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PROJECT 1: CEREBROVASCULAR FACTORS AND ALZHEIMER DISEASE

Berislav Zlokovic, PhD., Leader

Dr. Zlokovic has a long standing interest in understanding the role of cerebral blood vessels and blood-brain barrier in the pathogenesis and treatment of neurological disorders including Alzheimer’s disease. Using experimental models of AD and human brain tissue, his research team has shown that disruption of cellular cross-talk within the neurovascular unit can initiate neuronal dysfunction and injury, degeneration and loss, as well as accumulation Aβ and tau pathology. Project 2 will examine how atherosclerotic risk factors affect blood brain barrier permeability and biomarkers for specific cellular components of the neurovascular unit, as well as Alzheimer disease.

Daniel Nation, PhD Co-Leader, Project 1

Dr. Nation’s research focuses on the relationship between vascular disease and behavior. His background training included animal models of vascular disease, cardiovascular behavioral medicine, as well as the neuropsychology of aging and dementia. His current research applies neuroimaging techniques (structural and arterial spin-labeling MRI) and biomarkers of vascular injury to study the effects of cardiovascular risk factors on age-related cognitive decline, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s dementia. The goal is to identify vulnerable subgroups of aging adults for early intervention and treatment.