PIA Executive Committee:
Subjective Cognitive Decline
Chair: Sietske A.M. Sikkes, PhD
Dr. Sietske Sikkes is an assistant professor at the Alzheimer Center Amsterdam and the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics of the Amsterdam University Medical Centers. With a background in clinical neuropsychology and epidemiology, her research focuses on the psychometrics of everyday functioning and cognition, and the development of new measurement techniques for the detection of clinical meaningful changes in the early stages of AD. Dr. Sikkes performed a post-doc fellowship at the Salpetriere Hopital in Paris, and just finished a year of visiting professorship at the department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. Within the ISTAART professional interest areas, she currently serves on the ISTAART advisory board and also as the chair of the nonpharmacological interventions PIA.
Chair Elect: Francisco A. C. Vale, MD, PhD
Francisco Vale is clinical neurologist and Associate Professor at Department of Medicine of Federal University of São Carlos – UFSCar (São Paulo, Brazil). Head of Neurology Outpatient Clinic at the teaching hospital of UFSCar. Professor of the Nursing Postgraduate Program at UFSCar. Former postgraduate student at Ribeirão Preto Medical School of University of São Paulo (masters concluded in 1990, doctorate in 1996). Visitor fellow of behavioral neurology clinical research at Beth Israel and Brigham and Women´s hospitals in 1994. His interest is clinical research in dementias, mainly Alzheimer´s disease. Currently, he is interested in subjective cognitive decline, especially the possible influences of ethnicity, education and cultural backgrounds.
Student/Postdoc: Silvia Chapman, PhD
Silvia Chapman is a first year postdoctoral fellow at the Cognitive Neuroscience Division of the Taub Institute at Columbia University under the mentorship of Dr. Stephanie Cosentino. As a graduate student under the mentorship of Dr. Gianna Cocchini at Goldsmiths, University of London, her work focused on examining the mechanisms by which self-awareness becomes impaired (anosognosia) among individuals with stroke. During her doctoral studies, she joined Dr. Cosentino’s lab to expand her focus beyond stroke, to include degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). During this time, her work sought to integrate principles and assessment techniques from cognitive psychology to carefully characterize and deconstruct clinically observed awareness deficits in these clinical populations. As a postdoctoral fellow, her work on self-awareness of cognitive abilities has extended to examine Subjective Cognitive Decline (SCD) as a marker of preclinical AD. This work aims to understand the factors that influence the expression of SCD and its association with early markers of AD such as cognitive decline or biomarkers. The overarching goal of this research is to improve the utility of SCD as a prognosticator of the earliest stages of AD.
Immediate Past Chair: Rebecca E. Amariglio, PhD
Dr. Amariglio is a clinical neuropsychologist at the Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). She is Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of New Mexico in 2008 and was a postdoctoral fellow in neuropsychology at BWH/MGH before becoming faculty in 2011. As co-investigator on the Harvard Aging Brain Study, Dr. Amariglio’s area of interest is in the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In particular, she focuses on Subjective Cognitive Decline as a marker of preclinical AD, a stage in which individuals begin to notice cognitive changes in their everyday life prior to dysfunction detected on neuropsychological measures. By examining subjective report in conjunction with AD imaging biomarkers and longitudinal neuropsychological assessment, she aims to develop sensitive subjective measures to track the earliest manifestations of AD. Her work is supported by the Alzheimer’s Association and the NIH.