The COGENT lab is currently focused on studying the memory deficits that occur during the transition from normal aging to Alzheimer's disease (AD). We are studying 3 groups of individuals; healthy seniors, those with Mild Cognitive Impairment (a diagnosis that encompasses both memory-predominant and other-cognitive predominant deficits that are not severe enough to be considered dementia) and those with early stage AD. We are using event-related fMRI to visualize neural network differences between successful and unsuccessful learning attempts, both within and across groups. An offshoot of this work is a study examining the differences between rapid presentation of to-be-remembered stimuli (every 2.5 - 7.5 sec) versus traditional event-related presentation timing (every 15 sec). This latter study is being performed in a population of young (college-age) subjects.
The second focus of the lab is the use of a method known as DTI, which allows for evaluation of the integrity of white matter tracts. It has been established that fractional anisotropy (a measure of water diffusion along a vector) is decreased during aging in several major pathways (ie corpus callosum). It is the intention of this work to delineate whether the fornix (the main outflow pathway from the hippocampal complex) shows similar changes during aging, and could be used as a marker early in the process of converting to AD.
Please feel free to contact "Dr. Bozoki" if you have any questions about our research.