Brenda Plassman, Ph.D.
Home Team Center Directory
Phone - 919-668-1586

Bryan Alzheimer's Disease Research Center
2200 West Main Street
Suite A-200
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC 27705

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Professor
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Division of Medical Psychology

Research Description

The major focus of my research has been on the epidemiology of dementia and cognitive decline in late life in diverse population-based samples. I have worked on several epidemiological studies including the Duke Twins Study of Memory in Aging; the Veterans Study of Memory in Aging; the Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study (ADAMS) which is a sub-study of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS); and the Cache County, UT Memory Study. The work on these projects and others has spanned a number of scientific issues including: a) refinement of clinical assessment and diagnostic methods for early detection of dementia and cognitive decline in community-based samples, b) assessing the progression of cognitive, functional, and neurobehavioral decline throughout the course of progressive cognitive decline, c) estimating the national prevalence and incidence of dementia and mild cognitive impairment, and d) investigating associations between potential risk or protective factors and dementia. More recently my research interests have expanded to include studies investigating the association between declining cognition and declining oral health.  
I am also working with the research team at the Joseph and Kathleen Bryan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (Bryan ADRC) to develop an Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention Registry (ADPR) to have a “research–ready” registry of cognitively normal older adult community volunteers who are willing to participate in Alzheimer’s disease prevention studies. This work will lead to a range of approaches to prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.

Education

PhD, Biopsychology, University of Arizona, 1986

MA, Biopsychology, University of Arizona, 1985

BA, Psychology, Wittenberg University, 1979

Recent Publications


Plassman, B.L., Havlik, R.J, Steffens, D.C., Helms, M.J., Newman, T.N., Drosdick, D. Phillips, C., Gau, B.A. Welsh-Bohmer, K.A., Burke, J.R., Guralnik, J.M., Breitner, J.C.S. (2000). Documented head injury in early adulthood and risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Neurology, 55:1158-1166. PMID: 11071494

Plassman, B.L., Langa, K.M., Fisher, G.G., Heeringa, S.G., Weir, D.R., Ofstedal, M.B., Burke, J.R., Hurd, M.D., Potter, G.G., Rodgers, W.L., Steffens, D.C., Willis, R.J., Wallace, R.B. (2007). Prevalence of dementia in the United States:The Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study. Neuroepidemiology 29:125-132. PMCID: PMC2705925

Plassman, B.L., Langa, K.M., Fisher, G.G., Heeringa, S.G., Weir, D.R., Ofstedal, M.B., Burke, J.R., Hurd, M.D., Potter, G.G., Rodgers, W.L., Steffens, D.C., McArdle, J.J., Willis, R.J., Wallace, R.B. (2008) Prevalence of cognitive impairment without dementia in the United States. Ann Int Medicine. 148:427-434. PMCID: PMC2670458

Plassman, B.L., Williams, J.W. Jr, Burke, J.R., Holsinger, T., Benjamin, S. (2010) Systematic Review: Factors Associated with Risk and Possible Prevention of Cognitive Decline in Later Life. Ann Int Medicine. 153:182-193. PMID: 20547887

Plassman, B.L., Langa, K.M., McCammon, R.J., Fisher, G. G. Potter, G.G. Burke, J.R.,   Steffens, D.C., Foster, N.L., Giordani, B., Unverzagt, F.W., Welsh-Bohmer, K.A.,  Heeringa, S.G., Weir, D.R., Wallace, R.B. (2011). Incidence of dementia and cognitive impairment not dementia in the United States. Ann Neurology. 70:418-426. PMCID:PMC3139807See other list.