Row Fogo Centre for Research into Ageing and the Brain
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Project title: "Exploring the structural brain imaging correlates underpinning cognitive changes leading to dementia"

Collaborating institution: University of Strathclyde, Department of Psychology (Glasgow, Scotland, UK)

About the project

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, and is known to affect about 50 million people around the world. Alzheimer’s has proven difficult to predict. One of the first signs of the disease is the appearance of mild cognitive impairment, where individuals start to struggle with memory, reasoning, and staying focussed. One of the first cognitive functions affected before any other symptom appear is the short term memory binding, which is the ability to keep information for a short time by establishing links or associations with known facts. This project aims to explore the brain regions and neuroimaging signatures involved in this cognitive function to map the trajectory of cognitive decline leading, mainly, to Alzheimer’s dementia. We also look into other neurodegenerative diseases to establish a possible common pattern for age-related neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive decline.


Project collaborators

Dr Mario A Parra Rodriguez

Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Dr Maria Valdes-Hernandez

Row Fogo Lecturer in Medical Image Analysis

Affiliated insitution:

Department of Psychology, University of Strathclyde (UK)


Affiliated departments at The University of Edinburgh:

  • Row Fogo Centre for Research into Ageing and the Brain
  • Edinburgh Imaging
  • Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences


Dr Mario A Parra Rodriguez research profile (external link)


Dr Maria Valdes-Hernandez research profile


Awarded grants

This project was initially funded by the Alzheimer’s Society (AS-SF-14-008), which is ongoing in form of academic projects due to synergies in research interests.



Valdés Hernández MC, Clark R, Wang SH, Guazzo F, Calia C, Pattan V, Starr J, Della Sala S, Parra MA. The striatum, the hippocampus, and short-term memory binding: Volumetric analysis of the subcortical grey matter's role in mild cognitive impairment. Neuroimage Clin. 2020;25:102158. Epub 2019 Dec 29. PMID: 31918064; PMCID: PMC7036699.

Publication link


Valdés Hernández MDC, Abu-Hussain J, Qiu X, Priller J, Parra Rodríguez M, Pino M, Báez S, Ibáñez A. Structural neuroimaging differentiates vulnerability from disease manifestation in Colombian families with Huntington's disease. Brain Behav. 2019 Aug;9(8):e01343. Jul 5. PMID: 31276317; PMCID: PMC6710228.

Publication link

Dr Maria Valdes-Hernandez


Key contact

Please, get in touch with Dr Maria Valdes-Hernandez for more information about this project and further collaboration.