The research of Kejal Kantarci, M.D., is in the field of neuroimaging in aging and dementia. Advances in imaging technology over the last few decades have given us the tools to track the normal and pathologic aging of the brain. Dr. Kantarci's research aims to bring these advanced imaging modalities into clinical practice.
The goal of Dr. Kantarci's research program is to apply advanced imaging technology in order to detect the evolution of dementia pathologies before they cause irreversible damage to the brain. She aims to develop valid imaging tools to detect the earliest dementia-related changes in the brain, which could allow for early intervention and prevention of dementia.
Dr. Kantarci's research program has been funded since 2003 by the National Institutes of Health, Alzheimer's Association and American Federation for Aging Research.
- What is the pathologic basis of imaging changes observed in dementia? Dr. Kantarci leads this project in collaboration with the Neuropathology Laboratory of Dennis W. Dickson, M.D., at Mayo Clinic in Florida. Their goal is to identify pathologies underlying imaging findings observed in individuals with cognitive impairment and dementia during life.
- Which imaging technologies are useful for diagnosing dementia with Lewy bodies? Dr. Kantarci leads this project in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. Her goal is to identify advanced imaging methods that differentiate the two most common causes of degenerative dementia: Alzheimer's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. These studies have already showed that imaging can contribute to making treatment decisions in patients with dementia with Lewy bodies.
- What are the effects of hormone treatment on the brain in newly postmenopausal women? Dr. Kantarci leads this project in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic Specialized Center of Research on Sex Differences. She is investigating the effects of hormone treatment on the brain in postmenopausal women using imaging technology. These studies have the potential to change concepts and preventive interventions that drive the aging and dementia field because evidence on protective effects of estrogen on the brain would have a significant impact on women making the decision to use hormonal treatments as they transition into menopause and in the early postmenopausal years.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Kantarci's research on applying advanced imaging technology to detect pathologies associated with cognitive impairment and dementia is essential for early diagnosis and prevention of these disorders.
- Charter Member, Biomedical Imaging Technology Study Section, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 2010-present
- Editorial Board Member, Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, 2012-present
- Dorothy Dillon Eweson Lecturer Award, American Federation for Aging Research, 2008
- Paul B. Beeson Career Development Award in Aging, National Institute on Aging, American Federation for Aging Research, John A. Hartford Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies and Starr Foundation, 2007
- New Investigator Award, Alzheimer's Association, 2004