The Butler Hospital Memory & Aging Program (MAP) is a worldwide leader in Alzheimer’s disease research. An affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, MAP has a 20+ year history of excellence in clinical care, training, and cutting-edge research aimed at developing new and better ways to detect, treat, and someday even prevent Alzheimer’s. The program works hand in hand with health care providers, community groups, other research organizations, and everyday people with normal memory or some degree of memory loss who are willing to participate in the research needed to bring an end to Alzheimer’s disease.
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Since 1997, the Memory and Aging Program at Butler Hospital has played a major role in advancing the study and treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and dementia. MAP is an inaugural member of the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation (GAP) and a founding member of one of the most prominent AD nonprofit networks, the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s Network (DIAN).
Our program has conducted dozens of clinical trials and research studies since its inception. Each of them has provided another small step forward in the fight against Alzheimer’s through deeper insights and understanding into how the disease develops, how it can be treated and how we can achieve better methods for earlier diagnosis. Today, those many small steps are building to what we hope will be a giant leap in Alzheimer’s treatment in the next several years.
Memory disorders are brain-based conditions that affect retention and recollection of memories. Everyone experiences some lapse of memory periodically, and some decline in memory is normal as we age. However, with memory disorders, people have more significant memory loss that may interfere with their work, social activities, personality, behavior, and ability to perform daily tasks. Impairments in memory may be due to many conditions, Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia caused by small strokes in the brain, diabetes or high blood pressure, normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), or even depression.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a specific type of dementia and the most common form. It is a progressive, degenerative disease that causes slow decline of nerve cells in the brain. Individuals with AD experience progressive and irreversible loss in thinking abilities, including language and memory. Changes are also witnessed in mood, personality, sleep-wake cycles, and behavior. In AD, nerve cells involved in learning and short-term memory are affected early which is the reason memory loss is one of the first symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
Many different conditions and diseases cause dementia. The term "dementia" is used loosely to describe severe memory loss and impairment in other thinking (or "cognitive") abilities that interfere with the individual's daily life and social interactions.
Dementia refers to a category of disorders that involve memory loss while Alzheimer's disease is a specific disease. Alzheimer's disease causes dementia, however, several other diseases or conditions, such as stroke, Parkinson's disease, head injury, and vitamin deficiency can also cause dementia.
Alzheimer's disease has three stages: early (mild), middle (moderate), and late (severe). A person in the early stage of Alzheimer’s may:
Importantly, the first changes present within the brain may begin 20 or more years before diagnosis.
Those in the middle stage of Alzheimer’s exhibit:
The mild to moderate stage may last between 2 and 10 years.
In the late stage, people:
Severe Alzheimer’s may last between 1 and 5 years.
While Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, the second most common type of dementia is vascular dementia. Vascular dementia is associated with problems in the circulation of blood to the brain (cerebrovascular disease). Risk factors for this type of dementia include:
An individual with mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, is able to take care of themselves and go about their normal daily activities, but they have subtle problems with memory and thinking. Some signs of MCI are losing things often, forgetting appointments, and having trouble finding the right words to say. MCI can be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease—but not everyone with MCI will develop Alzheimer’s.
Everyone experiences memory lapses and forgetfulness from time to time and some decline in memory ability is a normal part of aging. For example, as an individual approaches middle age, his or her ability to recall newly learned information, such as recalling people’s names or specific words, may begin to slip. These memory problems do not get worse over short periods of time and do not interfere much with the ability to do daily activities. People may compensate for these normal memory changes by repeatedly going over things to be remembered, linking them in their mind with something already well known, or keeping lists of things to do. In contrast, the memory loss in Alzheimer's disease is much greater than expected for age. The memory lapses are more frequent and severe and interfere with the ability to manage daily activities.
What is typically the first sign?
Testing brain tissue for plaques and tangles is the only definitive way to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. This is done during a brain autopsy after someone dies. While a person is still living, doctors are only able to make a diagnosis of “possible” or “probable” Alzheimer’s disease and this requires a full physical and neurological examination to rule out other causes of dementia. Screenings include blood tests to measure thyroid function and vitamin B12 levels, an MRI or CT scan of the brain to exclude other causes of dementia such as strokes, tumors, or hydrocephalus (excessive fluid build-up in the brain), and cognitive testing for memory, language, and other cognitive difficulties.
There is no medical treatment currently available to cure or stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease. However, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several drugs that may temporarily slow cognitive changes. The first class is acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, which are indicated for mild to severe Alzheimer’s disease. These are donepezil (Aricept®), rivastigmine (Exelon®), galantamine (Reminyl®), and tacrine (Cognex®). The second class is NMDA antagonists, which is indicated for moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease. There is only one drug approved in this class: memantine (Namenda®). Many other promising drugs are being developed and tested - some of which may be available within the next few years. Medication and non-drug therapies are also available to help with behavior changes associated with Alzheimer's disease, such as depression, sleeplessness, and agitation.
Generally, donepezil (Aricept®), rivastigmine (Exelon®), and galantamine (Reminyl®) are well tolerated. Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and loose stools might occur but are usually transient. It is recommended to take Reminyl® and Exelon®with a full meal. Because of side effects associated with tacrine, including possible liver damage, it is very rarely prescribed. There is no evidence or reason to believe that combining the drugs would be any more beneficial than taking either one alone, and it is likely that combining the drugs would result in greater side effects.
Research into the production of free radicals in the brain in Alzheimer's disease have suggested that antioxidants, such as vitamin E, vitamin C, and Ginko Bilbao may be useful in treating or slowing the progression of the disease. However, more research needs to be done in this area before the effectiveness or lack thereof of these supplements can be verified.
Patients in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease may have awareness of their memory and other deficits. However, awareness of memory and other problems generally decreases as the disease progresses.
Approximately 25 percent of Americans with Alzheimer's disease live alone. However, as the condition progresses, patients may need more help and it is especially important for family and friends to provide supervision for tasks that the person with AD can no longer do for themselves. Family members, friends, and community services can help. Information is available on home care services, meals, transportation, and day care from the Alzheimer's Association or a primary care physician. Arrangements can be made for direct deposit of checks such as retirement pensions and/or Social Security benefits. Home-delivered meals are available. At some point people with AD will need to live in a supervised setting either with family, an assisted living facility, or a nursing home.
Whether or not a person with Alzheimer's disease can continue to drive is dependent on the progression of the disease and their remaining functional abilities. Individuals who still drive should be encouraged to limit their driving to short distances in areas that are familiar to them. Caregivers should try to gauge whether they feel that the person is driving safely. After evaluation in the Memory Clinic, our staff can advise patients and their families regarding driving safety, and refer patients for driving safety evaluations if indicated.
People with Alzheimer's disease will need support and assistance from others as they experience changes brought on by the disease. While telling friends and family may cause some emotional stress, it is important to tell people early on so that an effective and caring support network of family and friends can be established.
Behavior problems are common in AD, especially as the disease progresses. Depression and irritability may occur early. Suspiciousness is common. Apathy is the most common behavioral symptom. Restlessness, wandering, agitation, impulsiveness, delusions, and hallucinations may occur later. These behavioral symptoms can be very distressing to caregivers and family members. It is important to have the support of family and friends. Support groups may help. Medications may help. Your family doctor may refer you to a geriatric psychiatrist who specializes in managing behavioral problems in dementia.
You can contact your local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association for information and support in areas ranging from day-to-day living to cutting edge medical research. The address is as follows:
Alzheimer's Association Rhode Island Chapter
245 Waterman Street, Suite 306
Providence, RI 02906
The average worldwide lifetime risk of developing any type of Alzheimer’s disease is about 5 percent by age 65, 10 to 15 percent by age 75, and 20 to 40 percent by age 85. Individuals who have a parent with Alzheimer’s disease have about twice the average risk of getting the disease, that is, among 65-year-olds with an affected parent, about 10 percent will develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Having a brother or sister with Alzheimer’s disease also doubles the risk. The likelihood of developing the disease continues to increase as the number of affected relatives increases, and having more than one affected sibling appears to cause the greatest increase in risk. This increased risk occurs because children and parents may share certain genes, the basic units of heredity that provide a blueprint for many biological and behavioral characteristics. The influence of a gene may be large or small. Tests are available that can determine whether a person carries Alzheimer’s disease genes. It is important to understand, however, that even people with Alzheimer’s disease genes may not develop the disease.
In addition, an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis approaches 90 percent accuracy without genetic testing. Therefore, genetic testing is usually not essential, but is recommended in those patients with early onset of symptoms (early onset AD is associated with greater likelihood of a genetic link) and a positive family history. Most experts regard genetic testing as an acceptable part of clinical trials as long as participants give informed consent and understand the procedure’s purpose and limitations thoroughly. Most experts recommend that the complex analysis involved in characterizing such one-of-a-kind gene mutations be carried out at a major academic center and that individuals receive genetic counseling as part of the testing process. Genetic counselors help people explore emotional and legal implications as well as scientific and technical issues before testing proceeds; after testing is completed, they explain and interpret results and help people accept the outcome.
An early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease helps families to plan for the future and make legal and financial arrangement while allowing the person with Alzheimer’s to take part in the decision-making process. Early diagnosis can also allow for the person to begin medications that can help slow the disease progress. Importantly, early diagnosis can allow the person to take part in clinical research trials that could change the future of the disease.
Clinical research includes studies (observing and gathering data from large groups of people) and trials (testing a medicine, therapy, or intervention in a group of people). Clinical trials are important as they allow researchers and doctors to determine if a medication or treatment is successful in slowing or preventing the disease progression. Our clinic has many opportunities for clinical research, click here to see our current trials.
Beta-amyloid is a sticky protein that gradually builds up, forming plaques within the brain of those with Alzheimer’s disease. The plaques accumulate between nerve cells in the brain, blocking their communication.
Tau is a protein that, under normal conditions, allows vital cell transport to occur within the brain. In Alzheimer’s Disease, tau collapses into twisted strands which stops the cell from obtaining essential supplies and nutrients. Cells with these tau tangles eventually die.
Plaques are abnormal clusters of beta-amyloid protein. Tangles are twisted strands of tau protein. Plaques and tangles accumulate in the brain of those with Alzheimer’s disease. Specific types of recently developed PET scans are able to detect this accumulation. Previously, all plaque and tangle quantification was done through autopsy.
Positron emission tomography (PET) uses small amounts of radioactive material, called radiotracers, and a specialized camera and computer to “see” your organs and tissues. In Alzheimer’s research, PET scans are used to detect beta-amyloid and tau accumulation, as well as healthy and diseased tissue through use of a variety of radiotracers. The PET scan procedure begins with the technician placing an IV in your hand or arm and injecting the radiotracer. A period of time will pass as your brain absorbs the radiotracer. After the radiotracer is absorbed, you will enter the PET scanner, a large round machine similar to an MRI machine. The PET scanner will use a specialized camera to detect the radiotracer within your brain. You will not feel anything as this process occurs.
An MRI is a test that uses a large magnetic field and radio wave energy to recreate images of structures within the body. In Alzheimer’s research, MRIs are often used to image the brain as a whole, as well as specific structures within the brain. MRI images can tell doctors if brain tissue volume is shrinking, whether large or small strokes have occurred, and whether specific brain areas are displaying abnormalities.
A lumbar puncture is a procedure in which a doctor places a small needle between the vertebra in the back and into the spinal canal. Cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), the liquid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, is collected and analyzed for a variety of components. In Alzheimer’s research, the CSF is often analyzed for beta-amyloid and tau proteins, as well as levels of investigational medications (if the person is enrolled in a research trial).
Cognitive testing refers a variety of assessments designed to measure a persons memory and thinking abilities. In Alzheimer’s research, cognitive testing often entails surveys, questionnaires, interviews, and sessions with a trained cognitive rater or doctor.
Of course. Before beginning any research trial you will be told of each and every step that the study will entail. All of your questions will be answered and should you feel comfortable continuing in the trial, you will sign a consent form. At any point, you are free to withdraw your consent and stop participating in the study.
All the procedures done for a research trial are done independent of your insurance or primary care doctor. The only people that will know you are in a trial are the people at the clinic who are involved in the trial and the people that you decide to tell. We work hard to make sure your information is kept confidential.
No, there are strict criteria that must be met to enroll in a research trial. Our clinic doctors will determine which studies they believe you may be a good candidate for and, after signing consent, you will enter into a screening period. If you meet all criteria during the screening period, you will be enrolled in the trial. If you do not meet the necessary criteria for a study, there may be others that you will qualify for. You can only be enrolled in one clinical trial at a time.
A placebo is an inactive substance designed to look like a medication. Drug trials are often ‘placebo-controlled’ meaning that some of the participants in the trial are not receiving the drug being tested, but are instead receiving a substance made only to look like the medication. Often a placebo is called a sugar pill because it does not contain any active medicines. Placebo groups serve as control groups in research. Results are compared between the placebo group and the active medication group to determine if the medicine is having an effect.
Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry,
Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Director, Memory and Aging Program
Dr. Salloway received his medical degree from Stanford University Medical School. He completed residencies in neurology and psychiatry at Yale University Medical School. He has authored over 200 journal articles, book chapters, and abstracts and edited three books on prevention and early detection of Alzheimer’s disease.
Director of Research, Memory & Aging Program; Director of Psychology
Dr. Correia is a research neuropsychologist with interest in brain imaging analysis, particularly the impact of dementia and other disorders on cerebral white matter. Dr. Correia’s clinical appointment is at the Providence VA Medical Center. He conducts neuroimaging research in collaboration with the Memory and Aging Program.
Dr. Malloy is a leading expert on neuroimaging and cognitive testing in diagnosing Alzheimer's disease, frontal lobe dysfunction, and behavior disorders in the elderly. He serves as a consultant with NIH committees and pharmaceutical companies on the implementation of clinical trials for memory and neurobehavioral disorders. Dr. Malloy retired from his full-time role in 2020, after more than 20 years of dedicated mentorship and leadership at the Memory and Aging Program, which he co-founded in the late 90’s.
Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Human Behavior (Clinical), Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Dr. Lee is a licensed neuropsychologist at the Memory and Aging Program. Her doctoral degree is in clinical psychology and neuropsychology from Suffolk University in Boston. She completed her residency and fellowship at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, with a specific focus in neuropsychology and neuroimaging.
Dr. Castelluccio is a licensed clinical neuropsychologist. He conducts neuropsychological evaluations with a special focus on older adults. He also works as a clinical rater for research studies in the Memory and Aging Program. Dr. Castelluccio completed his Ph.D. in clinical psychology with an emphasis in neuropsychology at the University of Connecticut.
Research scientist in the Memory and Aging Program; Instructor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Dr. Thompson is a licensed neuropsychologist and research scientist at the Memory and Aging program. She completed her doctoral degree in clinical psychology, with an emphasis in neuropsychology, at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center.
Cognitive Neuroscientist, Butler Hospital Memory & Aging Program
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Dr. Alber completed her PhD in Human Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh in 2015 and her post-doctoral fellowship as part of the Clinical Psychology Training Consortium at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, where she is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and a cognitive neuroscientist at the Butler Hospital Memory and Aging Program.
Bill earned a BA in psychology from the University of New Hampshire. He joined the Memory and Aging Program team in 2014 as the research operations manager. He oversees the day to day functioning of the program and fosters a team approach to conducting research trials.
Diane is a clinical nurse specialist with a background in psychiatric nursing who has been practicing for 39 years. She has extensive background in geriatrics, mental health nursing, and Alzheimer’s disease clinical care and research. Diane has been the Memory and Aging Program nurse coordinator for 19 years.
Brittany is a board-certified family nurse practitioner. She received her BS in Nursing from the University of Virginia and her MS-FNP from Georgetown University. She worked as a maternity nurse at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital from 2010 to 2015 while pursuing her degree.
Melanie is a board-certified family nurse practitioner. She received her undergraduate degree in biology and social science from Providence College, and her registered nurse and nurse practitioner degrees from University of Massachusetts Medical School. She previously worked in neurology and neuropsychology research in the areas of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ADHD, and childhood oncology.
Monique is a board-certified physician assistant. She received her M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies from Johnson & Wales University and her B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology from Emory University in Georgia. Prior to joining the Memory & Aging Program, she worked as a PA with Lifespan Cancer Institute caring for a variety of patients with oncologic diseases.
A 1985 graduate of Northeastern University, Denise has over 30 years of nursing experience in the areas of ICU, pediatrics, home health care, and adult mental health. Denise co-ordinates, manages and recruits Alzheimer’s patients in the clinical trials at the Memory and Aging Program, and is the nurse in charge of our infusion suite.
Cheryl has been with the Memory & Aging Program as a nurse coordinator since 2007. Previously, she worked as an RN in a variety of settings including hospitals, community centers, home care, and long term care. After diversifying her career and trying different nursing domains, she realized that working with adults and elders with memory issues was her calling.
Lisa graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1988 from the University of Rhode Island, Lisa has over 28 years nursing experience in the areas of oncology, infusion therapies, and home care; specializing in home infusion therapies. Prior to joining the memory and aging program, Lisa worked as a nurse manager for the Visiting Nurse Services of Rhode Island and was the general manager and nurse manager for Optioncare for 15 years. She has over 25 years of experience in IV insertion and medication administration.
Vanessa graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Rhode Island College. Prior to joining the Memory and Aging Program, Vanessa worked as a registered nurse in the acute medical-psychiatric unit at Rhode Island Hospital. She joined the Memory and Aging Program as a research nurse coordinator in November 2017.
Courtney is a research project manager with the Memory and Aging Program. She completed her PhD in neuroscience, focusing on early injury to the developing brain. She is especially interested in differences in both the degree of injury and the long-term developmental outcome between males and females when early injury occurs.
Sam graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Master of Science in Kinesiology with a specialization in exercise science. During his graduate education he coordinated research investigating methods of improving the health and longevity of older adults.
Joslynn joined the staff at the Memory and Aging Program in 2015. As a Research Project Manager, she implements and coordinates study-specific regulatory documentation of active clinical trials and new start-up trials. Prior to working in regulatory, she studied molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Gina graduated with a Master’s degree in Business Administration, a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Salve Regina University. Before joining the Memory and Aging Program, Gina served as a clinician for an opioid treatment program assisting individuals with substance use disorders on their road to recovery.
Bryanne received her Bachelor's degree in neuroscience from Stonehill College, where she first became interested in memory research while volunteering at the Boston VA Healthcare System. After graduating, she worked as a research assistant with a focus on administering neuropsychological assessments to stroke and dementia patients.
Shanti graduated from Brown University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in computer science. During her time there, she assistated with research at Brown’s Center for Biomedical Informatics where she conducted various data science analyses.
Tyler holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a concentration in Health Care Administration from the University of Massachusetts. Before joining the Memory and Aging Program, he spent ten years as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant working in skilled nursing facilities.
Jennifer graduated with a Master of Arts from the University of Edinburgh in 2018, where she wrote her dissertation on psycholinguistics. After receiving her MA, she subsequently completed additional study in psychology at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
Sophia graduated from College of the Holy Cross in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry. She assists with coordinating various clinical trials at MAP including observational, lifestyle intervention, and pharmaceutical studies. Additionally, she works as cognitive rater on many of these trials.
Dr. Amichetti is a neuropsychologist at the Memory and Aging Program. Dr. Amichetti completed her PhD in Neuroscience at Brandeis University before completing postdoctoral training at Brown University. Dr. Amichetti’s research has focused on the effects of both healthy and pathological cognitive changes in older adults with an emphasis on memory and language processing.
Eliza graduated from Harvard University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Neuroscience and Evolutionary Psychology with an interest in public health and public policy. At the Memory and Aging Program, she assists with coordinating clinical trials for new pharmaceutical drugs and lifestyle interventions.
Tara Tang is the Outreach Manager for the Memory and Aging Program. She received her bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College in Spanish with an international communications minor. With her experience in patient recruitment, advertising and bilingual education, she looks forward to conversations with all communities in New England about Alzheimer’s disease and research.
Athena is an Outreach Coordinator for the Memory and Aging Program. She received her bachelor’s degree from Roger Williams University in Communications with a minor in Biology. Athena’s previous experience includes four years of Chamber of Commerce event management as well as experience in college admissions outreach.
Lorrance is an Outreach Coordinator for the Memory and Aging Program. She received her bachelor’s degree from Rhode Island College in Public and Professional Communication. Lorrance has over 5 years of experience in membership management and event planning for a professional organization specializing in training and educating clinicians on substance use and mental health disorders.
Yanine is a Diversity Outreach Coordinator for the Memory and Aging Program. At 17 years old, she graduated from high school and received the Community Organizer of 2017 Award from the Young Democrats of RI. The following year she graduated from CCRI with her associate degree and began working in healthcare equity and advocacy. With over 7 years of community organizing experience, Yanine has strong ties to Rhode Island’s most diverse neighborhoods.
Dr. Popescu completed her Ph.D. in Integrative Neuroscience with a focus on creating, validating and assessing models of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) at Stony Brook University. There, she completed advanced research training in modifiable lifestyle factor interventions and completed course development, online-administration and traditional teaching training.
Edmund Arthur received his Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology-Ghana (2014) and his PhD in Vision Science from Indiana University Bloomington (2018). His PhD dissertation focused on detecting preclinical retinal changes in diabetic patients using advanced retinal imaging.
Erin began her career with the Memory and Aging Program in March 2012 as a research project coordinator. Since then, her role has expanded to heading the program’s regulatory department and overseeing the laboratory.
Victoria graduated from University of Rhode Island in 2018, earning a Bachelor in Science, with a concentration in Epidemiology. During her time as a Senior at URI- she completed an internship in Clinical Diabetic Research. She then joined the Sleep and Circadian Research Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital -where she studied Actigraphy.
Dee joined the staff at Butler Hospital in 2007, supporting several programs including the Body Image Program, Child and Adolescent Services, and the Butler Hospital Foundation and Philanthropy departments before joining the Memory and Aging Program in 2014.
Sherri started working at Butler Hospital in 2008 as a unit secretary on the inpatient unit. She joined the Memory and Aging Program in 2014. Sherri initiated and manages the Butler Employee Wellness Room, a relaxing break space for employees that encourages stress management and workplace wellness.
Sheri joined the Butler Hospital staff in January 2017 after over 15 years with the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior of Brown University, primarily supporting the former chairman of the department. She is looking forward to her transition to the Memory and Aging Program working in support of Dr. Salloway and his dedicated team, and is thrilled to be staying on the beautiful Butler campus.
Ann Marie graduated from Bryant College with an associate’s degree in medical secretary sciences. She has been working at Butler Hospital for 33 years, the last 21 supporting Dr. Kenneth Rickler. Following his recent retirement, she will now support Dr. Benjamin Margolis, as well as continuing to work in the Memory & Aging Program.
Rose joined the Memory and Aging team as an intern interested in Neuroscience, assisting the front office and providing administrative support for the Memory and Aging Clinic. Since then her role has expanded tremendously as she has worked in both the Regulatory department and Lab.
Diane graduated Rhode Island Hospital School for Laboratory Technicians and worked for Quest Diagnostics for 39 years (25 at Butler Hospital). A month after taking early retirement from Quest, Diane received a call from Dr. Salloway asking her to be a part of the Memory and Aging Program.
Sarah is a United States Air Force veteran who served 4 years as a Medic stationed at Andrews AFB. After getting out the service she has maintained her phlebotomy certification and been working as a phlebotomist for the past 8 years. As a part of the Memory and Aging Program team Sarah draws blood, performs EKGs, and assists nurses and research staff as needed.
Dr. Ghulam Surti graduated from Dow Medical School in Karachi, Pakistan and completed his psychiatry residency at the University of Illinois in Chicago. He is also a graduate of the Brown University Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship.
Dr. Petra Klinge is an internationally renowned general neurosurgeon specializing in the surgical treatment of patients with brain tumors, hydrocephalus and Alzheimer’s disease. She is also involved in the treatment of congenital diseases, such as Chiari and spinal malformations.
Dr. Alvaro Olivares graduated from the Universidad del Norte Faculty of Medicine in Barranquilla, Colombia and completed his residency at Butler Hospital. He is a board-certified psychiatrist who serves as the unit chief in psychiatry at Butler Hospital and hosts a weekly Spanish radio program, “Mental Health with Dr. Olivares.” Dr. Olivares conducts assessments in Spanish for the program’s A4 study.
Dr. Victoria Chang received her medical degree from West Virginia University School of Medicine and completed her residency in neurology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, as well as a fellowship in movement disorders at Columbia University. Dr. Chang is an investigator in charge of programming for the deep brain stimulation (DBS) clinical trial at the Memory & Aging Program.
Dr. Wael Asaad earned a PhD. in systems neuroscience from MIT, followed by an MD from Yale University. He completed a surgery internship and neurosurgical residency and fellowship in functional neurosurgery at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard University. Dr. Asaad has a special interest in functional neurosurgery and is in charge of surgical treatment for the deep brain stimulation (DBS) clinical trial at the Memory & Aging Program.
Dr. Umer Akbar received his medical degree from the Medical University of the Americas. He completed his residency in neurology at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, New Jersey and a fellowship in movement disorders at the University of Florida. He is an investigator involved in programming for the deep brain stimulation (DBS) clinical trial in the Memory & Aging Program.
Amy is a board-certified Physician Assistant. She received her BA in Biology and Art from Skidmore College and went on to work in the Laboratory for Rehabilitation Neuroscience at the University of Florida coordinating a longitudinal imaging study investigating patients with Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Systems Atrophy, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, and Essential Tremor.
Wendy received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Connecticut and her physician’s assistant degree from George Washington University. Wendy performs physical/neurological exams for several of the clinical trials in the Memory & Aging Program.