Johns Hopkins Medicine

Alzheimer's Disease Research Center

Early Markers of Alzheimer's Disease in BLSA Participants: Stuctural and Functional Brain Changes

Principal Investigator: Susan Resnick, Ph.D.

In this project, neuropsychological testing, structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and positron emission tomography (PET) scans are collected annually from a subset of subjects from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging (BLSA) of the National Institute on Aging (NIA).

The goals of this project are to address the following questions:

  1. Do prior psychological and physical characteristics predict changes in brain structure and function and neuropsychological changes later in life?
  2. What is the rate of change in brain anatomy and physiology in men and women after the age of 60 years?
  3. Do rates of longitudinal change in brain structure and function predict cognitive decline and impairment?
  4. Is amyloid accumulation, as measured on PET scans, associated with cognitive performance or future development of cognitive decline?

This project will provide critical information for researchers and clinicians on the predictors of normal and pathological cognitive aging in relation to brain abnormalities, which will enhance our understanding of changes in health and diseases of the elderly, such as Alzheimer's Disease.

For more information, please contact Susan Resnick, PhD, at