Brenda Lee Plassman

Brenda Lee Plassman

Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

External Address: 
2200 W. Main Street, Suite A200, Durham, NC 27705
Internal Office Address: 
Box 3925 Med Ctr, Durham, NC 27710


My research interests include the following areas:
1) Epidemiological studies to examine the prevalence and incidence of dementia and cognitive impairment, not dementia (CIND)
2) Studies examining risk and protective factors for dementia and CIND
3) Behavioral genetics of aging and dementia with an emphasis on twin studies
4) Long term outcomes of traumatic brain injury
5) Oral health and cognition in later life

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of Arizona 1986

Selected Grants

NC Registry for Brain Health Phase 2 awarded by State of North Carolina (Co Investigator). 2019 to 2021

Life Course Process of Alzheimer's Disease: Sex Difference and Biosocial Mechanisms awarded by University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2021

Decision Making for Cardiovascular Therapy in Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment awarded by University of Michigan (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2021

Alzheimer's Disease, Genes, and Pesticide Use in the Agricultural Health Study awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2021

National Health and Aging Trends Study awarded by Johns Hopkins University (Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2021

VRFCAT Supplement awarded by VeraSci (Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2021

Validation of a Performance Based Measure of Functioning in MCI and Early AD (VRFCAT) awarded by VeraSci (Principal Investigator). 2018 to 2021

Pesticides, Olfaction, and Prodromal Neurodegeneration Among US Farmers awarded by Michigan State University (Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2021


Lawrence, Karen A., et al. “Risk and protective factors of dementia among adults with post-traumatic stress disorder: a systematic review protocol.Bmj Open, vol. 10, no. 6, June 2020, p. e035517. Pubmed, doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2019-035517. Full Text

Casanova, Ramon, et al. “Investigating Predictors of Cognitive Decline Using Machine Learning.J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci, vol. 75, no. 4, Mar. 2020, pp. 733–42. Pubmed, doi:10.1093/geronb/gby054. Full Text

Jutkowitz, Eric, et al. “Willingness to Undergo a Risky Treatment to Improve Cognition Among Persons With Cognitive Impairment Who Received an Amyloid PET Scan.Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord, vol. 34, no. 1, Jan. 2020, pp. 1–9. Pubmed, doi:10.1097/WAD.0000000000000338. Full Text

James, Hailey J., et al. “How Accurately Do Patients and Their Care Partners Report Results of Amyloid-β PET Scans for Alzheimer's Disease Assessment?J Alzheimers Dis, vol. 74, no. 2, 2020, pp. 625–36. Pubmed, doi:10.3233/JAD-190922. Full Text

Gatz, Margaret, et al. “The NAS-NRC Twin Registry and Duke Twins Study of Memory in Aging: An Update.Twin Res Hum Genet, vol. 22, no. 6, Dec. 2019, pp. 757–60. Pubmed, doi:10.1017/thg.2019.45. Full Text

Lutz, Michael W., et al. “Analysis of pleiotropic genetic effects on cognitive impairment, systemic inflammation, and plasma lipids in the Health and Retirement Study.Neurobiol Aging, vol. 80, Aug. 2019, pp. 173–86. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2018.10.028. Full Text

Anderson, Ruth A., et al. “Working together to learn new oral hygiene techniques: Pilot of a carepartner-assisted intervention for persons with cognitive impairment.Geriatr Nurs, vol. 40, no. 3, May 2019, pp. 269–76. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.gerinurse.2018.11.002. Full Text

Kuchibhatla, Maragatha, et al. “The association between neighborhood socioeconomic status, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular risk factors, and cognitive decline in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS).Aging Ment Health, Apr. 2019, pp. 1–8. Pubmed, doi:10.1080/13607863.2019.1594169. Full Text

Knodt, Annchen R., et al. “Effects of pioglitazone on mnemonic hippocampal function: A blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging study in elderly adults.Alzheimers Dement (N Y), vol. 5, 2019, pp. 254–63. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.trci.2019.05.004. Full Text


Reale, Bailey K., et al. “Reasons Pre-Existing Mild Cognitive Impairment May Influence Physician Recommendations for Stroke and Heart Attack Treatments.” Stroke, vol. 50, LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, 2019.

Hall, Jennifer, et al. “Utility of NPI Scores Predicting Progression of CIND to Dementia.” American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, vol. 20, no. 3, ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2012, pp. S86–87.

Plassman, Brenda L., et al. “P4-137 Alzheimer's disease in the NAS-NRC twin registry of WWII veterans.” Neurobiology of Aging, vol. 25, Elsevier BV, 2004, pp. S514–S514. Crossref, doi:10.1016/s0197-4580(04)81695-6. Full Text

Browndyke, Jeffrey N., et al. “P1-109 Verbal recognition memory differences in Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia: examining recognition response characteristics independent of dementia severity.” Neurobiology of Aging, vol. 25, Elsevier BV, 2004, pp. S126–S126. Crossref, doi:10.1016/s0197-4580(04)80423-8. Full Text

Hening, W. A., et al. “Prevalence of restless legs symptoms in an elderly American veteran cohort.” Sleep, vol. 26, AMER ACADEMY SLEEP MEDICINE, 2003, pp. A338–A338.

Steffens, D. C., et al. “A twin study of late-onset depression and APOE e4 as risk factors for dementia.” American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, vol. 4, no. 4, AMER PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION, 1996, pp. 379–80.