Geriatric Neurology Unit & Alzheimer's Disease

URMC Neurology Research

Scope of Research: Basic and Clinical Research on Neuronal and Perceptual Mechanisms of Cognitive Function; Experimental Therapeutics of Age-Related Neurodegenerative Disorders; Neuropsychological and Biomarker Studies in Normal Aging and Age-Related Neurodegenerative Disease

Our goals include pursuing: 1)  Basic science research on the neuronal mechanisms of cortical information processing and clinical research on perceptual and cognitive impairments in dementing illnesses, especially Alzheimer’s disease (AD).   2)  Neuropsychological and clinical experimental therapeutic research on normal aging, Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson disease, Huntington disease, Multiple System Atrophy and rarer dementing illnesses.

Our current activities focus on the following areas:
• Clinical diagnosis and sub-specialty care of dementia patients
• Patient oriented teaching in the medical school and post-graduate curriculum
• Psychophysical analysis of spatial disorientation in aging and AD
• Behavioral assessment of navigational disorders in aging and AD
• Single neuron neurophysiology of navigational mechanisms in behaving monkeys
• Human neurophysiological studies of visuospatial processing in aging and AD
• Single neuron neurophysiology of visual motion processing in behaving monkeys
• Functional imaging studies of white matter changes in aging and AD
• Perceptual studies of attentional disorders in aging and AD
• Perceptual studies of reading impairments in aging and AD
• Experimental therapeutics studies in a variety of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer Parkinson, Lewy Body, Huntington, Multiple System Atrophy, Batten, and others.
• Longitudinal neuropsychological and biomarker studies in normal aging, mild cognitive impairment and age-related dementias

References
Fernandez, R., Kavcic, V., and Duffy C. J. Neurophysiological Analyses of Low- and High- Level Visual Processing in Alzheimer’s Disease, Neurology. 68: 2066-2076 (2007). View PubMed Reference

Page, W. K. and Duffy C. J. Cortical Neuronal Responses to Optic Flow Are Shaped by Visual Strategies for Steering, Cerebral Cortex. 18 (4): 727-739 (2008). View PubMed Reference
Mapstone, M. Dickerson, K., and Duffy C. J. Distinct Mechanisms of Impairment in Cognitive Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease, Brain. 131 (6): 1618-1629 (2008). View PubMed Reference

Cushman, L., Stein, K., and Duffy, C. J. Detecting Navigational Deficits in Cognitive Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Using Virtual Reality, Neurology, 71: 888-895 (2008). View PubMed Reference

Kavcic, V., Ni, H., Zhu, T., Zhong, J., and Duffy, C. J. White Matter Integrity Linked to Functional Imapirments in Agign and Early Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, 4: 381-389 (2008). View PubMed Reference

Dubin, M. J. and Duffy C. J. Neuronal Encoding of the Distance Traversed by Covert Shifts of Spatial Attention. Neuroreport, 20: 49-55 (2009). NIHMS116748 View PubMed Reference

Kavcic, V, Duffy, CJ: Attentional dynamics and visual perception: mechanisms of spatial disorientation in Alzheimer’s disease. Brain, 126; 1173-1181, 2003. View PubMed Reference

Froehler, MT, Duffy, CJ: Cortical Neurons Encoding Path and Place: Where You Go Is
Where You Are. Science, V 295, 2462-2465, March 2002. View PubMed Reference