New Investigator Research Grant: Dr. Judy Pa, UCSF

We recently awarded a New Investigator Grant to Judy Pa, Ph.D., assistant professor, UCSF Memory and Aging Center for her study “Neurobiological Changes in Network Function and Amyloid Deposition in Alzheimer’s Disease.”

In recent years, scientists have made significant advances in the ability to visualize disease markers in the brains of living people, including brain scans that show the presence of amyloid plaques, one of the characteristic features of Alzheimer’s disease. Other types of brain scans, known as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), can show brain activity and how it changes as the disease progresses.

For this study, Dr. Pa has proposed using brain imaging to study how amyloid accumulation in specific brain regions affects brain function, focusing on how specific brain regions exchange signals with other brain regions. She and her colleagues plan to study people who have early Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment, a condition that sometimes precedes Alzheimer’s. They will also study people who are at high risk for Alzheimer’s disease because of their genes.

The goal of the research is to determine how genetic risk factors and amyloid deposits in specific brain regions affect brain function observed on imaging. The results of this research may provide scientists with tools that can be used to monitor disease progression or response to treatment.

For more about the Alzheimer’s Association research grants program, visit www.alz.org/research.

Helpful information related to this story

Alzheimer’s Association Research Center

More about Dr. Pa 

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

More blogs by Dr. Edgerly