Non-Amyloid Pathological Brain Aging in Late Life Depression
Depression and age-related brain disorders such as dementia are together one of the greatest public health issues of our time. With a rapidly increasing aging population and longer life expectancy, the burden associated with depression in later life will only increase. Understanding the neurobiological mechanisms underlying depression is crucial for limiting the personal and economic impact of the disorder by improving diagnosis and treatment.
This project will use new PET-MRI brain imaging biomarkers of neurodegeneration in combination with wearable technology to investigate how stress and neural markers of pathological brain aging such as tau protein abnormalities (tauopathy), temporal lobe gray matter loss and white matter lesions contribute to the pathophysiology of late-life depression. The results may lead to a new proteinopathy based stratification of late-life depression and improved differential diagnosis with respect to dementia.