The Alzheimer’s Association recently awarded a 2016 research grant to Claudia Satizabal, PhD, of Boston University School of Medicine, to study how obesity affects brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease.
“Populations worldwide are facing an obesity epidemic, and these same populations are aging and will contribute to the growing prevalence of dementia and [Alzheimer’s disease]. Therefore, it becomes imperative to understand the mechanisms by which obesity increases the risk of dementia and [Alzheimer’s disease], which may help develop health policies and treatment strategies to diminish the consequences of obesity in late life,” Satizabal said in a press release.
Satizabal is associated with the Framingham Heart Study under mentorship from Sudha Seshadri, MD, of the Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Boston University.
The 2-year, $118,673 award will fund Satizabal’s current research on associations between midlife obesity and different dietary, inflammatory and neurotropic biomarkers and stroke, cognitive function, MRI markers and abnormal brain aging and dementia.
Additionally, she has conducted projects on genetic variation in fine motor speed, visual memory and subcortical brain structures for the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology consortium.
Prior to joining the Framingham Heart Study in 2013, Satizabal studied associations between inflammatory proteins and cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative MRI markers of abnormal brain aging in the French Three-City Study to earn her doctorate degree.