Maria Vassilaki, M.D., Ph.D., is an epidemiologist at Mayo Clinic focused on aging research. Specifically, her studies are centered on cognitive decline and its risk factors, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.
Dr. Vassilaki's research interests involve studying activities of daily living before a dementia diagnosis and the association of such activities with biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease, Alzheimer's-related dementias and aging.
She also studies the association of chronic diseases and multimorbidity with cognitive impairment.
- Understanding the association of multimorbidity with cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, and aging neuroimaging biomarkers
- Describing how activities of daily living evolve in the pre-dementia period in association with neuroimaging biomarkers for aging and Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, and describing subtle everyday functional limitations that could be present in preclinical and prodromal Alzheimer's disease and related dementias
- Investigating the association of sensory limitations — such as hearing loss or olfactory dysfunction — with cognitive impairment as well as with imaging biomarkers of aging, Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's-related dementias
Significance to patient care
Dr. Vassilaki's research uses population-based observational studies to provide valuable insight into factors associated with both cognitive impairment and imaging biomarkers of Alzheimer's and dementia in older adults. Her research also aims to amplify the understanding of changes in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, while individuals are still cognitively unimpaired, and ultimately contribute to the efforts toward early disease detection at preclinical stages.