Neuropsychological tools have been used to detect early disease, to assist with differential diagnosis of dementia syndromes, and to document progression of disease over time. Despite these significant advances in the cognitive characterization of specific degenerative diseases, much remains to be done (a) to better utilize neuropsychological measures as predictors of clinical heterogeneity in dementia (such as the use of specific cognitive abilities as markers for psychosis and early institutionalization), (b) to use cognitive performances as indicators of preclinical disease states (such as the use of cognitive assessment to document the presence of disease in pre- choreic individuals carrying the HD gene), and (c) to design cognitive measures to stimulate activation of specific brain areas for use in functional imaging studies. This Independent Scientist Award (K02) will allow the candidate to devote at least 80 percent of her time to research and related duties by release from teaching, administration, clinical work, and other responsibilities. The application proposes an integrated research development plan that includes (a) the further development of the candidate's dementia research emphasizing neuropsychological evaluations to understand behavioral heterogeneity in Alzheimer's disease and neuropsychological evaluations to document early detection and progression of Huntington's disease; and (b) the further development of knowledge in functional imaging to allow the candidate to assess relations among specific cognitive skills and brain functions in dementia. She also proposes to strengthen her statistical skills to be used in the analysis of data from these studies. This award will facilitate the candidate's research efforts towards understanding brain-behavior relations in dementia and using this knowledge to assist families and individuals in treatment planning for the future.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research (K02)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-CRB-B (04))
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University of Iowa
Schools of Medicine
Iowa City
United States
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