s. However, the relationship between these changes and their impact on MBI symptoms remain unclear. Dr. Ayhan and colleagues propose that MBI is associated with Alzheimer’s related brain changes. Further, MBI symptoms could help identify which individuals are likely to progress to dementia.

Research Plan

Dr. Ayhan and colleagues will use clinical data, cognitive measures, biological markers (biomarkers) measured in the blood, and brain scan datasets collected at the Hacettepe University Hospital Psychiatry Department. They will recruit 100 individuals , half with and half without MBI for their studies. Using blood collected from the individuals,  the researchers will measure changes in beta-amyloid and tau levels and associate them with the extent of MBI for each individual.  They will also measure the level of cognitive impairment in each individual to study whether MBI can be used for early detection of Alzheimer’s in a psychiatry setting.


Results from this study may provide new insights into how brain changes in Alzheimer’s relate to the development of MBI. A better understanding of these mechanisms could identify MBI as a potential biomarker for Alzheimer’s. 

Back to Top