Our lab studies aging and Alzheimer’s disease.

Heat map of 82 OTUs differentially represented in AD participants. From Vogt et al., 2017 published in Scientific Reports.

We are interested in understanding the interplay of factors that contribute to healthy or pathological brain aging. In particular, the effect of factors that contribute to or protect against the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

We use a number of tools in our research, including cognitive testing, MRIPET, and CSF analysis, to determine how risk factors for Alzheimer’s affect the brain, particularly in mid-life. Our NIA funded research program is focused on characterizing the early effects of Alzheimer’s disease on brain myelin and axons, in addition to determining the role of preclinical inflammation in cell and dendritic damage.

Representative axial slices depicting areas of significant relationships between myelin content and the cerebrospinal fluid biomarker ratio, sAPPβ/Aβ42. From  Dean et al., 2017  published in JAMA Neurology.

Together with collaborators both on and off of the UW campus, the lab is also studying the impact of modifiable factors that may affect trajectories of aging. These include the effect of mid-life metabolic disorders (obesity and insulin resistance), sleep, diet, and microbial influences.

Understanding early brain changes in people who may go on to develop cognitive decline is expected to lead to earlier diagnosis, prevention, and the development of new therapies for Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Barbara Bendlin’s Mendeley profile.

Bendlin Lab News