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Memory Disorders Center

older and younger woman play piano
 The Memory Disorders Programs at Johns Hopkins provide comprehensive, compassionate and timely diagnosis and treatment to people with a variety of memory disorders. We are concerned with all aspects of care, from diagnosis and treatment to improving care and developing new therapies through research in brain imaging and laboratory studies. Our team includes specialists in neurology, psychiatry and geriatric medicine, who work closely to provide state-of-the art care. Our mission is to improve the lives of patients living with memory disorders.

Our Specialty Programs

There are several clinical programs at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center dedicated to diagnosis and treatment of memory disorders. Each program is led by an outstanding clinician with many years of experience in clinical care.

Memory-Related Conditions We Treat

There are many causes of memory disorders. Some develop suddenly and stay the same over time, while others progress. These disorders were untreatable 50 years ago. Now some treatments are available and better ones are on the horizon. Learn more about these conditions in our Health section:


  • Korsakoff's Syndrome
  • Transient Global Amnesia (TGA)

Our Team

Peter V. Rabins, M.D.

Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Peter V. Rabins, M.D.

Research Areas

Our research program in memory disorders seeks to improve understanding of the basic mechanisms of disease and accelerate early diagnosis, so that novel treatments can be implemented at the point in the disease process when they are most likely to be effective. We also seek to understand more about modifiable health and life-style changes that influence risk for disease. Our researchers also conduct clinical trials of some of the most promising strategies.

  • Principal Investigators: Philip Wong, Ph.D., and Tong Li, Ph.D.

    The goal of this project is to characterize a recently developed mouse model that not only exhibits amyloid β (Aβ) amyloidosis and tauopathy, but also displays robust age-dependent neuronal loss. This new mouse model will be used to test the overarching hypothesis that Aβ induces tau aggregation, which in turn initiates synaptic dysfunction and promotes neuronal loss. The research team hopes is that such a model system will provide the opportunity to evaluate Aβ amyloidosis and tauopathy dependent loss of neurons as the principal outcome measure in preclinical testing of mechanism-based therapies, such as those designed to target tauopathy and/or Aβ amyloidosis.

    For more information, contact Dr. Philip Wong at [email protected].

  • Principal Investigator: Alena Savonenko M.D., Ph.D.

    Transgenic mouse models of amyloidosis can be used to examine the impact of treatment associated with varying levels of amyloid deposition. This project uses TetOffAPP mice in which the expression of mutant amyloid precursor protein (APP) is controlled by a tetracycline-regulated promoter. A-beta production can be suppressed in these mice with doxycycline. The goal of this project is: (1) To determine if the cognitive impairments observed in these mouse models be reversed with suppression of A-beta generation. (2) To determine whether recovery of synaptic damage is associated with cognitive improvement after A-beta production is reduced. (3) Aim 3: To examine the role of monoamine systems in relation to the degree of cognitive recovery observed after reduction of A-beta production. Collectively, outcomes from these studies will address an important issue regarding the value of an anti-amyloid therapeutic strategy for AD by assessing the magnitude of functional repair and recovery after synaptic damage by A-beta.

    For more information, contact Alena Savonenko at [email protected].

  • Principal Investigator: Joseph Coresh, M.D.

    The goal of this study is to determine if late-life cognitive impairment and dementia are associated with midlife vascular risk factors. This is a multidisciplinary, multi-center prospective study of 15,792 black and white, men and women, who were aged 45-64 when they were first examined in 1987. The study emphasizes the impact of mid-life vascular risks on subsequent mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia because of the potential that risk-modification may lower the prevalence of MCI or dementia in late life.

    For more information, contact Joseph Coresh at [email protected].

  • Principal Investigator: Marilyn S. Albert, Ph.D.

    The goal of this study is to identify predictors of cognitive decline among normal individuals. The domains of investigation being examined include: clinical and cognitive assessments, magnetic resonance imaging, amyloid imaging, cerebrospinal fluid and blood. The primary question is whether measures from these domains, alone or in combination, obtained when participants are middle-aged, can predict which normal individuals will develop cognitive decline over time.

    For more information, contact Marilyn Albert at [email protected].

  • Principal Investigator: Peter van Zijl, Ph.D.

    The goal of this study is to determine if it is possible to see amyloid plaques in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, using a 7 tesla magnetic resonance imaging scanner. It is hypothesized that this high field strength will make it possible to image amyloid plaques because of magnetic susceptibility effects caused by the presence of iron in the plaques.

    For more information, contact Sydney Feagen at [email protected].


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