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.
On April 7, 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized their decision to limit coverage for monoclonal antibodies, such as Aduhelm (aducanumab), to only those who are enrolled in a randomized controlled trial. Click here to learn more about the decision to suspend the administration of Aduhelm at Butler Hospital.
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Get the latest news about developments in the fight against Alzheimer’s and other memory disorders, find resources for patients and caregivers, and meet local Rhode Island Alzheimer’s heroes and pioneers. Click Here to read more.
The research advancements made at Butler Hospital towards a future without Alzheimer's disease would not be possible without our courageous study participants, and dedicated, compassionate volunteers, donors and friends.
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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, Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Director, Memory and Aging Program
Dr. Huey is a geriatric psychiatrist, board certified in Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Neurology. He attended medical school and completed his residency in adult psychiatry at Stanford University Medical Center. He completed fellowships at the NIH intramural program in Geriatric Psychiatry (at NIMH) and Behavioral Neurology (at NINDS). He was a faculty member at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology from 2010 to 2023 and received tenure in 2020. His main clinical and research interest is Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. He was the Director of the Columbia Frontotemporal Dementia Center and the Medical Director of the Columbia Huntington’s Disease Center of Excellence.
Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry,
Alpert Medical School of Brown University,
Founding 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 is a Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine of Brown University, the Founding Director of the Butler Hospital Memory and Aging Program and Associate Director of the Brown Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research. He has authored over 400 journal articles, book chapters, and abstracts and edited three books on prevention and early detection of Alzheimer’s disease
Associate Director, Memory and Aging Program
Dr. Riddle is a geriatric psychiatrist who joined the Memory and Aging Program in 2021. She completed her residency and geriatric psychiatry fellowship training at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Riddle received her medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center and completed the Executive Healthcare Leadership Program at the University of Kentucky. She serves as the Associate Director of the Memory and Aging Program and continues to see patients clinically with a focus on late-life mood disorders and neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia.
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.
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.
Research neuropsychologist in the Memory and Aging ProgramAssistant Professor (Research) of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Dr. De Vito is a research neuropsychologist at the Memory and Aging Program studying how digital tools can improve early detection of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. She completed her doctoral degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in neuropsychology at Louisiana State University.
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.
Sam has a Master of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Rhode Island and started with the Memory and Aging Program in 2017. He’s held various roles assisting with and coordinating different research studies. Most recently he served as the Project Manager for the U.S. POINTER study and is now working as the Assistant Manager of the MAP. Outside of work Sam likes traveling, eating, kayaking, hiking, and having fun.
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.
Lyndsay DeMatteo is a board-certified adult/gero nurse practitioner. She received her BS in Neuroscience from Union College, her MS in Gerontology from the University of Southern California: Davis School of Gerontology, and her registered nurse certificate/MS in Nursing from Yale School of Nursing. Prior to joining the Memory & Aging Program, she completed an APRN Fellowship at Yale Medicine specializing in geriatric healthcare.
Andrea is a board-certified adult gerontology nurse practitioner. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from UMass Amherst and her Master of Science in Nursing degree from Boston College. She worked as a registered nurse at a skilled nursing facility and assisted living memory care unit while pursuing her graduate degree. Prior to joining the Memory and Aging Program, she worked as a nurse practitioner in internal medicine.
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.
Dr. Bodge is a developmental neuroscientist and research project manager with the Memory and Aging Program. She coordinates multiple studies on Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s Disease (DIAD), a rare form of Alzheimer’s that causes impairment typically between 30 and 50 years old and is passed via a mutated gene within families. The DIAD families are a dedicated group of participants and Courtney feels especially privileged to be fighting Alzheimer’s with them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Priscilla received her BA in Psychology with a minor in Biology and Neuroscience at Salve Regina University in 2013. She completed her MS in Interdisciplinary Neuroscience at the University of Rhode Island where she studied the effects of traumatic brain injury on motor control. Priscilla currently assists with the coordination of clinical trials and observational studies investigating longitudinal changes in individuals at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Molly graduated from Northeastern with a BS in sociology in 2013. At MAP, Molly is excited to be working as a Senior Research Assistant on research focused on digital screening tools in the primary care setting, as well as a clinical trial repurposing an HIV medication.
Hannah Joyce is a recent honors graduate from Brown University with an ScB in Cognitive Neuroscience. Hannah works as a research assistant on industry sponsored clinical research studies aimed at better understanding Alzheimer’s Disease with the ultimate goal of finding a preventative treatment.
Megan graduated from Tulane University in 2021 with a BS in Neuroscience and a BA in Studio Art with a concentration in glassblowing. While in college, she interned with a clinical neuropsychologist administering cognitive assessments to patients with dementia in New Orleans, which sparked her interest in memory and aging.
Sarah graduated from Providence College in 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minor in Neuroscience and Sociology. She currently assists with studies at the Memory and Aging Program focusing on pharmaceutical and lifestyle interventions.
Kelsey graduated with a BS in Medical Imaging from Rhode Island College and holds an AS in Occupational Therapy from Bristol Community College. Prior to joining the Memory and Aging Program, Kelsey worked with the geriatric population in various memory care settings and has received a Certified Dementia Practitioner certification. Kelsey currently assists with pharmaceutical and lifestyle intervention studies at MAP.
Dr. Burton is a neuroimaging researcher who studies brain structure and function in clinical groups. She completed her PhD in Neuroscience in 2019, then worked as a researcher at the NIH until joining the Memory & Aging Program in 2023. Here, she analyzes neuroimaging data for various studies within the program.
Sarah graduated with an MS in Neuroscience from the University of Hartford in 2022. Before joining the Memory and Aging Program, Sarah conducted behavioral intervention research studies at Boston University. She is now a cognitive rater at MAP assisting with pharmaceutical, observational, and lifestyle intervention studies.
Caitlin is a graduate of Rhode Island College with a degree in Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience. During her undergraduate studies, she also volunteered at the Memory and Aging Program with the Outreach team. She currently works as a Research Assistant on studies focused on lifestyle interventions.
Masood is a Senior Research Associate with the Memory and Aging Program. He graduated with a BA in Biochemistry from Columbia University in 2009. He worked at Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain for 11 years, coordinating several clinical trials and observational research studies of sporadic and familial frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD).
Claudine graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a BA in Psychology. She is a Senior Research Assistant for Dr. Huey’s lab and assists with the coordination of two observational studies that investigate psychiatric symptoms and emotional processes in individuals with neurodegenerative disease. Prior to joining Dr. Huey's team, she worked as a medical assistant at a retinal ophthalmology clinic and contributed to sleep and developmental research studies with teens and young children.
Juan Pablo is a Senior Research Assistant who works closely with Dr. Edward Huey. His primary focus lies in the intersection of neurodegeneration and psychiatric symptoms, specifically with the Neurodegeneration-Associated Psychiatric Symptoms (NAPS) and the Positive and Negative Valance Emotional Systems in Neurodegenerative Disease (PAVES) research studies. He obtained his degree from St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas.
Prior to joining MAP in 2022, Colin was a laboratory manager at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the department of Cerebrovascular Neurology where he oversaw studies investigating cognitive and behavioral outcomes and recovery from stroke in acute care in-patient settings. He then worked with Dr. Edward Huey at Columbia University where he operated clinical trials and observational studies treating and exploring neuropsychiatric symptoms of neurodegenerative disease, with a special focus on Frontal Temporal Dementia.
Shelby graduated from Providence College in 2023 with BAs in Biology and Psychology and a Certificate of Neuroscience. Shelby currently works in the MAP as a Research Assistant, administering clinical trials.
Dr. Stradtman works as a Senior Research Assistant in the Memory and Aging Program. She earned a Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from The Pennsylvania State University in 2023, where her research efforts were focused on maintaining and improving vocal function and quality of life in older adulthood. Dr. Stradtman is also a certified, licensed speech-language pathologist and has worked clinically with older adults primarily in long-term care settings.
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 manages referrals for Alzheimer’s Prevention clinical trials, conducts brain health and Alzheimer’s Prevention information sessions in the community and coordinates cheek swab research for Alzheimer’s disease genotyping.
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. Prior to working at MAP, she worked with professionals specializing in training and educating clinicians on substance use and mental health disorders. Lorrance has over 8 years of experience in membership management, event planning, and marketing.
Gregory is a Diversity Outreach Coordinator for the Memory and Aging Program. He received his bachelor’s degree from The University of Rhode Island in Communication Studies and has acquired a Diversity and Inclusion certificate from both Cornell and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. Gregory has over 10 years of experience in Business Development and also volunteers as a social-behavioral-scientist, small group faculty, at the Warren Alpert Medical School, co-facilitating courses in its Doctoring curriculum.
Paula spent 6 years working for Maternal Fetal Medicine Research at Women and Infant’s Hospital as a Research Assistant and then a Project Coordinator. She started working at MAP’s regulatory department in 2023.
Dawne has 35+ years of non- profit financial management experience which includes working as a Grant Analyst for the Charlotte-Meckelenburg School Department in North Carolina and a Regional Finance Director for the YMCA of Greater Charlotte where she worked until relocating to Rhode Island in 2020. She received her BS in Accounting from Johnson & Wales University, and an MBA from Strayer University and MPHIL in Management from Walden University. She received my PhD in 2021 from Walden University with a concentration in Leadership and Organizational Change.
Maryanne is an Administrative Coordinator/Finance Research for the Memory & Aging Program. She previously worked for a Psychiatric practice from 1995-2020 and transitioned to the office manager until the practice closed in 2020. She handles all the post award functions for the Memory & Aging Program.
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.
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.
Elizabeth joined Butler Hospital in 2022. Previously, Elizabeth worked for over 11 years as an office manager at Southern New England Anesthesia and Pain Associates in Pawtucket RI. She is looking forward to her role as Administrative Coordinator at the Memory and Aging program and to be working with such an amazing dedicated team.
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.
Stephanie graduated from Medical Assistant school in 2004 and has been in the medical field for 19 years. She received her phlebotomist certification in 2015. As part of the Memory and Aging Program team Stephanie draws blood, performs EKGs, and assists nurses and research staff as needed.
Ghulam Mustafa Surti, MD 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.