Obesity-Related Brain Vulnerability in Midlife

March 28, 2013 @ 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Tate Center Room 137
Sandra Gary

Cognition is the most important determinant of functional ability and quality of life in older age. The most rapidly rising threats to cognitive health in US adults are obesity and obesity-related complications such as, hypertension, hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia; yet, little is known about the mechanisms that connect obesity to brain health. In this talk, Dr. Haley will discuss the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to explore the underlying neural mechanisms of obesity-related brain vulnerability in midlife. In addition, she will explore the role of cognitive reserve in moderating the relationship between brain pathology and cognitive function. The ultimate goal of this work is to guide efforts to prevent and treat late-life cognitive impairment, and ensure successful aging for our growing population of elderly. Dr. Andreana Haley received a Ph.D. degree in Clinical Psychology from the  University of Virginia. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship in Dementia Research at Brown University Medical School, she joined the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin. Her research lab at the University of Texas strives to bridge knowledge from basic and clinical neuroscience with the aim of improving how we understand, predict, and treat age- and disease-related cognitive impairment.