• Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
  • 617-667-4074
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As life expectancy grows to unprecedented ages, diseases of age, especially Alzheimer’s and Dementia, are becoming more and more prevalent. Accordingly, understanding and combating this disease has become a major focus of many investigators. The CNU and the Berenson-Allen Center are exploring various therapeutic methods and imaging techniques geared towards alleviating symptomology and improving the quality of life of those suffering from these debilitating diseases.

Imaging Dementia—Evidence for Amyloid Scanning

In this research study, the goal is to learn how information from a PET scan of the brain may be able to help guide doctors’ treatment of patients with memory problems. This involves having a PET scan of the brain to look at amyloid plaques – clumps of protein that stick together and block signals in the brain. The doctor will receive the results of the PET scan and the scan results will be discussed. He or she may use that information in planning care.

Brain Plasticity Measures in Mild Cognitive Impairment

The purpose of the brain plasticity research study is to explore brain plasticity in people with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Brain plasticity is the brain’s ability to change and learn through experience. The main goal of this study is to see if measuring brain plasticity with non-invasive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) can be helpful with early diagnosis of memory problems. If one takes part in the study, the participant will have several evaluations. For example, TMS, tests of learning and memory, and an amyloid PET scan. The participant can decide whether or not to know the results of the PET scan. The doctor may use the results along with other clinical information to better understand cognitive symptoms.

For additional information, see the following staff bios:
Dr. Lim
Dr. Pascual-Leone
Dr. Press

If you are interested in learning more about the above studies, please contact Molly O’Reilly at 617-667-0249 or email: moreill1@bidmc.harvard.edu.

Delirium as a Risk Factor for Dementia

Dr. Fong (in conjunction with her colleagues at the Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife) is examining long-term cognitive outcomes in individuals following an episode of delirium, as well as whether pre-clinical Alzheimer’s disease pathology is a marker of brain vulnerability to delirium.

For additional information, see the following staff bios:
Dr. Fong

Driving Ability in Dementia / Neurological Illness

Headed by the DriveWise team, examination of optimal predictors of safe driving in those with neurological illnesses have been the focus of study in a variety of individuals, including those with mild cognitive difficulties, Parkinson’s Disease, and the oldest old.

For additional information, see the following staff bios:
Ms. Hollis
Ms. Kapust
Dr. O’Connor