Areas of Focus

The successful treatment, and eventual prevention, of neurodegenerative disease depends on understanding the multiple factors that cause brain cell death. The Ryan Institute fills a niche in pursuing under-explored and critical areas of research. 

Vasculature
Ryan Institute researchers are at the forefront of investigating the connection between blood vessels in the brain and cognitive impairment and dementia. This research is also focused on the link between heart and brain health, including potential risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke.

Neuroinflammation
Inflammation in the brain has gained increasing attention for its role in neurodegenerative diseases. Our core and affiliated faculty have made important contributions to the investigation of potentially dysfunctional molecular, vascular, and immune responses.

Lifestyle and Environment
Extensive research shows that modifiable lifestyle and environmental factors contribute to heart and brain diseases. Ryan Institute researchers have been leaders in investigating  factors such as exercise, brain training, and epigenetics related to the development and prevention of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.