Neurocognitive bases of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease (Hwamee Oh)

Although cognitively normal, older adults undergo a wide range of abnormal neural changes that are not clinically evident. One of these abnormal neural changes is an accumulation of beta-amyloid (Aβ), a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Approximately 20-50% of cognitively normal older adults were shown to harbor a high level of Aβ deposition, which is now called “preclinical Alzheimer’s disease”. Because Aβ deposition is a disease-related process and a large proportion of cognitively normal older adults presents with Aβ pathology, it is important to disentangle changes associated with normal aging and pathological aging in order to better understand each neurocognitive trajectory. More importantly, brain systems supporting memory highly overlap with where β-amyloid plaques are accumulated. It remains, however, unclear how Aβ pathology contributes to memory dysfunction. I will present the data that show differential changes in neural substrates and cognition due to normal aging and Aβ-related pathological aging, with a particular emphasis on the visual memory system, among asymptomatic older adults. I will also discuss the application of these findings in developing better behavioral and neuroimaging measurements that help early detection, prevention, and treatment monitoring of Alzheimer’s disease among preclinical and clinical populations.

Neuroimaging of Financial Decision Making in Older Age (Duke Han)

Older adults hold over a third of the nation’s wealth, yet a portion of older adults tragically become victims of scam and fraud, often resulting in a devasting impact to independence and wellbeing. The reasons for why some older adults show declines in financial decision making and increased vulnerability to financial exploitation while others do not remain elusive. The work of our team and others have linked lower financial decision making in older age with important health outcomes such as cognitive impairment and eventual Alzheimer’s Disease. A greater understanding of the underlying mechanisms which contribute to impaired financial decision making and financial vulnerability in older age is therefore a significant public health concern. This presentation will discuss the rationale for neuroimaging as a tool for studying financial decision making and vulnerability to scam and fraud in older age. Findings from our work using multimodal neuroimaging approaches (MRI macrostructure, microstructure, and functional connectivity) will be presented, and public policy implications will be discussed.

Register for the webinar here:

Date: Thursday, December 10, 2020
Time: 2:00 – 3:30 PM

Webinar 4: Hwamee Oh and Duke Han