Alzheimer's Research Takes Center Stage

Alzheimer's research at UW-Madison - AAIC2016

Alzheimer’s disease research is heating up this summer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Researchers affiliated with the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute, many of whom also hold appointments at the Department of Medicine, presented a total of 34 oral abstracts and scientific posters at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) on July 22-28 in Toronto, Canada. A full list of presentations is included below. 
 
A study by Elizabeth Boots, research specialist, and Ozioma Okonkwo, PhD (pictured above), assistant professor, Geriatrics and Gerontology, concluded that working in complex, people-oriented jobs seems to protect older adults from the onset of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms. Using the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention (WRAP), researchers found that individuals whose jobs involve complex interactions with other people – such as mentoring, negotiating or teaching - fare the best as their brains age, adding to a body of literature showing that lifestyle has an effect on cognitive decline.
 
The study was selected by the Alzheimer’s Association for a press release and oral presentation. Outlets covering the story included UW News, UW School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH), Wisconsin State Journal, HealthDay, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, CBS News, and the Daily Mail, among others. 
 
Researchers from the laboratory of Barbara Bendlin, PhD, associate professor, Geriatrics and Gerontology, also presented several studies on lifestyle factors that may drive Alzheimer’s disease progression. A Wisconsin Sleep Program study by lead author Kate Sprecher, research assistant, Geriatrics and Gerontology, found an association between poor sleep and brain abnormalities associated with Alzheimer’s disease, even in adults who are still cognitively normal. Another study by lead author Siobhan Hoscheidt, PhD, postdoctoral fellow, found an association between life stress, insulin resistance, and Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The study looked at 150 late middle-aged WRAP participants, finding that a combination of risk factors was associated with abnormalities in CSF and positron emission tomography (PET) brain imaging. The research was profiled by UW SMPH
 
Additionally, a publication in the August edition of the journal Brain reported an approach that may help predict which older adults are more likely to develop cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease well before the onset of dementia. This approach – which involves statistical analysis of a panel of biomarkers – could help identify people most likely to benefit from drugs or other interventions to slow the progress of the disease. The study was conducted by lead author Annie Racine, doctoral candidate in the laboratory of Sterling Johnson, PhD, professor, Geriatrics and Gerontology and WRAP director. It was the subject of a news release by UW SMPH.
 
Presentations by UW-Madison Researchers - Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2016
Presenting authors and titles are listed below. Oral abstracts are indicated with an asterisk (*). All other presentations were scientific posters. 
 
  • Karly Cody - Effects of Kibra Polymorphism on White Matter Integrity: Findings from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention
  • Sterling Johnson, PhD - Patterns of in-Vivo Preclinical Tau and Amyloid Burden Using [F-18]THK5351 and [C-11]PIB
  • Joseph Webb - Family History Modulates TOMM40's Effect on Alzheimer's Disease Vascular Risk Factors and Neurodegeneration
  • Annie Racine - MCI Status, Amyloid and Tau Biomarkers, and Composite Cognitive Impairment Scores Are Associated with Cogstate Performance in the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer's Prevention
  • Sara Berman - Four Dimensional Arterial Blood Flow Metrics in the Internal Carotid Artery Predict Cognitive Performance and Are Associated with CSF Biomarkers in Patients with MCI
  • Ryan Dougherty - Cardiorespiratory Fitness Is Associated with Hippocampal Volume and Episodic Memory in a Population at Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Stephanie Schultz - Longevity Gene Klotho Alters APOE4-Related Cortical Thinning: Findings from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention
  • Auriel Willette - AD Family History in Non-APOE4's Modulates the Effects of '523 TOMM40 on Neuropathology and Memory Decline
  • Elizabeth Boots - Occupational Complexity, Cognitive Reserve, and White Matter Hyperintensities: Findings from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer's Prevention
  • Andrew Merluzzi* - Amyloid Deposition in the Posterior Cingulate Is Associated with Altered Microstructure in Cognitively Asymptomatic Individuals: Findings from the Wrap Study
  • Elisa Torres - Lifetime Recreational Physical Activity Is Associated with CSF Amyloid in Cognitively Asymptomatic Adults
  • Sterling Johnson - Patterns of in-Vivo Preclinical Tau and Amyloid Burden Using [F-18]THK5351 and [C-11]Pib
  • Vikas Singh - Manifold-Valued Statistical Models for Longitudinal Morphometric Analysis in Preclinical Alzheimer's Disease
  • Sara Berman - Four Dimensional Arterial Blood Flow Metrics in the Internal Carotid Artery Predict Cognitive Performance and Are Associated with CSF Biomarkers in Patients with MCI
  • Kate Sprecher - Poor Sleep Quality Is Associated with CSF Markers of Amyloid Deposition in Cognitively Healthy Adults at Risk for Alzheimer's Disease
  • Auriel Willette - Alzheimer's Disease Family History Modulates Effects of '523 TOMM40 on Memory Decline and Medial Temporal Pathology
  • Ramit Ravona-Springer - Structural Brain Abnormalities Associated with Depression in Elderly with Type 2 Diabetes Differ By Haptoglobin Genotype
  • Gina Green-Harris - Connecting the Dots: Meeting the Diagnostic and Treatment Needs of Underserved Urban African American Elders with Memory Loss
  • Kimberly Mueller - Characteristics of Connected Language Subtypes in the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention
  • Rebecca Koscik - Applying Mixture Models to Identify Mid-Life Longitudinal Cognitive Trajectory Clusters in the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention
  • Kristen Felten - It’s Never Too Early to Learn: A School-Based Brain Health Curriculum to Enhance Dementia-Related Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors
  • Megan Zuelsdorff - Psychobiological Predictors of Cognition Among Middle-Aged and Older Adults in the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention (WRAP)
  • Karly Cody - Effects of Kibra Polymorphism on White Matter Integrity: Findings from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention
  • Lindsay Clark* - Distinct Cognitive Trajectories in Late Middle-Age and Their Associations with Brain Structure and Alzheimer's Disease Biomarkers: Findings from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention
  • Annie Racine* - MCI Status, Amyloid and Tau Biomarkers, and Composite Cognitive Impairment Scores Are Associated with Cogstate Performance in the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer's Prevention
  • Elizabeth Boots* - Occupational Complexity, Cognitive Reserve, and White Matter Hyperintensities: Findings from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer's Prevention
  • Alden Gross - Development and Validation of an Algorithm for Diagnosing Preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease Across Five Cohorts
  • Ryan Dougherty - Cardiorespiratory Fitness Is Associated with Hippocampal Volume and Episodic Memory in a Population at Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Kelsey Melah - Reduced Middle Cerebral Artery Blood Flow Is Associated with Decrements in Executive Functioning, Attention, and Verbal Learning and Memory in Aging Individuals with Heart Failure: A 4D Flow MRI Study
  • Rebecca Koscik - Information-Theoretic Model Averaging to Characterize Effects of Age, Gender, and Apoe ɛ4 on Mid-Life Cognitive Trajectories: Results from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention
  • Gina Green-Harris - Connecting the Dots: Meeting the Diagnostic and Treatment Needs of Urban Elders with Memory Loss
  • Rosie Runde - Postmortem Cerebrovascular Disease and White Matter Pallor Are Associated with Lower Antemortem Cerebral Perfusion, Increased White Matter Hyperintensities, and Poor Learning
  • Siobhan Hoscheidt* - Stress Is Associated with Greater Insulin Resistance, Higher CSF Phosphorylated Tau, and Decreased Glucose Metabolism in the Medial Temporal Lobe in Apoe ε4 Carriers
  • Stephanie Schultz* - Longevity Gene Klotho alters APOE4-Related Cortical Thinning: Findings from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention