Oscar L Lopez MD
  • Oscar L. Lopez, MD

    Dr. Oscar Lopez continues to be actively involved in research. He is the Director of the University of Pittsburgh Alzheimer?s Disease Research Center, the principal investigator of 3 NIH-funded grants, and he is co-investigator in other 6 NIH-funded projects, and consultant in another 3. Dr. Lopez is conducting a large-scale study in the clinical diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which is considered an intermediate state between normalcy and dementia. His findings are relevant to an understanding of the symptom profile and nosology of MCI. Dr. Lopez is currently conducting studies, as principal investigator and co-investigator, of the factors that modulate the transition from normal to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and to dementia in relationship to cerebral amyloid deposition. These studies examine how cardiovascular and cerebrovascular factors create a vulnerability state for Alzheimer?s disease (AD) and neurodegeneration, and how they affect physiologically relevant compensatory mechanisms in the brain using MRI, FDG-PET, and Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB) technologies.

Oscar L. Lopez, MD

Dr. Oscar Lopez continues to be actively involved in research. He is the Director of the University of Pittsburgh Alzheimer?s Disease Research Center, the principal investigator of 3 NIH-funded grants, and he is co-investigator in other 6 NIH-funded projects, and consultant in another 3. Dr. Lopez is conducting a large-scale study in the clinical diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which is considered an intermediate state between normalcy and dementia. His findings are relevant to an understanding of the symptom profile and nosology of MCI. Dr. Lopez is currently conducting studies, as principal investigator and co-investigator, of the factors that modulate the transition from normal to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and to dementia in relationship to cerebral amyloid deposition. These studies examine how cardiovascular and cerebrovascular factors create a vulnerability state for Alzheimer?s disease (AD) and neurodegeneration, and how they affect physiologically relevant compensatory mechanisms in the brain using MRI, FDG-PET, and Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB) technologies.

Profile:

Dr. Oscar Lopez continues to be actively involved in research. He is the Director of the University of Pittsburgh Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, the principal investigator of 3 NIH-funded grants, and he is co-investigator in other 6 NIH-funded projects, and consultant in another 3. Dr. Lopez is conducting a large-scale study in the clinical diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which is considered an intermediate state between normalcy and dementia. His findings are relevant to an understanding of the symptom profile and nosology of MCI.

Dr. Lopez is currently conducting studies, as principal investigator and co-investigator, of the factors that modulate the transition from normal to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and to dementia in relationship to cerebral amyloid deposition. These studies examine how cardiovascular and cerebrovascular factors create a vulnerability state for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and neurodegeneration, and how they affect physiologically relevant compensatory mechanisms in the brain using MRI, FDG-PET, and Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB) technologies.

Dr Lopez’s group has recently examined the factors that affected brain structure in cognitively normal elderly individuals in the Cardiovascular Health Study Cognition Study (CHS-CS) (P.I.: Dr Lopez). Because age is the most important risk factor for AD, Dr Lopez’s group examined the brains of cognitively normal using MRI technology. This study showed that with older age, there were lower cerebral grey matter volumes in sensorimotor and heteromodal association areas in frontal, temporal, occipital, and parietal lobes, as well as in the cerebellum.

In collaboration with the University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA), Dr Lopez’s group examined the association between brain volume and obesity in cognitively normal individuals enrolled in the CHS-CS.  A multivariate model revealed that body mass index (BMI) negatively correlated with brain atrophy, especially in the frontal lobes, anterior cingulate gyrus, and hippocampus. These results indicated that cardiovascular risk factors, such as obesity, are associated with detectable brain volume deficits in elderly persons with normal cognitive function. This paper received wide coverage from multiple local, national and international media agencies (e.g., Pittsburgh Post Gazette, New York Times, NPR).

In collaboration with University of California - San Francisco (UCSF), Dr Lopez’s group developed a late-life Dementia Risk Index that can stratify older adults into those with low, moderate, and high risk of developing dementia within 6 years. The Dementia Risk Index accurately stratified older adults into those with low, moderate, and high risk of developing dementia, and it could be used in clinical research settings to target prevention and intervention strategies. This study was considered among the most important scientific publications in the year 2009 by Time Magazine (The Year in Health 2009).