Differential Changes in Structural and Functional Connectivity
The present longitudinal undertaking of the Connect Lab seeks to elucidate the differences in how brain morphology and function change over time in healthy older adults with and without memory complaints. Changes in functional brain connectivity and brain structure will be measured with resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (RS-fMRI), diffusion weighted imaging (DWI), and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The present study aims to detect possible early biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other dementias that may be present before there is an observable, detectable decline in cognitive function.
Longitudinal Changes in Cognitive Function
The lab seeks to discern the differential declines in cognitive function of individuals with Subjective Cognitive Impairment (SCI) to controls and how these cognitive changes relate to the changes in functional connectivity that are observed via fMRI.
Effect of yoga on cognitive and brain health in aging
Yoga has been reported to have a positive influence on multiple cognitive functions in older adults (Gothe, Khan, Hayes, Erlenbach, & Damoiseaux, 2019). However, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the relationship between yoga and cognition remain elusive. The lab seeks to investigate the longitudinal impact of yoga on cognitive and brain health in healthy older adults. This investigation is being conducted in collaboration with Dr. Neha Gothe [Link] at Northeastern University and Dr. Brad Sutton [Link] at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. By employing a randomized controlled trial, we aim to examine the effect of a 6-month yoga intervention on functional and structural connectivity, brain morphology, and cognitive function upon the completion of the training and 6 months after the training. The cognitive assessments include tests for memory, attention, and executive function.
Plasma neurofilament light and functional connectivity in Alzheimer's disease
Blood-based neurofilament light (NfL) has demonstrated great promise as a biomarker for monitoring and predicting the severity of Alzheimer's disease (Jung & Damoiseaux, 2023). However, the specific aspects of neurodegeneration reflected by elevated NfL concentrations are not yet clearly understood. In collaboration with the Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Research Center [link], our ongoing studies are focused on investigating how the plasma concentration of NfL associates with multi-modal brain MRI markers, including resting-state functional connectivity, cortical and subcortical microstructural characteristics, and brain volumetric measures in older adults with or without cognitive decline of the Alzheimer's type.