The Jacobs Lab aims to detect the earliest brain changes that contribute to cognitive decline and behavioral changes associated with the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Our focus is on neuroimaging method development, biomarker evaluation and testing new preventive interventions targeting the neuromodulatory subcortical systems (e.g. noradrenergic locus coeruleus, serotonergic raphe nucleus, cholinergic basal forebrain, orexinergic hypothalamus..).

Dr. Jacobs is a clinical neuropsychologist and neuroscientist with a broad expertise in cognitive evaluations in aging and dementia, neuroimaging (3T, 7T MRI and PET) and statistical modeling. She is also the chair of the neuromodulatory subcortical systems professional interest area of the Alzheimer’s Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment. She is also a guest associate professor in clinical neuroimaging at Maastricht University (the Netherlands).



Select Publications

Van Egroo M., Koshmanova E., Vandewalle G., Jacobs H.I.L. (2022). Importance of the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system in sleep-wake regulation: implications for aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 62:101592; PMID: 35124476

Jacobs H.I.L., Becker J.A., Kwong K., Engels-Dominguez N., Prokopiou P.C., Papp K.V., Properzi M., Hampton O.L., d’Oleire Uquillas F., Sanchez J.S., Rentz D.M., El Fakhri G., Normandin M.D., Price J.C., Bennett D.A., Sperling R.A., Johnson K.A. (2021) In vivo and neuropathology data support locus coeruleus integrity as indicator of Alzheimer’s disease pathology and cognitive decline. Science Translational Medicine, 13(612):eabj2511, PMID: 34550726.

Jacobs H.I.L., Hedden T., Schultz A.P., Sepulcre J., Perea R.D., Amariglio R.E., Papp K.V., Rentz D.M., Sperling R.A. & Johnson K.A. (2018). Structural tract alterations predict down-stream tau accumulation in amyloid positive older individuals. Nature Neuroscience, 21(3), 424-431; PMCID: PMC5857215


2012: International Junior Investigator award from the International College of Geriatric Psychoneuropharmacology

2018: Development of the first 7T MRI sequence to visualize the locus coeruleus in vivo

2022: de Leon award for best Neuroimaging paper of the year by the Alzheimer’s Association


The Blue Spotters