Gordon Neuroimaging Lab



Alzheimer Disease (AD) is an insidious process that occurs over decades. Neuroimaging provides a powerful tool to characterize the changes that occur during the preclinical phase of the disease and ultimately lead to the onset of dementia.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a specialized technique that measures the aggregation of amyloid and tau pathology, which are the hallmarks of AD. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can visualize the loss of connectivity in the brain as well as cell death. Combined, these two methodological approaches deeply phenotype the health of the brain. As part of the Charles F. and Joann Knight Alzheimer Disease Research Center, our lab group analyzes cross-sectional and longitudinal imaging data to better understand what imaging properties best predict altered cognition.

Funding is provided by R01AG073267 and K01AG053474.


Autosomal Dominant Alzheimer Disease (ADAD) is a unique early-onset form of AD caused by a mutation in the PSEN1, PSEN2, or APP genes. Individuals with these unique genes develop dementia at the same age as their parents, and as a result it is possible to accurately predict the estimated years to onset (EYO) when someone will develop dementia.

Our lab studies ADAD as part of the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN). The DIAN is an international study of over 22 sites spanning the Americas, Asia, Australia, and Europe. This collaboration collects neuroimaging, biofluid, clinical, cognitive, and genetic data on carriers of the ADAD mutations as well as un-affected familial controls. The lab primarily focuses on neuroimaging measures but works with our international collaborators to study all aspect of the disease.

We work closely with colleagues Tammie Benzinger, MD, PhD, and Beau Acnes, MD, PhD, to compare neuroimaging measures in ADAD to the common form of AD that occurs in older adults as well as Down Syndrome.

Funding is provided by U19AG032438.


Neurodegenerative diseases do not affect the brain ubiquitously but instead manifest in spatial patterns that mirror biological properties such as functional networks, glucose metabolism, myelination, and gene expression. A theme of research in the lab seeks to understand what properties constrain pathological expression in AD.

This work brings together PET and MRI measures of amyloid, tau, and atrophy from AD alongside measures of gene expression from the Allen Human Brain Atlas, measure of brain metabolism assessed using PET, measures of cortical myelination from MRI, as well as functional networks defined using resting state fMRI.List here

Our People

The lab, led by Brian Gordon, PhD, features a multidisciplinary team with a focus on integrating neuroimaging, lifestyle factors, genetics and network science to understand the biology of the brain.