New Investigator Research Grant: Dr. Owen Carmichael, UC Davis

This week, we presented a New Investigator Research Grant to Owen T. Carmichael, Ph.D. assistant professor at the University of California, Davis for his study “Imaging Biomarkers of Preclinical Cerebrovascular Disease.”

To understand this study, first you’ll need to understand that Alzheimer’s disease appears to have an extensive “preclinical phase,” or a stage that occurs before significant cognitive decline or other clinical symptoms arise. Increasing evidence suggests that blood flow problems in the brain may also play a role in preclinical Alzheimer’s.

Such abnormal blood flow is often labeled as preclinical cerebrovascular disease (CVD). Yet scientists have not determined exactly how CVD influences the progression of early Alzheimer’s, largely because CVD biomarkers have not been precisely determined.

Dr. Carmichael plan to use sophisticated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to assess four potential biomarkers of preclinical CVD: reduced brain blood flow; tiny hemorrhages (areas of bleeding) in the brain; small, stroke-related lesions; and the narrowing of carotid arteries that lead to the brain. Results of this effort could lead to larger studies that clarify, step-by-step, how CVD-related brain changes occur over time. Ultimately, such work could identify treatments that target both cerebrovascular disease and dementia.

For more about the Alzheimer’s Association research grants program, visit

Helpful information related to this story

Alzheimer’s Association Research Center

More about Dr. Carmichael 

More about Dr. Carmichael’s Alzheimer’s Association-funded study

Be Heart Smart

More blogs by Dr. Edgerly


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1 Response

  1. shelia anderson says:

    My name is Shelia and I lost my mother on September 23, 2013. She had Alzheimer and I watch her behavior change. I have never seen a disease that could turn a person life around. I am deeply hurt by this outcome. She was in a nursing home and I believe that that are not mentally challenged to take care of these paitents in their facility. My job is to research this matter and see what we can do as a people to try to find a cure for this disease.

    Iam really glad that I found your site. Please keep me updated on your progress for this disease.

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