William Jagust sitting in front of a monitor of brain images.

Research Expertise and Interest

neuroscience, cognition, brain aging, dementia, imaging, Alzheimer's disease

Research Description

William Jagust is a professor of Neuroscience and Public Health.  The Jagust Lab is a joint research program involving the UC Berkeley Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, UC Berkeley School of Public Health, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The primary focus of the laboratory is the study of brain aging and dementia. They use multimodal imaging techniques - including positron emission tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and functional magnetic resonance - to study the brain. Research participants include normal older and younger individuals and patients with a variety of different dementias. Many students and postdoctoral fellows at all levels participate in research projects. Key projects include imaging the deposition of beta-amyloid and tau in the aging brain, and examining the effects of these aggregated proteins on brain structure and function.

In the News

Seeing Through Alzheimer’s Disease

If early intervention is key, then so is the ability to detect even the slightest sign of neurological damage. The William Jagust Lab is using statistical and computational approaches to refine PET scan sensitivity to identify a possible Alzheimer precursor. 

Researchers find neural compensation in people with Alzheimer’s-related protein

UC Berkeley researchers have found that the human brain is capable of a neural workaround that compensates for the buildup of beta-amyloid, a destructive protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The findings could help explain how some older adults with beta-amyloid deposits in their brain retain normal cognitive function while others develop dementia.

The search for the earliest signs of Alzheimer's

For the past five years, volunteers from the City of Berkeley and surrounding areas have come to Berkeley Lab to participate in an ongoing study that’s changing what scientists know about Alzheimer’s disease. The goal of the Berkeley Aging Cohort Study is to reveal how our brains change as we age.

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