Columbia University in the City of New York

Dec 5, 202310:30 am

Columbia Neuroscience Seminar - Heidi Jacobs

Evaluating the locus coeruleus as early marker of Alzheimer's disease

December 5th, 10:30 am – 11:30 am at Neurological Institute Alumni Auditorium

This event will be in-person only for Columbia University Affiliates and will not offer a Zoom option


Heidi Jacobs, PhD

Associate Professor of Radiology, Department of Radiology

Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School


Evaluating the locus coeruleus as early marker of Alzheimer's disease


Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by a long asymptomatic stage during which the two pathologic hallmarks, beta-amyloid and tau depositions, accumulate, leading to neurodegeneration and the manifestation of clinical symptoms. Being able to effectively delay disease progression will require early intervention, before irreversible damage has occurred. The critical barrier that needs to be resolved to obtain more success in preventive interventions is to find a biomarker that does not measure end-stage pathology, but precedes Aβ and early tau pathology and can predict who is expected to show an increase in Alzheimer’s disease pathology and a decrease in cognition over the following years. Autopsy data reported deposition of hyperphosphorylated tau pathology in the locus coeruleus early in adulthood and before cortical involvement. This indicates that the locus coeruleus may be a promising marker of risk of Alzheimer’s disease. During this talk, I will provide evidence from structural and functional in vivo imaging of the locus coeruleus supporting locus coeruleus imaging as potential marker and discuss the remaining knowledge gaps.


Relevant Publications:

In vivo and neuropathology data support locus coeruleus integrity as indicator of Alzheimer's disease pathology and cognitive decline

Association of novelty-related locus coeruleus function with entorhinal tau deposition and memory decline in preclinical Alzheimer Disease

Host(s): Yunglin Gazes (Faculty) and Hengda He (Graduate Student)

Please contact [email protected] with any questions.

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