Agnès Lacreuse’s research addresses the biological factors that contribute to differential aging trajectories in males and females. Because human cognition is strongly influenced by sociocultural and environmental factors, sex differences in cognitive and brain aging may be best studied in an appropriate primate model. As a Family Research Scholar, she will develop a grant proposal for a project entitled, “Sex Differences in Cognitive and Brain Aging.” She will use the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) as a model for these studies; the marmoset is a small primate whose lifespan of about 8 years provides a unique opportunity to assess longitudinal changes in brain and cognition throughout old age. The studies will assess cognitive, neural, and physiological changes in male and female monkeys as they age from middle?age to old age. Assessments of dendritic spine loss, ? amyloid deposition and neurosteroid levels in cognitively impaired and unimpaired aged monkeys will also be provided. Lacreuse will use her data to provide invaluable information on the development of sex differences in cognitive and brain aging and identify possible targets for the development of sex?specific interventions to alleviate age?related cognitive impairment in men and women.
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