Dr. Hwamee Oh, PhD, director of imaging research at the Memory and Aging Program at Butler Hospital and assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University, has been awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant. The grant will fund her project on novel cognitive and neuroimaging markers of early Alzheimer’s disease pathologies.

Dr. Oh’s study is designed to identify novel cognitive and neural biomarkers of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Using innovative behavioral measures and multimodal neuroimaging in cognitivey normal older adults, the study seeks to characterize neural and cognitive correlates of both beta-amyloid (Aβ) deposition and tau neurofibrillary tangles (NFT). Specifically, Dr. Oh will have participants complete tasks inside the fMRI scanner (fMRI is sensitive to blood flow which can tell us about what parts of the brain that are active) and use the brain images to verify the parts of the brain that are activated during task completion.
This information would be used to develop new cognitive assessment tools that can assess brain function in areas of the brain that see amyloid and tau build up in the earlier stages of AD. 

Dr. Oh is a cognitive neuroscientist with expertise in multi-platform imaging that combines functional, structural and diffusion MRI with amyloid and tau PET to detect changes in memory systems with aging and Alzheimer’s disease. In her role at the Memory and Aging Program, Dr. Oh focuses on the use of imaging to detect the development of Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms become apparent, which offers patients the best chance at slowing the progression of the disease through early intervention.

To learn more about the Memory and Aging Program and how you can get involved, visit butler.org/memory.

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