Center Director Dr. Michael Rugg

New Federal Funding Supports Research on Cognitive Aging

DALLAS - March 28, 2017 - Dr. Michael Rugg, the director of the Center for Vital Longevity and the head of the Center's Functional Neuroimaging of Memory (FNiM) Laboratory, has received a new research grant totaling $2.2 million over five years.

The grant, which was awarded by the National Institute on Aging, will fund the continuation of Dr. Rugg's research on the effects of age on brain function and memory. An important aspect of this new phase of the research will be the study of individuals with mild cognitive impairment, an important risk factor for Alzheimer's Disease.

The grant will support research that uses magnetic resonance imaging to examine the structure and function of the brain. One area of study will involve building on the group’s previous work on healthy aging over the last decade to understand the brain changes linked to memory difficulties in the earliest stages of Alzheimer's Disease. A second research area will compare previously unstudied aspects of memory in healthy young and older people.

Both areas aim to advance our understanding of how age- and Alzheimer’s-related differences in the brain's function and structure affect key cognitive abilities like memory, and how brain function differs between people who are aging successfully and those who are at high risk of developing the disease.