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2002/2J - Abstract

Grant Information

Aging - Start-Up
Neuroanatomy of Behavior Changes in Dementia
Katherine Rankin, PhD
Funding Status
  • Completed
  • 3 years, $60,000 per year
  • 7/1/2002 to 6/30/2005


2002/2J - Abstract
Brief Summary
"Neuroanatomy of Behavior Changes in Dementia"

This study will investigate the social and behavioral changes in dementia patients in order to: 1) improve differential diagnostic accuracy with various neurodegenerative disorders, and 2) provide new information about brain-behavior relationships in dementia by exploring the anatomic underpinnings of cognition and behavior, using advanced quantification of neuroimaging data.

A number of dementia conditions begin, not with memory or other cognitive deficits, but with changes in behavior and social functioning. Patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), corticobasal degeneration (CBD), and atypical frontal variant Alzheimer's disease (AD) often initially go undiagnosed or are misclassified as psychiatric patients because these social changes are not recognized as dementia symptoms.

A detailed, comprehensive assessment of social and behavioral changes will be done using multiple scientifically validated modalities of social assessment, including: questionnaire and interview-based caregiver reports, observational clinical ratings, and neuropsychological assessment of social functions. Data from structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, such as manual and automated region of interest (ROI) analysis and voxel-based morphometry (VBM), will be used to determine specific patterns of brain atrophy in order to link specific changes with neuroanatomical structures in patients. Data from a comprehensive evaluation of cognitive and neuropsychiatric functioning will also be analyzed in conjunction with variables from the social assessment.

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