Reisa Sperling

Reisa Sperling is a clinical neurologist, a neuroimaging researcher, and a leading force in the movement towards earlier diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. She directs the Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Harvard Aging Brain Study at Massachusetts General Hospital, and is an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Her pioneering work in multi-modality neuroimaging has served to elucidate the underpinnings of memory changes in aging and early Alzheimer’s disease. She chaired the recent National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer’s Association Workgroup, proposing a research framework to define the “Preclinical Stages” of Alzheimer’s disease, and to facilitate early intervention trials. She is actively working on clinical trials of potential disease-modifying therapies for AD, including secondary prevention trials in asymptomatic individuals with biomarker evidence of preclinical AD.

Can we treat Alzheimers 20 years early? (Reisa Sperling)

Science Kit for Reisa Sperling 

Hello fellow TEDMEDers: 

Thanks for your interest in my talk, “Can We Treat Alzheimer’s Disease 20 Years Earlier?” at TEDMED 2012. Below are some resources that can provide additional details on our scientific work and the movement in the field towards earlier diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Here is an article that explains the concept of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease:,

This article shows an example of amyloid-related brain dysfunction before memory impairment is clinically evident:

This perspectives piece describes the need to begin “secondary prevention trials” at earlier stages of AD:

Our clinical research team works across two hospitals in Boston associated with Harvard Medical School.

To learn about clinical trials taking place at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) with the Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment (CART), visit:

To learn more about the Harvard Aging Brain Study at Massachusetts General Hospital, visit this site:

To learn more about our research at the Massaschusetts Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC), visit

You can also find more information on Alzheimer’s disease at the

Alzheimer’s Association:

National Institute on Aging:

This is a critical time in Alzheimer’s disease. As our population ages, we are truly facing a health crisis of epidemic proportions.  I believe we must learn from the successes in other health fields and shift our focus towards much earlier detection and intervention. I hope that we will begin these secondary prevention trials next year, and ultimately one day prevent dementia. Thanks so much for your interest.

Reisa Sperling, M.D.