• The Center mourns the loss of a dear friend and tireless CVL supporter. click here

  • CVL councilmember and benefactor’s life remembered in the Dallas Morning here

  • Aging-themed issue of Nautilus Magazine explores cognitive benefits of learning a new game such as chess, cites here

  • ‘Fitizen’ group at the Jewish Community Center of Dallas learns about research at CVL. click here

  • CVL research published in JoN finds that some memories persist in the face of strong interference. click here

  • Dr. Sara Festini’s research probes busyness levels and cognitive here

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CVl Annual Review

CVl Annual Review

Charting Our Progress is CVL’s annual review, with archives available

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Grant Makes Longitudinal Imaging Study Possible, Represents Significant Boost for Two Center for Vital Longevity Labs

DALLAS – August 31, 2017 – Dr. Kristen Kennedy’s Neuroimaging of Aging and Cognition lab is receiving more than $2.5 million in federal funding to complete a six-and-a-half year study to better understand what individual factors influence brain structure, function, and cognition over time.

Approximately 180 people will be studied individually at three timepoints to track how each person is aging, and whether an individual’s aging trajectory is influenced by levels of dopamine. Perhaps most excitingly, says Dr. Kennedy, is the opportunity to utilize baseline genetic information to gauge the risk or protection provided by varying levels of the neurotransmitter, while charting each individual’s neurocognitive trajectory over several years.

Dr. Karen Rodrigue, also at CVL, is a co-investigator on the competitively awarded NIH/National Institute on Aging R01 grant. Together, Drs. Kennedy and Rodrigue will collect imaging data to identify factors that contribute to the brain’s ability to adjust its activity to meet increasing cognitive demands. Among other factors to be examined are the structural connectivity of the white matter connections across the brain, and the plasticity of synapses.

Researchers will take these data and relate them to the individual characteristics of each person, including whether their brains already have the hallmark plaque deposits indicative of early Alzheimer’s pathology.

“We are grateful to the NIA for the opportunity to follow our valuable cohort of research participants for five more years,” Dr. Kennedy said. “Longitudinal studies are the only way to understand individual differences in aging trajectories and we hope that this study will contribute to the deeper understanding of what sets a person on a healthy versus a pathological aging trajectory.”