Benzinger Lab

Projects

The Benzinger Lab has a number of ongoing projects that are recruiting at any given time. Below is an overview of what we are working on at the moment. To see our currently open clinical trials, visit ClinicalTrials.gov.

Knight Alzheimer Research Imaging (KARI) Program

Alzheimer Disease Research Center (ADRC)

The lab serves as the imaging core for the ADRC, the international studies of ADAD, the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN) and the DIAN-Therapeutic Unit.

ADRC Center Grant, NIH/NIA P50AG005681

Charles and Joanne Knight Alzheimer Disease Research Center Support Fund

The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital

  • David and Betty Farrell Medical Research Fund
  • Daniel J Brennan Alzheimer Research Fund
  • Fred Simmons and Olga Mohan Alzheimer Research Support Fund
  • Thomas E. Brew Foundation Fund
  • Willman Scholar Fund (BJHF)

Diffusion Imaging

Quantification of Neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s Disease Using Diffusion BasisSpectrum Imaging

Alzheimer disease (AD) is preceded by at least a decade of clinically silent brain changes (termed “preclinical AD”) that ultimately result in declines in memory and thinking. Inflammation in the brain may play an important role in the transition from normal cognition to dementia, but we lack easily accessible tools to identify neuroinflammation. The current application proposes to use a novel brain imaging test, diffusion basis spectrum imaging (DBSI), to examine inflammation during the stages of preclinical and clinical AD.

(BJHF)1R01AG054567-01A1

The Adult Children’s Study (ACS)

Antecedent Neuroimaging Biomarkers

The ACS is a longitudinal study of aging, beginning at age 45. Imaging includes MRI, amyloid PIB-PET, and tau T807 PET. Early structural and functional changes in the brains of individuals at risk for developing dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT) are not well understood. Typically a diagnosis of DAT is made using neuropsychological performance testing and clinical evaluation. Previous work by our group and others has identified a preclinical phase of DAT that is associated with a constellation of changes in biomarkers including decreased cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) Abeta42 (AP42) levels, increased fibrillar amyloid deposits in the brain as detected by PET.

  • IH/NIA P01AG026276
  • Fred Simmons and Olga Mohan (Should this be: Fred Simmons and Olga Mohan Alzheimer Research Support Fund)
  • Test-retest supported by ICTS-JIT = CTS ID#: JIT172M & MIR ID#: MIR11-022J
  • The McDonnell Center for Systems Neuroscience, 22 3922 26239N

Healthy Aging and Senile Dementia

Core E: Imaging

This is a longitudinal study of aging, beginning at age 65.  Imaging includes MRI, amyloid AV45-PET, and tau T807 (18F-AV-1451) PET.

  • Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, a wholly owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly (florbetapir and AV1451 imaging). For Florbetapir (AV45), Avid provided the doses and partial support for scanning through an investigator-initiated research grant awarded to Washington University (J.C. Morris, T.L.S. Benzinger).
  • Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation (PIB imaging)
  • Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (MRI in participants with dementia)
  • NIH/NIA P01AG003991

Tau PET Imaging

Tau PET imaging of Alzheimers Disease

The lab serves as the imaging core for the Knight Alzheimer Disease Research Center, the international studies of ADAD, the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN) and the DIAN-Therapeutic Unit.

  • ADRC Project 1, NIH/NIA P50AG05681
  • Avid Radiopharmaceuticals (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Company) provided technology transfer and precursor for AV-1451
  • DIAN scans also supported by R01AG05255003
  • Driving Performance in Preclinical AD, NIH R01AG043434
  • HASD Project 4, NIH/NIA P01AG003991
  • Hope Center for Neurological Disorders
  • Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS) at Washington University (posterior cortical atrophy cohort support)
  • ICTS NIH/NCATS UL1TR000448 and Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation (DIAN WU scans support)
  • LEFTS (FTD cohort support)
  • McDonnell Center for Systems Neuroscience (ALS cohort support)
  • NIH R01NR014449 (HIV cohort support)
  • Willman Scholar Fund (BJHF)

Beau Ances, MD, PhD (Co-Principal Investigator)

Brian Gordon, PhD

International Collaborations for Autosomal Dominant AD

Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN) Imaging Core Lab

An international study of families with autosomal dominant AD. Imaging includes MRI, amyloid PIB and AV45 PET, and tau T807 PET.

  • NIA/NINDA U01AG042791-02 Phase II
  • NIH/NIA UF1AG032438, NIH/NIA U19AG03243808 and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
  • NIH/NIA R01AG052550-01A1 for Tau PET in DIAN, and imaging-pathology correlation studies

Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network Trials Unit (DIAN-TU) Imaging Core Lab

An international study of families with autosomal dominant AD.  Imaging includes MRI, amyloid PIB and AV45 PET, and tau T807 (AV-1451) PET.

  • NIA/NINDA U01AG042791-02 Phase II
  • NIH/NIA R01AG046179 Phase III
  • DIAN Trials Pharma Consortium
  • Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, Lilly, Roche, MNIWillman Scholar Fund (BJHF)

Brain Tumor Imaging Studies

Neurosurgical Translational Interface Pipeline for Clinical Resting State Functional MRI

The goal of this project is to develop a clinical workflow for volumetric MRI and resting state functional MRI for preoperative planning and for evaluation of dementia.

Additional Sources of Funding

  • Willman Scholar, The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital (supports Austin McCullough and Brian Gordon’s work in AD Research)
  • Support for image acquisition – CCIR/ICTS Human Imaging Unit.  NIH/NCATS UL1TR000448
  • CCIR additionally supported for Vision PET/CT: “This work was supported by NIH grant S10OD025214 for the Vision PET/CT Scanner housed in the Center for Clinical Imaging Research (CCIR), Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University in St. Louis.” 
  • Support for imaging informatics – XNAT “This study was supported in part by the Neuroimaging Informatics and Analysis Center (1P30NS098577) and R01 EB009352.”

Additional Conflicts of Interest

Tammie Benzinger, MD, PhD, has investigator initiated research funding from the NIH, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Foundation at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Avid Radiopharmaceuticals (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Company). She participates as a site investigator in clinical trials sponsored by Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly and Company, Biogen, Eisai, Jaansen, and Roche. She serves as an unpaid consultant to Eisai and Siemens, and is on the Speaker’s Bureau for Biogen.

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