Alison Costigan

Research group:
029 208 70365
CUBRIC, Maindy Road

Research summary

I am interested in understanding how genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) affect brain function. In particular my research will focus on the Apolipoprotein E4 allele (ApoE E4), which is the strongest genetic risk factor for late onset AD (the most common form of AD affecting approximately 35 million people worldwide). I plan to use a variety of neuroimaging techniques to investigate brain function and cognition in young people who carry the ApoE E4 allele, namely function magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and arterial spin labelling (ASL). The aims of this project are to detect any differences between risk gene carriers and non-carriers, investigate the reasons for these differences, and examine how these vary with increasing age. The ultimate goal of this research is to identify changes in the brain that may be used as a biomarker to aid earlier diagnosis of AD, and also improve understanding of pathogenesis of AD.

Full list of publications



4 year Cardiff University Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI) Studentship

Research group

Imaging Science
MRC Centre for Genetics and Genomics

Research collaborators

Professor Kim Graham (School of Psychology)
Professor Richard Wise (School of Psychology)
Professor Julie Williams (Institute of Psychological Medicine/MRC Centre for Genetics and Genomics)

Undergraduate education

2007-2010: BSc Physiological Sciences, Newcastle University (First Class Honours)

Postgraduate education

2011-2012: MSc Cognitive Neuroscience, University of York (Distinction)
2012 – present: 4 year PhD in Integrative Neuroscience funded by the Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI).

Awards/external committees

Awarded the 2010 Physiological Society Undergraduate Prize