The research of Rosebud O. Roberts, M.B., Ch.B., focuses on identifying risk factors for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia, both diseases of aging that affect memory and thinking skills.
Dr. Roberts studies the role of specific diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, smoking, heart disease and high cholesterol, on the risk of MCI and dementia, as well as their effects on abnormalities in the brain detected by magnetic resonance imaging. She is also interested in the effects of dietary habits on risk of MCI and dementia.
Dr. Roberts' research is conducted among a group of men and women ages 50 and older who were randomly selected from the Olmsted County, MN population to participate in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging.
- Association of vascular risk factors with MCI and dementia
- Association of vascular risk factors with abnormal brain aging
- Identifying factors that will promote healthy aging
Significance to Patient Care:
Dementia is an important disease of aging and there is currently no cure. The key to reducing the burden of dementia therefore rests on being able to prevent the disease.
MCI is an intermediate stage in the progression from normal aging to dementia. Knowledge about risk factors for MCI and prevention of those risks factors, will reduce the risk of MCI, and thereby reduce the risk of dementia.
Dr. Roberts' research findings will help physicians:
- Educate their patients about risk factors for MCI or dementia
- Identify patients at high for MCI, and closely monitor and control any risk factors for MCI in these patients
- Identify patients who will benefit from early initiation of treatments for MCI, when such treatments become available, to reduce their risk of progression from MCI to dementia