Current Studies

We investigate risk and resilience factors associated with cognitive decline and dementia among older adults in several large-scale ongoing epidemiological studies.

A brief description of current epidemiological studies under investigation can be found below.

Population-Based Research for Alzheimer's Innovation (Pop-BRAIN)

UCSF Pop-BRAIN is a multidisciplinary platform aimed at accelerating Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) population-based research and training the next generation of leaders in the field. The program emphasizes the life-course approach, diverse populations, and the inter-relationship of the exposome, social determinants of health, and biological pathways of ADRD.

P.I.: Kristine Yaffe, MD 

The Systematic Multi-Domain Alzheimer's Risk Reduction Trial (SMARRT)

The SMARRT study is the first U.S. randomized pilot trial to test a personalized, pragmatic, multi-domain Alzheimer's disease risk reduction intervention. This study will help determine whether Alzheimer's risk reduction can slow cognitive decline in higher-risk patients. 

P.I.(s): Kristine Yaffe, MD | Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH

Long-Term Impact of Military-Relevant Brain Injury Consortium (LIMBIC): Epidemiology Study

LIMBIC is a multi-center collaboration linking researchers from the DoD, VA, academic universities, and private research institutes to fill the gaps in knowledge about the basic science, risk, outcomes, and effective treatments for mild TBI. The LIMBIC Epidemiological study will build upon our nearly 2 million veteran data repository and examine neurodegenerative outcomes of mild TBI in Veterans over time.

P.I.(s): Kristine Yaffe, MD | David Cifu, MD

Genetics, Comorbidities, and Ethnicity: Effects of TBI on Dementia

The goal of this research collaboration is to explore two established epidemiological datasets to determine the contribution of sociodemographic factors such as race, ethnicity, education, and socioeconomic status to the association between TBI and dementia among veterans with head injuries.

P.I.(s): Kristine Yaffe, MD | Brenda Lee Plassman, PhD

Lifecourse CVD Risk and Midlife Cognitive Trajectories and Brain Aging (CARDIA-COG)

The CARDIA-COG study aims to collect cognitive data from the ongoing multisite Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study of 5115 Black and white adults in order to determine cardiovascular risk factors for cognitive aging in the mid to late-life transition and to investigate how these are related to structural brain changes.

P.I.(s):  Kristine Yaffe, MD | Stephen Sidney, MD, MPH

Neuroimaging Endophenotypes & Predictors Post-TBI Dementia in A Nationwide Cohort of Veterans

This project aims to create the largest military-relevant TBI MRI dataset that has ever been created to leverage neuroimaging and biomarker discovery via artificial intelligence approaches. The goal is to develop a method for predicting the risk of post-TBI dementia and discover neuroimaging biomarkers that can be used to characterize dementia subtypes among TBI-exposed individuals. 

More information on this project can be found here.

P.I.(s): Kristine Yaffe, MD | Duygu Tosun-Turgut, PhD | Raquel Gardner, MD

Sleep Quality and Mechanistic Links to Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders among older Mexican Americans and Non-Hispanic Whites (HABLE-DORMIR)

This project leverages the ongoing Health & Aging Brain among Latino Elders (HABLE) study to determine the association between sleep quality and cognitive impairment including ADRD among community-dwelling Mexican Americans and Non-Hispanic Whites, and to elucidate targeted pathways linking these conditions.

More information on HABLE-DORMIR can be found here.

P.I.(s): Kristine Yaffe, MD | Sid O'Bryant, PhD

Health Disparities in Alzheimer’s Disease Among Mexican Americans (HABS-HD)

The long-term goal of this research is to address two important health disparities faced by Mexican Americans suffering from ADRD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI): (1) younger age of onset and (2) decreased access to early detection and treatment. We will identify different pathways and blood-based biomarkers for MCI and AD among Mexican Americans

More information on the HABS-HD study can be found here.

P.I.(s): Kristine Yaffe, MD | Sid O'Bryant, PhD | Arthur W. Toga, PhD

Healthy Heart, Healthy Brain: A Pooled Life-course Cohort for Dementia Risk Assessment (HARMONY)

HARMONY is a  pooled cohort project from four prospective studies (the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults [CARDIA], Multi Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis [MESA], Cardiovascular Health Study [CHS], and Health, Aging and Body Composition Study [Health ABC]) which will enable us to estimate life-course exposures to cardiovascular risk factors; determine the type and timing of exposures that influence cognitive decline and risk of dementia; and identify how modifications of these exposures may reduce the burden of cognitive decline and Alzheimer disease. 

More information on the HARMONY project can be found here.

P.I.(s): Kristine Yaffe, MD | Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri

Blood mitochondrial DNA biomarkers of midlife cognitive decline and adverse brain imaging changes - A longitudinal investigation in the CARDIA population-based cohort study

The goal of this project is to investigate mitochondrial DNA mutations as a blood biomarker of greater cognitive decline and accelerated brain aging during midlife and of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) diagnosis in late life.

More information on this project can be found here.

P.I.(s): Kristine Yaffe, MD | Andrea Baccarelli, MD, PhD | Lifang Hou, MD, MS, PhD

Along with Dr. Yaffe's numerous research projects, she is also P.I. of several mentoring and leadership grants. Additional information can be found on the Advisory Roles page