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William Jagust

Professor (Neuroscience)


Web site:

Research areas: Developmental Neuroscience, Systems and Computational Neuroscience

Our research is focused on the study of brain aging, dementia and cognitive decline. Using techniques like positron emission tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and functional MRI, we are working to understand the neurochemical, neuroanatomical, and neurophysiological underpinnings of brain aging and dementia. We study both large epidemiological cohorts, and smaller subject groups. Over the past several years we have used PET and MRI extensively to understand relationships between Alzheimer's disease and cerebrovascular disease, using a number of cohorts and techniques. We have found, for example, that individuals with MRI markers of both AD and CVD have a much higher likelihood of developing dementia than individuals with either of these markers alone. The cognitive changes associated with some measures of cerebrovascular may be mediated by disruption of subcortical-frontal working memory systems, resulting in dorsolateral prefrontal cortical dysfunction. Please visit our lab website for a more detailed description of current research projects and personnel.

Selected Publications

Haan, M.N., Mungas, D.M., Gonzales, H.M., Ortiz, T.A., Acharya, A., Jagust, W.J. 2003. Prevalence of dementia in older Latinos: the influence of type 2 diabetes, stroke, and genetic factors Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 51: 169-177.

Tullberg, M., Fletcher, E., DeCarli, C., Mungas, D., Reed, B.R., Harvey, J., Weiner, M.W., Chui, H.C., Jagust, W.J. 2004. White matter lesions impair frontal lobe function regardless of their location Neurology 63: 246-253.

DeCarli C, Fletcher E, Ramey V, Harvey D., Jagust, W.J. 2005. Anatomical mapping of white matter hyperintensities (WMH): Exploring relationships between periventricular WMH, deep WMH and total WMH burden Stroke 36: 50-55.

Nordahl, C.W., Ranganath, C., Yonelinas, A.P., DeCarli, C., Reed, B.R., Jagust, W.J. 2005. Different mechanisms of episodic memory failure in mild cognitive impairment Neuropsychologia 43: 1688-1697.