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Multimodal Imaging of Neurodegenerative Disease (MIND) Unit

The Multimodal Imaging of Neurodegenerative Disease (MIND) Unit uses magnetic resonance (MR) and positron emission tomography (PET) neuroimaging in conjunction with epidemiologic, proteomic, and genetic methods to further understand the mechanisms underlying age-related neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease. Currently, the MIND Unit is using a multimodal neuroimaging approach to understand how chronic systemic inflammation, neuroinflammation, and vascular dysfunction influence the development and progression of the brain changes underlying Alzheimer's disease and late-life cognitive decline. An additional goal of the MIND Unit is to use MR and PET neuroimaging to improve the understanding of the neurobiological processes underlying cognitive decline following critical illness and major infection. Our research approach makes use of data from multiple longitudinal cohort studies, including the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, Women's Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS), and the BIOCARD Study.

Research areas

Alzheimer’s disease; cognitive decline; dementia; neurodegeneration; neuroimaging biomarkers; inflammation; neuroinflammation; vascular risk factors; proteomics and genetics of Alzheimer’s disease.

Findings and Publications

Walker, K. A., Chawla, S., Nogueras-Ortiz, C., Coresh, J., Sharrett, A. R., Wong, D. F., Jack, C. R., Spychalla, A. J., Gottesman, R. F., Kapogiannis, D. (2020). Neuronal insulin signaling and brain structure in non-demented older adults: The ARIC Study. Neurobiology of Aging (Accepted).

Walker, K. A., Gross, A. L., Moghekar, A. R., Soldan, A., Pettigrew, C., Hou, X., Lu, H., Alfini, A. J., Bilgel, M., Miller, M. I., Albert, M. S., Walston, J. (2020). Association of peripheral inflammatory markers with connectivity in large-scale functional brain networks of non-demented older adults. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 86, 388-396. doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2020.01.006.

Walker, K. A., Gottesman, R. F., Coresh, J., Sharrett, A. R., Knopman, D. S., Mosley, T. H., Alonso, A., Zhou, Y., Wong, D. F., Brown, C. H. (2020). The association of surgical hospitalization with brain amyloid deposition: The ARIC-PET Study. Anesthesiology, 132(6): 1407-1418. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0000000000003255. NIHMSID: 1630830.

Walker, K. A., Sharrett, A. R., Wu, A., Schneider, A. L. C., Albert, M., Lutsey, P. L., Bandeen-Roche, K., Coresh, J., Gross, A. L., Windham, B. G., Knopman, D. S., Power, M. C., Rawlings, A. M., Mosley, T. H., Gottesman, R. F. (2019).  Association of midlife to late-life blood pressure patterns with incident dementia. JAMA, 322(6): 535-545. doi: 10.1001/jama.2019.10575.

Walker, K. A., Gottesman, R. F., Wu, A., Knopman, D. S., Gross, A. L., Mosley, T. H., Selvin, E., Windham, B. G. (2019). Systemic inflammation during midlife and cognitive change over 20 years: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. Neurology, 92(11):e1256-e1267. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000007094.