The Dallas Lifespan Brain Study (DLBS) is a large-scale longitudinal research project designed to characterize neural and cognitive aging across the entire adult lifespan from age 20 to 90. This study also involves a search for a neural signature that is characteristic of healthy cognition, and which might help predict who will and will not age well. The DLBS has a particular focus on middle age, as very little is currently known about middle-aged neural function, and this may be a time of crucial changes in patterns of activation. Total, over 550 participants will be tested in this study, using functional and structural imaging, neurogenetics, and cognitive measures. Functional imaging analyzes how the brain behaves when an individual performs a specific task, while structural imaging measure physical changes in the brain, and amyloid imaging measures a protein in the brain that has been related to Alzheimer's Disease. This study is funded by a prestigious MERIT Award and Competitive Supplement to Dr. Denise Park from the National Institute on Aging, as well as two K-99 awards to Dr. Kristen Kennedy and Dr. Karen Rodrigue, lead postdoc researchers on the project.
Park, DC; Reuter-Lorenz, P. (2009). The adaptive brain: aging and neurocognitive scaffolding. Annual review of psychology, 60: 173-96.
Goh, JO; Park, DC. (2009). Neuroplasticity and cognitive aging: The scaffolding theory of aging and cognition. Restorative neurology and neuroscience, 27: 391-403.
Rodrigue, KM; Kennedy, KM; Park, DC. (2009). Beta-amyloid deposition and the aging brain. Neuropsychology Review, 19: 436-450.