Feindel Virtual Brain and Mind Seminar: Focus on the locus: from methods to biomarkers to interventions


Heidi Jacobs,  Assistant Professor of Radiology, Gordon Center for Medical  Imaging, Harvard Medical School, USA

Registration: available now on Eventbrite

Livestreaming via Vimeo

Talk Abstract: Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, is characterized by the accumulation of two proteins, beta-amyloid and tau, that contribute to its cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms. The deposition of these proteinopathies occurs in a predictable topography, and starts at least two decades before the first clinical symptoms are evident. Given the disappointing results in many clinical trials targeting beta-amyloid, these initial neuropathologic changes can provide new clues to improve the very early detection and provide targets for interventions aimed at delaying cognitive decline. Guided by neuropathology findings, my lab aims to develop methods to identify the earliest Alzheimer’s disease related changes and to examine their biomarker potential. The locus coeruleus – a tiny nucleus in the brainstem – is recognized as one of the first regions to accumulate tau, starting at age 20. The locus coeruleus is a notorious difficult region to image, due to is small size, its location close to the fourth ventricle and the confounding impact of physiological noise. In this talk, I will discuss briefly discuss findings related to three critical areas that my lab tackles: 1) the development of methods to visualize and measure the locus coeruleus in vivo reliably using 3T and 7T magnetic resonance imaging; 2) the application of these methods to relate locus coeruleus properties to initial anatomic patterns of cortical Alzheimer’s disease pathology using positron emission tomography, and their relationship to cognitive dysfunction within the longitudinal Harvard Aging Brain Study; and 3) the opportunity to modulate locus coeruleus functioning and memory performance in healthy older individuals using transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation.

The Feindel Virtual Brain and Mind (VBM) Seminar Series

"Advancing the vision of Dr. William Feindel (1918–2014), former Director of the Neuro (1972–1984) and Founding Director of the McConnell Brain Imaging Centre (1984), to constantly bridge the clinical and research realms. The talks will highlight the latest advances and discoveries in neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, and neuroimaging."

Speakers will include scientists from across The Neuro, as well as colleagues and collaborators locally and from around the world. The series is intended to provide a virtual forum for scientists and trainees to continue to foster interdisciplinary exchanges on the mechanisms, diagnosis and treatment of brain and cognitive disorders.

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Contact Information

Sasha Kelly
Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital
sasha.kelly [at] mcgill.ca

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The Neuro is a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering high quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.




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