Dr. Alexandru D. Iordan, an affiliate of our Center and recent pilot project recipient, was recently awarded an Alzheimer’s Association Research Fellowship (AARF) which supports postdoctoral fellows engaged in Alzheimer’s research and represents a career-transition award.
The project will examine neuronal mechanisms underlying memory improvements following the delivery of a weak electrical current to the brain using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). One possible mechanism involves increasing levels of glutamate, a molecule important for efficient communication between neurons. Glutamate levels will be measured using a specialized technique called magnetic resonance spectroscopy. In this study, patients with mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease and cognitively intact older adults will perform a memory task while researchers record their brain activity. Comparing the participants’ brain activity and glutamate levels before and after tDCS will enable the assessment of neurometabolic mechanisms that support brain plasticity and provide potential tools for developing patient-centered treatments.
The most exciting part of being an AARF fellow is the opportunity to build bridges between experimental research, translation to the clinic, and individualized treatments. This fellowship will be extremely instrumental for Dr. Iordan as an independent investigator. The resources provided by the Research Program on Cognition and Neuromodulation Based Interventions (RP-CNBI) and the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center (MADC) will be critical for the success of this project.