Dr. Namrata Singh left her Garland, TX family medical practice one year ago. Watching patients struggle with Alzheimer’s disease inspired her to change course and go into research with the aim of discovering new techniques to diagnosis the devastating disease much earlier.
Singh enrolled in a doctoral neuroscience program at UT Dallas, forged a relationship with Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman, Center for BrainHealth’s founder and chief director, and is using emerging technology from the lab of Dr. Robert Rennaker, BrainHealth’s Chief of Neuroengineering and executive director of the Texas Biomedical Device Center at UT Dallas. Her research will investigate eye function changes in individuals who are at the highest risk for Alzheimer’s disease, those diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). and explore the relationship between eye function and neurocognitive performance, comparing cognitively normal adults to those with MCI.
“In Alzheimer’s disease, the pathophysiological and neurodegenerative changes in the brain start early in life, before full-blown symptoms appear. The eye is a tantalizing window to analyze neural change. Previous Alzheimer’s research indicates that eye movements and changes in pupils could aid in detecting the disease at an early stage and track disease progression.”
Building on encouraging results from an MCI pilot study at Center for BrainHealth completed in 2015, Singh’s study will explore the benefits of cognitive training combined with non-invasive neurostimulation. The study will use EEG (electroencephalogram), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and MRS (magnetic resonance spectroscopy) to look for changes in brain blood flow, metabolism, and brain connectivity. Findings could lead to identifying biomarkers for memory impairment and a better understanding of the degree to which it is possible to stall or stave off further cognitive decline.
The Aging Mind Foundation Fund of the Dallas Foundation named Dr. Singh as the Aging Mind Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow at Center for BrainHealth. Created to further advancements in the field of cognitive neuroscience and aging, the Aging Mind Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship will fund Singh’s research initiative for three years.
“The Aging Mind Foundation’s mission is to address and support critical issues unique to the aging mind, including research, treatment, education, and advocacy,” said Lisa Shardon, President of the Aging Mind Foundation. “Dr. Singh and her research have the potential to change the way we approach one of the most feared diseases of our time. We are excited to support such an innovative and compassionate individual who is willing to put her medical career on hold in order to help find answers.”