Benzinger Research Group

About us

The Benzinger Research Group is a member of the Neuroimaging Laboratory (NIL) and the Knight Alzheimer's Disease Research Imaging (KARI) Program at Washington University School of Medicine. Led by Dr. Tammie Benzinger, our group is focused on developing position emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods to study of diseases of the central nervous system, including:

  • Alzheimer’s disease (AD)
  • Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
  • Autosomal Dominant Alzheimer’s disease (ADAD)
  • Brain tumors
  • Pediatric white-matter diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS) and acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis (ADEM)

Our research group serves as the imaging core for the Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (Knight ADRC) and leads the Knight ADRC Research Imaging (KARI) Program. We are also the imaging core for the international studies of ADAD, the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN) and the DIAN-Therapeutic Unit (DIAN-TU).We use PET and MRI imaging to investigate biomarkers, such as protein deposits and brain changes, which we believe will become significant tools in detecting and diagnosing diseases before symptoms even occur.

 (Video below) Using Pittsburgh compound B (PiB) based PET imaging, the following time lapse shows the accumulation of amyloid plaques in carriers of autosomal dominant (AD) mutations. This time lapse begins 25 years prior to, and ends 10 years after the expected onset of clinical Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.The images were taken at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology.