holiday group photo

Researching Modifiable and Non-Modifiable Risk Factors Linked to Cognitive Resilience in Alzheimer’s Disease

What do we do?

Our lab focuses on clarifying how alterations in the brain and other biomolecules (such as cerebrospinal fluid β-amyloid) place some cognitively-normal individuals on a pernicious trajectory that culminates in Alzheimer’s dementia. In this context, we are also interested in discovering new knowledge concerning the modulation of the link between brain changes and cognitive decline by both modifiable (e.g., cognitively-stimulating activities, physical exercise) and non-modifiable (e.g., genetic vulnerability) factors.

We use many techniques in our research, including but not limited to:

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

MRI and PET Imaging

GE MR750 3T scanner for structural and functional brain imaging.
Siemens ECAT EXACT HR+ PET scanner, with the operational model pictured in the forefront and a second HR+ gantry used for educational purposes pictured in the background.

Cerebrospinal Fluid Collection

A lumbar puncture procedure to collect cerebrospinal fluid.

Maximal Exercise Testing

Maximal exercise testing measures VO2, heart rate, respiratory exchange ratio, ventilation, and other variables needed to determine one’s cardiorespiratory fitness.
Variables of interest during a maximal exercise test.

Blood-based Biomarkers

Roche cobas 6000 for analysis of biospecimens.

Physical Activity Monitoring

A visual representation of an individual’s physical activity levels over 10 days, captured with an Actigraph accelerometer worn around the waist.

Cognitive Testing

Administering one of many cognitive tests that comprise our neuropsychological testing battery.

We are a part of the larger Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program, which includes both the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute.

Our offices are located on UW Madison’s campus within the UW Hospital. The majority of our research is conducted within the UW Hospital, the Waisman Center, the Wisconsin Institute for Medical Research, and the YMCA.

News Highlights

  • Ira Invited to Give Oral Presentation at International Conference

    Ira Frahmand has been invited to give an oral presentation at the AD/PD 2023 International Conference for her abstract “Alzheimer’s disease biomarker status is associated with KLOTHO genotype but not klotho protein levels in an …

  • Ozioma Okonkwo Invited to NIA Expert Workgroup

    Ozioma has been invited to serve on the NIA-Alzheimer’s Association expert workgroup that establishes definitions and boundary classifications for Alzheimer’s disease (i.e., the NIA-Alzheimer’s Association Research Framework for Alzheimer’s Disease).

  • Noah Cook’s Abstract Accepted for a Poster Presentation

    Noah Cook’s abstract “Alzheimer’s disease biomarker status associates with KLOTHO genotype but not klotho protein levels in an at-risk cohort” was accepted for a poster presentation at the 2022 Department of Medicine Research Day. This …

  • Ira’s Manuscript Accepted for Publication

    Ira Frahmand’s manuscript “AD-associated CSF biomolecular changes are attenuated in KL-VS heterozygotes” was accepted for publication in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring. Congratulations, Ira!

  • More News