9th International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders,
July 17-22, 2004, Philadelphia

.. with a bias for my interests, of course


Voyko Kavcic

is a neuropsychologist from Rochester, NY. He has previously published data indicating that fairly low-level visual deficits contribute to the visuospatial impairment in Alzheimer's disease (AD).

What he really wanted was to use MR diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to test a hypothesis of absence of proper connectivity between mnemonic and perceptual areas in AD. However, since he is new to DTI, he started with the easier task of imaging the corpus callosum. Here is what he found and was given the "New Investigator Award" for:




Mark Bondi

is a neuropsychologist working in San Diego. Most of his work is on memory disorders and Alzheimer's disease, and he contributed the chapter on "The neuropsychology of dementia" to Grant & Adams 2nd ed. of "Neuropsychological assessment of neuropsychiatric disorders", 1996.

Here in Philadelphia he presented data from normal older adults. In an fMRI study, subjects with an APOE e4 allele showed smaller BOLD response in multiple regions during verbal learning than those subjects without an APOE e4 allele.


Jennifer Whitwell

is a member of Martin Rossor and Nick Fox's Dementia Research Group at Queen Square in London. It was here that the longitudinal volumetric analyses of atrophy in dementia were pioneered.

Here she uses this technique to compare the patterns of atrophy of Alzheimer patients in two groups: those with familial disease (confirmed genetically) and sporadic cases. Some recent results have indicated differences in mesial temporal lobe (more atrophy in sporadic cases) and precuneus (more in familial cases). Jennifer's results rather indicate an essential similarity.


Welcome reception

 Independence Hall flanked by two delegates at the reception

Welcome reception at the National Constitution Center


  Francine Grodstein from Harvard and Monique Breteler from the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam. During  the reception, they were the only ones brave enough to enjoy the large outdoor terrace facing the historical distirct and Independence Hall.


Benjamin Franklin and Helmut Jacobsen


Among the founding fathers, Franklin was the scientist and the Philadelphian
Reviews of this excellent book

Jacobsen is with Hoffmann-la Roche in Basel

More posters...

Stuart Zola

To be honest, Stuart is included because he is a great guy, more than because of his poster.

30 years ago, when I arrived poor and homeless in Boston, Stuart took me in for the first week until I found something of my own.

Stuart has an outstanding record in animal and  human neuropsychology of memory, and he is now director of the Yerkes Primate Research Center in Atlanta.



Matt Kraybill

is a ph.d.-student in neuropsychology in Seattle. In this poster he presents comparisons of 167 autopsied dementia patients from a community-based sample divided into three groups: AD, Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB), and AD+DLB. Interesting and clinically useful results were obtained.



Charlotte Ryberg

is a ph.d.-student in the Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance at Hvidovre. She is involved in the EU-funded LADIS collaborative study on white matter disease.

In this study, done in collaboration with the Copenhagen Memory Disorders Research Unit, she demonstrates in a mixed group of elderly subjects correlations between corpus callosum size, cognition, and white matter lesion load. However, most of the correlations were also related to age.




Katya Rascovsky

is a ph.d.-student from San Diego working with David Salmon and Leon Thal.

Last year, at the INS Summer Meeting in Berlin, she presented data showing differential deficits in phonemic and semantic fluency in autopsy-confirmed AD and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). For this work she was given the Phillip M. Rennick Award ("best graduate student paper").

Here she contributes an interesting twist to the familiar story of more cognitive impairment in AD than in FTD, and more behavioral impairment in FTD than in AD. Her two groups, all autopsy-confirmed, were not different in functional activity impairment. In AD, however, cognitive impairment determined this functional impairment, whereas in FTD behavioral dysfunction was more strongly associated with the functional impairments.


(Specielt for danskere og islændinge: I 2000 var det Smari Palsson, som fik Phillip M. Rennick prisen)

Nenad Bogdanovic

is a croatian neuropathologist who has worked in Sweden for the past ten years, now at the Karolinska.

His studies include work on FTD, and here he presents neuropathologic and immunohistochemical findings in three cases of semantic dementia. Is semantic dementia a distinct entity characterzed as ubiquitinopathy, as he will have us believe?




Lena Skoglund is a ph.d.-student in Lars Lannfelt's group in Uppsala, Sweden. In this study a large FTD-family was investigated for linkage to the three known chromosomal regions. No linkage could be established. Abstract Luisa Benussi is  molecular geneticist working in Brescia, Italy. Here she presented linkage analyses of four large pedigrees with FTD.  I was particularly interested in whether she included the pericentromeric region of chromosome 3. She did, and it was negative.



Oscar Lopez

from Pittsburg, PA, has published widely on epidemiological and diagnostic aspects of dementia, collaborating with Constantine Lyketsos, James Becker, Steven DeKosky, William Jagust, and other good people.

Here in Philadelphia Oscar Lopez showed that different sets of vascular dementia criteria identified different patients. This, of course, is not good. It is also hardly a novel finding, but it is good to have it demonstrated so clearly.




Danes in Philadelphia




Gunhild Waldemar,
 leader of the Copenhagen Memory Disorders Research Unit

1.   Peter Johannsen     2.   Asmus Vogel    3.   Charlotte Ryberg   4.   Birgitte Andersen    5.   Gunhild Waldemar    6.   Peter Høgh   7.   Susanne Rishøj   8.   Justyna Czarna 
9.   Steen Hasselbalch   

Members of the  Memory Disorders Research Unit at Copenhagen University Hospital (Rigshospitalet). Click on names to see abstracts



Anders Gade



Asmus Vogel's poster


After conference amusements: Appalachian Trail, Blue Ridge Mountains

Butterfly on the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail is a marked footpath running from Maine to Georgia, and one of my old dreams has been to hike it. Now it may be too late, but I did walk small sections in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains and in West Virginia.

Harper's Ferry

"On your right comes up the Shenandoah, having ranged along the foot of the mountain a hundred miles to seek a vent. On your left approaches the Patowmac [Potomac], in quest of a passage also. In the moment of their junction they rush together against the mountain, rend it asunder, and pass off to the sea ... This scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic."

        Thomas Jefferson, 1783

Your photographer at Jefferson Rock, Harper's Ferry: