Brenda Lee Plassman

Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Professor of Neurology
Faculty Network Member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences

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


Ph.D. 1986, University of Arizona

Selected Publications

Jutkowitz, Eric, Courtney H. Van Houtven, Brenda L. Plassman, and Vincent Mor. “Willingness to Undergo a Risky Treatment to Improve Cognition Among Persons With Cognitive Impairment Who Received an Amyloid PET Scan..” Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord, August 13, 2019.
Lutz, Michael W., Ramon Casanova, Santiago Saldana, Maragatha Kuchibhatla, Brenda L. Plassman, and Kathleen M. Hayden. “Analysis of pleiotropic genetic effects on cognitive impairment, systemic inflammation, and plasma lipids in the Health and Retirement Study..” Neurobiol Aging 80 (August 2019): 173–86.
Gatz, Margaret, Brenda L. Plassman, Caroline M. Tanner, Samuel M. Goldman, Gary E. Swan, Marianne Chanti-Ketterl, Ellen E. Walters, and David A. Butler. “The NAS-NRC Twin Registry and Duke Twins Study of Memory in Aging: An Update..” Twin Res Hum Genet, July 29, 2019, 1–4.
Anderson, Ruth A., Jing Wang, Brenda L. Plassman, Kathleen Nye, Melanie Bunn, Patricia A. Poole, Connor Drake, Hanzhang Xu, Zhao Ni, and Bei Wu. “Working together to learn new oral hygiene techniques: Pilot of a carepartner-assisted intervention for persons with cognitive impairment..” Geriatr Nurs 40, no. 3 (May 2019): 269–76.
Kuchibhatla, Maragatha, Jaimie C. Hunter, Brenda L. Plassman, Michael W. Lutz, Ramon Casanova, Santiago Saldana, and Kathleen M. Hayden. “The association between neighborhood socioeconomic status, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular risk factors, and cognitive decline in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS)..” Aging Ment Health, April 25, 2019, 1–8.

Selected Grants

Pesticides, Olfaction, and Prodromal Neurodegeneration Among US Farmers awarded by Michigan State University 2019 - 2024

Behavior and Physiology in Aging awarded by National Institutes of Health 2015 - 2020