Francesca Lopez, MS has received funding for an NIH F31 Kirschstein Individual Research Fellowship Diversity award for a project entitled “Cognitive Correlates of Mitochondrial Function in Older Adults.”
Funded by the National Institute on Aging, her study will examine phosphorous (31P) magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) markers of brain energy metabolism in regions of interest (i.e., frontal, temporal) and its relationship with domain-specific cognition (i.e., executive, memory) in older adults at-risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Francesca’s study will operate within the infrastructure and leverage baseline neuroimaging and cognitive data from an ongoing NIA-funded randomized clinical trial (REVITALIZE) at the University of Florida (MPI: Dawn Bowers, Adam Woods) and University of Arizona (MPI: Gene Alexander). The completion of these aims will enhance understanding of the applicability of 31P MRS in cognitive aging and the relationship between 31P MRS markers and executive and memory functions, two cognitive domains reliant upon intact functioning within frontal and temporal regions. Broadly, these findings have the potential to inform future investigations of mitochondrial mechanisms underlying age-related cognitive decline.