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  • Sylvia Perez, PhD

    Associate Professor

    Sylvia Perez, PhD, is a associate professor in the Department of Neurobiology at Barrow Neurological Institute.

    Dr. Perez’s expertise includes comparative neuroanatomy, with a focus on the biochemistry and connectivity of the cholinergic basal forebrain systems as well as on β-amyloid and tau pathology in Alzheimer’s disease, Down syndrome, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. She is a member of the Society for Neuroscience.

    Dr. Perez received her PhD in neuroanatomy from the University of Santiago de Compostela. She completed postdoctoral fellowships in neuroanatomy at the University of A Coruña and at the Consellería de Educación e Ciencias da Xunta de Galicia and in neurobiology at Rush University Medical Center.

    Dr. Perez’s research interests include the neurobiology of the prodromal stage of Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment. She also studies the role of tau in Down syndrome and dementia and the role of alpha-synuclein in the neurodegeneration of the cholinergic basal forebrain in Parkinson’s disease.

    Education & Training
    • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Rush University Medical Center, Department of Neurological Sciences, Neurobiology, 2002-2004
    • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Rush University Medical Center, Department of Neurological Sciences, Neurobiology, 2000-2001
    • Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of A Coruña, Neuroanatomy, 2000
    • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Consellería de Educación e Ciencias da Xunta de Galicia, Neuroanatomy, 2000
    • PhD, University of Santiago de Compostela, Neuroanatomy, 1998
    • Predoctoral Fellowship, University of Santiago de Compostela, Neuroanatomy, 1995-1996
    • Licentiate in Biology, University of Santiago de Compostela, Fundamental Biology, 1992
    Professional Memberships
    • Society for Neuroscience
    Honors and Awards
    • Arizona Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium at Barrow Neurological Institute Award, “Cortical tau pathologic signature: A biomarker for Down syndrome with and without dementia,” 2018-2019
    • Arizona Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium at Barrow Neurological Institute Award, “Epigenetic dysregulation in cholinergic neurons in PD dementia,” 2016-2017
    • Brinson Foundation Award, 2014-2015
    • Rush University Research Council Pilot Award, 2009-2010
    • Rush Department of Neurological Sciences Pilot Award, “Beta-amyloid induces cholinergic striatal dysfunction in a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.”
    • Extraordinary Award for Doctoral Thesis, University of Santiago de Compostela, Biology Faculty, 1998
    Selected Publications
    1. Mahady L, Nadeem M, Malek-Ahmadi M, Chen K, Perez SE, Mufson EJ. Frontal cortex epigenetic dysregulation during the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;62(1):115-131.
    2. Perez SE, Nadeem M, Malek-Ahmadi MH, He B, Mufson EJ. Frontal cortex and hippocampal gamma-secretase activating protein levels in prodromal Alzheimer disease. Neurodegener Dis. 2017;17(6):235-241.
    3. Perez SE, Nadeem M, He B, Miguel JC, Malek-Ahmadi MH, Chen K, Mufson EJ. Neocortical and hippocampal TREM2 protein levels during the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurobiol Aging. 2017;54:133-143.
    4. Malek-Ahmadi M, Lu S, Chan Y, Perez SE, Chen K, Mufson EJ. Cognitive domain dispersion association with Alzheimer’s disease pathology. J Alzheimers Dis. 2017;58(2):575-583.
    5. Malek-Ahmadi M, Lu S, Chan Y, Perez SE, Chen K, Mufson EJ. Static and dynamic cognitive reserve proxy measures: Interactions with Alzheimer’s disease neuropathology and cognition. J Alzheimers Dis Parkinsonism. 2017;7(6).
    6. Kelly SC, He B, Perez SE, Ginsberg SD, Mufson EJ, Counts SE. Locus coeruleus cellular and molecular pathology during the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2017;5(1):8.
    7. Perez SE, Sherwood CC, Cranfield MR, Erwin JM, Mudakikwa A, Hof PR, Mufson EJ. Early Alzheimer’s disease-type pathology in the frontal cortex of wild mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei). Neurobiol Aging. 2016;39:195-201.
    8. Mufson EJ, Perez SE, Nadeem M, Mahady L, Kanaan NM, Abrahamson EE, Ikonomovic MD, Crawford F, Alvarez V, Stein T, McKee AC. Progression of tau pathology within cholinergic nucleus basalis neurons in chronic traumatic encephalopathy: A chronic effects of neurotrauma consortium study. Brain Inj. 2016;30(12):1399-1413.
    9. Mufson EJ, Malek-Ahmadi M, Snyder N, Ausdemore J, Chen K, Perez SE. Braak stage and trajectory of cognitive decline in noncognitively impaired elders. Neurobiol Aging. 2016;43:101-110.
    10. Mufson EJ, Malek-Ahmadi M, Perez SE, Chen K. Braak staging, plaque pathology, and APOE status in elderly persons without cognitive impairment. Neurobiol Aging. 2016;37:147-153.

    About Barrow Neurological Institute
    Since our doors opened as a regional specialty center in 1962, we have grown into one of the premier destinations in the world for neurology and neurosurgery. Our experienced, highly skilled, and comprehensive team of neurological specialists can provide you with a complete spectrum of care–from diagnosis through outpatient neurorehabilitation–under one roof. Barrow Neurological Institute: Discover. Educate. Heal.