Dr. Denise Park Speaks to Director’s Research Circle
DALLAS -- Nov. 2016 -- Dr. Denise Park addressed the CVL Director’s Research Circle recently, speaking to more than 50 DRC members and other Center supporters about the increasing threat that Alzheimer’s Disease poses as we age.
By age 85, approximately 40 percent of adults develop the disease, Dr. Park said. “And the increase in sheer numbers will be epic, as current baby boomers age,” she added.
Dr. Park presented an overview of her two major research projects at CVL. She first talked about the Dallas Lifespan Brain Study, which seeks to predict who will and will not age well, and to determine the neural signatures of healthy aging.
“We have studied nearly 500 healthy people for the past eight years, using the most advanced neuroimaging technology available,” she told the group. “Over eight years, some people declined in cognition, while others maintain function. Using brain scans, we can determine the neural footprint associated with different trajectories of aging. We think we will be able to predict in middle age who is at risk of aging poorly, with the hope that interventions can prevent this outcome.”
She also gave an overview of the Synapse Project, which is focused on understanding whether mentally demanding leisure activities facilitate cognition and slow cognitive aging.
The Director’s Research Circle is composed of Center donors who make a commitment to support CVL with an annual gift of $2,500 or a minimum $12,500 donation over five years. To learn more about the benefits of joining the Director’s Research Circle.