The research program of Richard J. Caselli, M.D., focuses on cognitive aging and the changes that can be detected before the symptomatic onset of memory loss and related symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
Dr. Caselli's personal focus is on the neuropsychological and related behavioral changes that can be detected. But through a close series of collaborations, he is also involved in brain imaging (FDG-PET, PIB-PET and MRI), neuropathology, genomics, and epigenetic factors that influence Alzheimer's disease risk and age of onset.
- Alzheimer's disease genetics influence on cognitive aging. Dr. Caselli and his colleagues have capitalized on the discovery of prevalent genetic risk factors, particularly APOE e4, to identify and quantify an individual's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Unlike most programs that focus only on elderly cohorts, Dr. Caselli's encompasses the entire adult age range.
- Alzheimer's Disease Center. Dr. Caselli serves as associate director and clinical core director of the Alzheimer's Disease Center at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, which focuses more on symptomatic patients with mild cognitive impairment and dementia.
Between these two programs and the collaborative projects they support, Dr. Caselli's research spans the entire adult age and symptomatic spectrum — from young and healthy to elderly and impaired — with his key questions aimed at the transition points and factors that might delay or prevent that transition.
Significance to patient care
Medical advances have been pushing us toward earlier diagnosis and intervention, and that is the significance of Dr. Caselli's research.
By showing how a common genetic variation influences patterns of cognitive aging, Dr. Caselli and his colleagues hope to extend their research to the clinic, making it possible to identify those who are at risk — or in the earliest, still asymptomatic stages of disease — so that when more-effective therapy becomes available, clinicians are able to prevent dementia rather than simply impede its progression.
- Medical Director for Service, Mayo Clinic, 2011-present
- Chair, Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic in Arizona, 2000-2010
- Lifetime Educator Award, Mayo Clinic in Arizona, 2007
- Distinguished Investigator Award, Mayo Clinic in Arizona, 2002
- Director for Research, Mayo Clinic in Arizona, 2000
- Distinguished Clinician Award, Mayo Clinic, 1999
- Member, Board of Directors — Flinn Foundation; Alzheimer's Association Desert Southwest Chapter; Center for Services Leadership, W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University
- Member, Adjunct Faculty, Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University