Contact Information

Photo of Cynthia Carlsson
Cynthia Carlsson, MD, MS

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

GERIATRICS

VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSP
2500 OVERLOOK TER
MADISON, WI 53705-2254

(608) 280-7000




Biography

Education

1988-1995
University of Michigan, Integrated Premedical/Medical Inteflex Program

1988-1992
BS, Biomedical Sciences
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

1991-1995
MD, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan

2002-2005
MS, Population Health Sciences
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Residency

1995-1998
Intern and Resident
Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics/ William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, Madison, WI

1998-1999
Chief Medical Resident
Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics/
William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, Madison, WI

Fellowships

1999-2000
Fellow, Geriatric Medicine
Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics/ William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, Madison, WI

2000-2002
Fellow, Older Women's Health
University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics/ William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, Madison, WI

Board Certification

American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), board certified in Internal Medicine, 1998, recertified 2009
ABIM, board certified in Geriatric Medicine, 2001, recertified 2011

Research Interests

Dr. Carlsson's research focuses on the effects of vascular risk factors and their treatments on cognition and biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease in persons at risk for dementia. Vascular risk factors in midlife, such as high cholesterol and elevated blood pressure, have been associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease decades later.  It is unknown, however, whether treating vascular risk factors will reduce the risk of dementia. Through partnering with research participants and colleagues in geriatrics, neuropsychology, cardiovascular medicine, neuroradiology, medical physics, and clinical chemistry, Dr. Carlsson is conducting clinical trials investigating:

  • The impact of vascular risk factors on risk of cognitive decline in middle-aged adults with parental history of Alzheimer's disease
  • How vascular risk factors are related to biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease found in the blood, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and on MRI scans measuring brain blood flow
  • The relationship between endothelial function, a measure of blood vessel function, and brain blood flow in persons at risk for Alzheimer's disease
  • The effects of cholesterol-lowering medications known as 'statins' on CSF biomarkers, brain blood flow, and cognition in asymptomatic middle-aged adults with parental history of Alzheimer's disease

Dr. Carlsson's work has been supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), the John A. Hartford Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, the Starr Foundation, the state of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin Department of Medicine and the General Clinical Research Center. Through their work, Dr. Carlsson and her colleagues hope to identify preclinical markers of Alzheimer's disease risk as well as effective treatment strategies to delay the onset of dementia in persons at risk for the disease.

Link to information on current studies.

Search for Cynthia Carlsson's literature abstracts on PubMed