Neuropsychological evaluation of adults with known or suspected brain injuries,
specializing in geriatrics, Alzheimer's disease, memory disorders, movement
disorders, stroke, toxic exposure
My research interests focus on the neuropsychology of aging and dementia. There are five different areas of investigation underway. These collaborative ventures are being conducted with investigators in the Bryan Alzheimer's Center and with other investigators internal to or external to Duke University Medical Center. These studies are summarized below.
(1) One area of investigation, funded under an RO1 examines the characteristics of early stage Alzheimer's disease (AD) by studying individuals at high risk of the disease by virtue of their strong family history of the disease. These studies are longitudinal in nature and utilize primarily neuropsychological methodology.
(2) Another area of investigation has looked at brain morphometric (MRI) and functional brain changes (PET) associated with the neuropsychological features of Alzheimer's disease. Several studies, including one done as part of the LEAD award, examines brain morphometric change in twins.
(3) The third area of research inquiry examies the genetic and environmental contributions to Alzheimer's disease and age associated memory changes by studying twins with these conditions.
(4) Other recent collaborative studies applies neuropsychological assessment techniques to examine the epidemiology of AD and other dementing disorders in elderly populations, one in Cache County Utah and one comprised of elderly servicemen with traumatic brain injury.
(5) A new area of investigation is exploring the biological basis of differing phenotypic expressions of AD. Specifically, we are looking at the relationship of cognitive changes and psychiatric manifestations to recently discovered biomarkers of AD (APO-E4, genetic markers, neuropathology).