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Johns Hopkins Researcher Awarded $2.4 Million NIA Grant to Study Link between Glucose Instability, Diabetes and Neurocognitive Outcomes in Older Adults


Elizabeth Selvin, PhD, a professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Epidemiology, has received a $2.4 million, five-year grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to investigate the impact of wearable continuous glucose monitoring technology to help evaluate associations with neurocognitive outcomes in older adults.

Diabetes is strongly linked to dementia risk and there is growing evidence that glycemic variability contributes to risk of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Although diabetes is common in old age, poor glucose regulation is an underappreciated concern. Wearable continuous glucose monitoring technology is an opportunity to rigorously characterize glucose patterns in older adults. This study aims to characterize specific glucose patterns in old age, evaluate associations of glucose patterns with certain symptoms (for example, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, vision disturbances), and examine associations of diabetes and glucose patterns with various neurocognitive outcomes including brain imaging, cognition, and dementia.

Selvin leads research at the intersection of epidemiology and clinical practice. Much of her work focuses on the study of biomarkers and diagnostics relevant to diabetes and its complications. The overarching goal of her work is use epidemiologic research to inform diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease screening, diagnosis, and treatment.