Our research examines the mechanisms by which physical activity (PA) counteracts the negative inflammatory effects of the APOE ϵ4 allele, a genetic risk factor for late onset Alzheimer's disease (AD). Our goals are to collect longitudinal data from healthy elders with and without an ϵ4 allele concerning PA/fitness, functional and structural MRI, amyloid PET imaging, cerebrospinal fluid and blood biomarkers, and memory/cognition. Complementing our in-human studies, we are also determining the impact of voluntary wheel running and age in novel transgenic mouse models of AD. These synergistic human and animal studies will provide insights into potential mechanisms linking APOE genotype, exercise, inflammation, AD brain pathology, and cognition that could ultimately be targeted therapeutically.
Stephen Rao, PhD
NIH 5R01AG022304-13, Immune Mechanisms Underlying the Neuroprotective Effects of Physical Activity in Human and Mouse Models Of Genetic Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease, Rao (PI) 05/01/2003-05/31/2022
Motor timing intraindividual variability in amnestic mild cognitive impairment and cognitively intact elders at genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease. Kay, C. D., Seidenberg, M., Durgerian, S., Nielson, K. A., Smith, J. C., Woodard, J. L., & Rao, S. M. (2017). Journal Of Clinical And Experimental Neuropsychology, 39(9), 866-875.
Differential 5-year brain atrophy rates in cognitively declining and stable APOE-ε4 elders. Kelly, D. A., Seidenberg, M., Reiter, K., Nielson, K. A., Woodard, J. L., Smith, J. C., . . . Rao, S. M. (2018). Neuropsychology, 32(6), 647-653.
Key inflammatory pathway activations in the MCI stage of Alzheimer's disease. Pillai, J. A., Maxwell, S., Bena, J., Bekris, L. M., Rao, S. M., Chance, M., . . . Leverenz, J. B. (2019). Annals Of Clinical And Translational Neurology, 6(7), 1248-1262.
Five-Year Longitudinal Brain Volume Change in Healthy Elders at Genetic Risk for Alzheimer's Disease. Reiter, K., Nielson, K. A., Durgerian, S., Woodard, J. L., Smith, J. C., Seidenberg, M., . . . Rao, S. M. (2017). Journal Of Alzheimer's Disease: JAD, 55(4), 1363-1377.
Members & Collaborations
- James Leverenz, MD
- Jagan Pillai, MD, PhD
- Lynn Bekris, PhD
- Frank DiFilippo, PhD
- Katherine Koenig, PhD
- Mark Lowe, PhD
- Reena Mehra, PhD
- Stephen E. Jones, MD
External Relationships and Collaborations
- Bruce Lamb, MD, PhD, Indiana University School of Medicine
- Brian Eisinger, PhD, Indiana University School of Medicine
- Stephanie Bissel, PhD, Indiana University School of Medicine
- John Gunstad, PhD, Kent State University
- Kristy Nielson, PhD, Marquette University
- Michael Seidenberg, PhD, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
- Jeffrey D. Long, PhD, University of Iowa
- J. Carson Smith, PhD, University of Maryland
- John Woodard, PhD, Wayne State University