Reisa Sperling, M.D.

Professional Information


Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School


MD , Harvard Medical School,

Affiliated Faculty


Mailing Address

221 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115 USA

General Contact Information



A. Personal Statement

I am a Board Certified neurologist who has
been working in aging and Alzheimers disease (AD) research for 15 years. My work
has been focused on early diagnosis and treatment of AD, in particular, developing
neuroimaging markers, including functional and structural MRI and PET amyloid
imaging, for early detection of brain dysfunction and potential outcome markers
for clinical trials. I serve as the Director of the Center for Alzheimer
Research and Treatment at Brigham and Womens Hospital, and the Director of the
Neuroimaging Core at the Massachusetts Alzheimers Disease Research Center
(ADRC) at Massachusetts General Hospital. I also had the honor of chairing the
National Institute on Aging/Alzheimers Association Workgroup on Preclinical
AD, and currently lead a large NIA Program Project, the Harvard Aging Brain
Study, working to differentiate the earliest stages of preclinical AD from healthy
aging, and an R01 developing functional imaging measures to track progression
in Mild Cognitive Impairment. I have been actively working on the design and
execution of potential disease-modifying trials in Alzheimers disease for the
past 10 years. I am the Project Leader for the recently funded ADCS
Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic AD (the A4) trial, a 1000 subject
secondary prevention trial in clinically normal older individuals with evidence
of amyloid pathology. 

B. Positions and Honors

Positions and Employment:

1991-1992  Intern, Internal Medicine, Brigham and
Womens Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

1992-1994  Resident in Neurology, Harvard Longwood
Neurology Training Program, Boston, MA

1994-1995  Chief Resident in Neurology, Harvard
Longwood Neurology Training Program, Boston, MA

1995-1997  Clinical Fellow in Dementia and
Behavioral Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

1997-2002Instructor in Neurology, Harvard Medical School

1997-1999  Clinical Investigator Training Program,
Harvard/MIT Health Sciences and Technology

1997-  Associate Neurologist, Brigham
and Womens Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital,

2002-2006  Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard
Medical School

2003-  Director of Clinical Research, Memory
Disorders Unit, Brigham and Womens Hospital

2004-  Director,
Neuroimaging Program, Massachusetts ADRC, Massachusetts General Hospital

2007-  Associate Professor of Neurology, Harvard
Medical School

2008-  Director, Center for Alzheimer Research
and Treatment, Brigham and Women's Hospital 

Experience and Professional Memberships:

2002-2007  Editorial Board, Alzheimers Disease and
Associated Disorders

2002-  Steering Committee, Alzheimers
Disease Cooperative Study, National Institute on Aging

2003-2006  Chair, Medical-Scientific Advisory
Committee, Massachusetts Chapter, Alzheimers Association

2005-  Steering Committee, Data and Publications,
Alzheimers Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

2007-  Standing
Member; NIA-N Study Section; National Institutes on Aging

2008-2009  Co-Chair,
Alzheimers Imaging Consortium, Program Committee, ICAD

2009-  American
Academy of Neurology Research Council

2010-  Chair,
NIA/Alzheimers Association Working Group on Preclinical Alzheimers disease


1987  Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa,
Columbia University

1991  Cum Laude, Honors in Special
Field Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School

1998AAN Education and Research Foundation Clinical
Research Training Fellowship 

1999  50th
Anniversary in Medicine Award, Harvard Medical School

2003  New Project in
Translational Neuroscience Award, Brigham Institute for the Neurosciences

2003  Paul Beeson Faculty Scholars in Aging
Award, American Federation for Aging Research

2006  Memory Ride Award, Investigator Initiated
Grant, Alzheimers Association

2007  Research Award in Geriatric Neurology,
American Academy of Neurology

2010  Simons Lecture Awardee, Alzheimers

C. Selected Peer-reviewed Publications (selected from over 70 publications)

  1. Sperling
    , Bates JC, Cocchiarella
    AJ, Schacter D, Rosen B, Albert M. 
    Encoding novel face-name associations: A functional MRI study. 
    Brain Mapping
  2. Sperling
    , Greve D, Dale A, Kiliany
    R, Rosen R, Homes J, Rosas HD, Cocchiarella A, Firth P, Lange N, Routledge C,
    Albert M.  Functional MRI Detection of
    pharmacologically induced memory impairment. 
    PNAS 2002; 99(1):455-460.
  3. Sperling
    , Bates J, Chua E,
    Cocchiarella A, Rentz D, Rosen B, Schacter DL, Albert MS. Functional MRI
    studies of associative encoding in elderly controls and mild AD patients.
    JNNP 2003;74:44-50.
  4. Dickerson
    BC, Salat D, Bates J, Atiya M, Killiany R, Greve D, Dale AM, Stern CE, Blacker
    D, Albert MS,
    Sperling RA. MRI measures
    of medial temporal lobe function and structure in questionable Alzheimers
    Annals of Neurology, 2004;
  5. Dickerson, BC, Salat D, Greve
    D, Chua E, Rand-Giovannetti E, Rentz D, Betram L, Mullin K, Tanzi R, Blacker D,
    Albert M,
    Sperling R. Increased
    hippocampal activation in mild cognitive impairment compared to normal aging
    and AD.
    Neurology 2005;65:404-411.
  6. Rand-Giovannetti
    E, Chua A, Driscoll A, Schacter D, Albert M,
    Sperling R. Hippocampus and neocortical activation during
    repetitive encoding in older persons.
    of Aging
    2006; 27(1):173-182.
  7. Rentz DM, Sardinha L, Huh T, Daffner K,
    Sperling RA.  
    IQ-based Norms for Highly Intelligent
    The Clinical Neuropsychologist 2006; 20(4):637-48.
  8. Celone
    KA, Calhoun VD, Dickerson B, Atri A, Chua EF, Miller S, DePeau K, Rentz DM,
    Selkoe D, Blacker D, Albert MS,
    Sperling RA. Alterations in memory
    networks in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimers   disease: An independent component analysis
    J Neuroscience 2006;
    26 (40):10222-31.
  9. Chappell, AS, Gonzales, Williams, J, Witte, MM,
    Mohs, RC,
    Sperling, RA. AMPA
    potentiator treatment of cognitive deficits in Alzheimer disease.
    Neurology 2007; 68 1008-1012.
  10. Diamond EL, Miller S, Dickerson BC, Atri A, DePeau K,
    Fenstermacher E, Pihlajamki M, Celone K,  
    Salisbury S, Gregas M, Rentz D,
    Sperling RA. Relationship of fMRI
    Activation to Clinical Trial Memory Measures in Alzheimer's Disease. 
    Neurology 2007;69(13):1331-41.
  11. Miller
    SL, Celone K, DePeau K, Diamond E, Dickerson BC, Rentz D, Pihlajamki M,
    Sperling RA. Age-related
    memory impairment associated with loss of parietal deactivation but preserved
    hippocampal activation.
    Proceedings of
    the National Academy of Sciences
    2008;105(6):2181-6. PMCID: PMC2538895.
  12. Buckner R, Sepulcre
    J, Talukdar T, Krienen F, Liu H, Hedden T, Andrews-Hanna J,
    Sperling R, Johnson K. Cortical Hubs Revealed
    by Intrinsic Functional Connectivity:
    2009; 29(6):1860-73. PMC2750039
  13. Sperling RA, LaViolette PS, OKeefe K, et al.  Amyloid Deposition is Associated with
    Impaired Default Network
    Function in Older Persons without Dementia. 
    Neuron 2009; 63: 178-188. PMC2738994
  14. O'Brien JL, O'Keefe KM, LaViolette PS, DeLuca AN,
    Blacker D, Dickerson BC,
    Sperling RA.
    Longitudinal fMRI in elderly reveals loss of hippocampal activation with
    clinical decline.
    Neurology 2010;74(24):1969-76.
  15. Becker JA, Hedden T, Carmasin J, Maye J, Rentz D,
    Putcha D, Fischl B, Greve D, Marshall GA, Salloway S,
    Marks D, Buckner RL,
    Sperling RA,
    Johnson KA. Amyloid-beta Associated Cortical Thinning in Clinically Normal
    Annals of Neurology, in
    press (available on line).

D. Research


P01AG036694-01  Sperling (PI)

07/15/10- 6/30/15  NIH/NIA

Impact of Amyloid on the Aging Brain

The overall goals of the PPG are to elucidate the biological
significance of amyloid deposition in the aging brain and determine if
cognitively normal older individuals are on the trajectory towards prodromal

Role: Principal
Investigator; Administrative and Clinical Core Leader, PI- Project 2

R01-AG027435 and R01-AG027435-S1  Sperling (PI)

01/31/12  NIH/NIA

Evolution of memory-related fMRI activation
over the course of MCI and AD

The major goal of this study is to develop functional MRI
as a biomarker for clinical trials and longitudinal studies of disease
progression in MCI and AD. The goal of the supplement is to investigate
relationship of amyloid deposition to memory dysfunction in MCI.

Role: Principal Investigator

U19 AG010483 Aisen (PI)/Sperling (Project Leader)

12/13/12 - 11/30/17 NIH/NIA

Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimers Disease (The A4 Trial)

The overall goal
of the A4 study is to determine whether decreasing amyloid burden in clinically
normal older individuals will delay the progression of neurodegeneration and
cognitive decline.

Role: Project

P50 AG00513421  Hyman (PI) Sperling (PL)

4/30/2009 - 3/31/2014  NIH/NIA

Massachusetts Alzheimer's Disease Research Center Neuroimaging Program
and Project 1

The major goal of this project is to capture all ADRC related
neuroimaging in an electronic database and provide support to ADRC related
imaging projects.  Project 1 goal is to
study cognitively normal older subjects participating in ADRC cohort with PiB
and MRI imaging to investigate markers of prodromal AD.

Role: Principal Investigator- Project 1; NeuroImaging Program Leader


9/30/15  NIH/NIA                             

Mentoring Imaging Research in Early AD

The overall goal of this Career Development Award is to provide
support for mentoring early investigators training in clinical and imaging
research in Alzheimers disease.


R01AG034556  (Buckner, PI)

7/1/09-6/30/14  NIH/NIA                        

Neural Processes Underlying Cognitive Aging

The major goal of this project is to investigate age-related
changes in fronto-parietal large scale networks

Role: Co-Investigator


R01 AG037497-01  (K. Johnson, PI)

9/1/10-8/30/15  NIH/NIA                        

Characterizing the Evolution of Amyloid Deposition in Normal