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National Institutes on Aging Research Career Development Award (K-Award) awarded to Valerie Anderson, PhD, MCR

Quantitative Measurement of Cerebrovascular Permeability in Early Dementia

funded by the National Institutes on Aging
  • Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in the elderly.
  • The experiments described in Dr. Anderson's funded grant will attempt to map the microvasculature of healthy aged and early AD brain.
  • The experiments should provide important understanding and insights into the transition from a healthy aging brain to dementia.
Cerebrovascular refers to blood flow in the brain.
  • cerebro refers to the large part of the brain
  • vascular means arteries and veins
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in the elderly. Although usually thought of as a disease associated with "neurofibrillary tangles" and "amyloid plaques", cerebrovascular structure and function is profoundly altered in AD, and this may contribute directly to the disease process. Since vascular dysfunction often precedes thought process impairment, understanding the role of vascular abnormalities in the development of AD is critical to rational treatment of the disease.

Dynamic contrast-enhanced MR imaging (DCE-MRI) provides quantitative measures of vessel integrity in the living human brain. Using ultra-high field (7 Tesla) MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), Dr. Anderson will utilize this highly precise and accurate imaging technique to look at the finer details of human brain blood vessels in healthy aging and early AD subjects. She will measure the time course and movement of water and other agents into, through, and out of the healthy aged and early AD brain. From these, she will be able to construct detailed maps of the brain derived from these measurements.  This knowledge should improve our understanding of the transition from a healthy aging brain to dementia and potentially  reveal new imaging biomarkers for early AD.

The National Institutes on Aging (NIA)

NIA's mission is to: 

  • Support and conduct genetic, biological, clinical, behavioral, social, and economic research related to the aging process, diseases and conditions associated with aging, and other special problems and needs of older Americans.
  • Foster the development of research and clinician scientists in aging.
  • Communicate information about aging and advances in research on aging to the scientific community, health care providers, and the public.
Project Start: 30-SEPT-2009

Project End: 31-AUG-2013

Grant Number:1K25AG033638-01A110

OHSU Neurosciences

OHSU Neurosciences is one of the nation’s leading neurologic research and training programs and provides the most comprehensive care of neurologic illnesses in the Pacific Northwest. Our nationally recognized neurological programs and centers offer comprehensive clinical and surgical services that are available nowhere else in Oregon. Our leading-edge research and clinical trial opportunities ultimately provide new treatment options, earlier detection and improved quality of life for patients.