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Neuroscience PhD at Wake Forest University at Wake Forest University


Wake Forest University Graduate School » Neuroscience PhD at Wake Forest University

tmhughes

tmhughes
My research focuses on elucidating the relationships between cardiometabolic disorders and brain abnormalities commonly seen in ‘normal’ brain aging, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. My work has identified mechanisms related to vascular dysregulation that may promote dementia pathologic processes, through cerebrovascular disease and abnormal β- amyloid accumulation in the brains of older adults. This research builds upon my training in cardiovascular epidemiology, multimodal neuroimaging and neuroepidemiology and brings together my experience with: the development of blood-based biomarkers for cognitive impairment and dementia; the techniques used to assess subclinical vascular disease commonly used in cardiovascular studies (e.g. pulse wave velocity and carotid ultrasound); and the multimodal neuroimaging techniques used in brain aging studies, including PET and MRI. I have gained this experience working on large multi-site studies of aging and cognition, including CHS, GEM, ACCORD MIND, MESA and ARIC. I am currently the principal investigator of a large observational study of the microvascular and macrovascular contributions to Alzheimer’s and related dementias. I am also a key investigator in the Wake Forest Alzheimer’s disease Center. My overarching research goal is to identify modifiable risk factors and treatment strategies for the prevention of age-related dementia and cognitive dysfunction in ethnically diverse populations.