Visiting Lecture Series: Previous Presentations

Super Ageing and… Super-Duper Ageing

Professor Roddy Roediger | Washington University in St. Louis | 17 February 2021

Super ageing was originally defined as a condition of people over 80 (average, 83 years old) who performed as well as people 50 to 65 (average age of 61) on one memory test, the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT). Hearing about this phenomenon, and seeing the attention the concept aroused, reminded me of research that Mark McDaniel and I did in the mid-2000s when we had two grants to study false memories in older adults. In general, we showed that older adults show more errors in three false memories paradigms than do younger adults. However, in each case, a subgroup of older adults (the highest scorers on a battery of 5 tests purposed to measure frontal lobe functioning), show both veridical and false recall that is equal to that of younger adults in these same paradigms. Unfortunately, we made the mistake of following the standard in the literature and we called these “high frontal functioning older adults.” However, because we showed older adults (average age, 75) performed as well as college students (and presumably better than average 60 year olds), should we now label them super-duper agers?

Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease in the Biomarker Era: Promises and Pitfalls

Professor Ron Petersen | Mayo Clinic | 9 December 2020

 

The landscape for making the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is changing. Formerly, the diagnosis of AD was a clinical-pathological process relying on a typical clinical presentation and confirmed at autopsy. With the advent of AD biomarkers, the situation has evolved. Now with AD imaging or fluid biomarkers, conclusions about an AD component can be inferred in life. However, this approach presents concerns. Does this mean that AD clinical research without biomarkers is invalid? What about pathological co-morbidities? This discussion will address these issues and attempt to look at the future of AD research and clinical practice.

Brain Vascular Function in Ageing and Cognitive Impairment

Professor Hanzhang Lu | Johns Hopkins University | 9 November 2020

Ageing results in profound changes in the brain’s blood supply, energy metabolism, and microvascular function. Cognitive impairment and dementia are associated with further detrimental changes. Professor Lu will present recent results on how brain physiology is altered in aging and cognitive impairment, using advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques. Studies using both human and animal subjects will be presented. The relationship between brain physiology and cognitive function as well as Alzheimer’s pathological markers will be discussed.

 

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