Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology

Alexandra L. Clark


Assistant ProfessorPh.D., San Diego State University/University of California San Diego Joint Doctoral Program

Alexandra L. Clark

Contact

Interests


cognitive aging, neuropsychology, preclinical and clinical Alzheimer's disease, TBI

Biography


Dr. Clark received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Neuropsychology from the San Diego State University/University of California San Diego Joint Doctoral Program. She completed a full-time postdoctoral fellowship in Interprofessional Polytrauma TBI Rehabilitation at the San Diego VA Healthcare System as well as a part-time fellowship in Neuropsychology and Novel Neuroimaging Metrics for Alzheimer's Disease at the University of California San Diego from 2019-2021. She has extensive training in the neuropsychological assessment of a broad range of neurological and psychiatric disorders (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, TBI, Parkinson’s disease, PTSD), and has provided clinical supervision to doctoral students and interns.

Dr. Clark’s research utilizes novel neuroimaging tools (e.g., diffusion tensor imaging, arterial spin labeling) and biofluid markers (e.g., serum and cerebrospinal fluid) within aging and traumatic brain injury clinical populations to (1) characterize the pathophysiological mechanisms and neural consequences underlying cognitive dysfunction, (2) better understand the temporal course of brain changes and various factors (e.g., genetic risk) that mediate/moderate the neural response, and (3) explore links between social determinants of health and heterogeneity in cognitive, biomarker, and neuroimaging signatures within racially/ethnically diverse older adults. With regards to the latter, her goal is to develop inclusive Alzheimer's disease frameworks that highlight sociocultural contributions to biological mechanisms underlying disparities in dementia risk. She is particularly interested in inflammatory and vascular contributions to pathological aging trajectories and works with several large-scale data initiatives (e.g., ADNI, DOD-ADNI, HABS-HD) to model these effects.

Dr. Clark welcomes all members of our community and is an ally to BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, first-generation, low SES, neurodiverse, and visibly/non-visibly disabled persons.

**Please note I do not anticipate recruiting a graduate student for the upcoming admissions cycle**.

Courses


PSY 341K • Diversity In Cognitive Aging

42015 • Spring 2022
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM SEA 2.108

This course will highlight biological, social, and cognitive factors underlying brain aging. The instructor will leverage a life course perspective to discuss how environmental and sociocultural factors lead to non-universal brain aging trajectories that disproportionately affect diverse groups. An emphasis will be placed on understanding how (1) traditional models of brain aging confer limited applicability to distinct racial/ethnic groups; (2) examining modifiable factors of risk and resiliency that may promote a more complete understanding of brain aging across diverse samples; and (3) prioritizing inclusive scientific initiatives coupled with public policy changes can lead to more equitable brain aging pathways.

PSY 341K • Diversity In Cognitive Aging

43029 • Fall 2021
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM ECJ 1.306

This course will highlight biological, social, and cognitive factors underlying brain aging. The instructor will leverage a life course perspective to discuss how environmental and sociocultural factors lead to non-universal brain aging trajectories that disproportionately affect diverse groups. An emphasis will be placed on understanding how (1) traditional models of brain aging confer limited applicability to distinct racial/ethnic groups; (2) examining modifiable factors of risk and resiliency that may promote a more complete understanding of brain aging across diverse samples; and (3) prioritizing inclusive scientific initiatives coupled with public policy changes can lead to more equitable brain aging pathways.

Publications


 

1. Fink, S., Davey, D., Sakamoto, M., Chanfreau-Coffinier, C., Clark, A.L., & Merritt, V.C., for the Million Veteran Program. Subjective cognitive and psychiatric well-being in U.S. military Veterans screened for deployment-related traumatic brain injury: A Milion Veteran Program study. (in press). Journal of Psychiatric Research.

2. Dekhytar, M.A., Foret, J.T., Simon, S., Shumake, J., Clark, A.L., & Haley, A.P. An examination of the clinical utility of phonemic flunecy in healthy adults and adults with MCI. (in press). Applied Neuropsychology: Adult. 

3.  Solders, S.K., Galinsky, V.L., Clark, A.L., Sorg, S.F., Weigand, A.J., Bondi, M.W., & Frank, L.R. (2022).  Diffusion MRI tractography of the locus coeruleus-transentorhinal connections using geometric-optics based entropy spectrum pathways. Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Medicine, 87(4), 1816-1831.

4.  Clark, A.L., Solders, S.K., Thomas, K.R., & Bangen, K., J. (2021). White matter microstructure is associated with serum clusterin and everyday functioning in a sample of older adults without dementia. Current Alzheimers Research, 18(14), 1118-1126.

5. Clark, A.L., Weigand, A.J., Bangen, K.J., Thomas, K.R., Bondi, M.W., & Delano-Wood, L. (2021). CSF tau is associated with history of TBI and poorer processing speed in Vietnam-era Veterans: A DOD-ADNI study. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring, 13(1), e122939.

6. Graves, L.G., Edmonds, E.C., Thomas, K.R., Weigand, A.J., Cooper, S., Stickel, A.M., Zlatar, Z.Z., Clark, A.L., & Bondi, M.W. (2021). Diagnostic discrepancy and differential associations between ratings of functioning and neuropsychological performance in Non-Hispanic Blacks and white older adults. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 1-24.

7. Ratasjska, A., Nisenzon, A., Lopez, F.V., Clark, A.L., Gokcay, D., Okun, M.S., & Bowers, D. (2021). Laterality of motor symptom onset and facial expressivity in Parkinsons disease using face digitization. Laterality, 1-14.

8.  Bangen, K.B., Thomas, K.R., Weigand, A.J., Edmonds, E.C., Clark, A.L., Solders, S., Delano-Wood, L., Galasko, D., & Bondi, M.W. (2021). Elevated plasma neurofilament light is associated with obectively-defined subtle cognitive difficulties and predicts future cognitive and functional decline. Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

9. Clark, A.L., Weigand, A.J., Thomas, K.R., Solders, S., Delano-Wood, L., Bondi, M.W., Bernier, R., Sundermann, E., Banks, S.J., & Bangen, K.B. (2021). Elevated inflammatory markers and arterial stiffening exacerbate tau but not amyloid pathology in older adults with MCI. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, (Preprint), 1-13.

10. Merrritt, V., Sakamoto, M., Sorg, S, Clark, A.L., Bondi, M.W., Schiehser, D., & Delano-Wood, L. (2021). Elevated neuropsychological intra-individual variability preditcs poorer health-related quality of life in Veterans with a history of mTBI. Journal of Neurotrauma.

11. Sorg, S.F., Werhane, M., Clark, A.L., Holiday, K., Merritt, V.C., Hanson, K.L., Jak, A.J., Schiehser, D.W., & Delano-Wood, L. (2021). PTSD symptom severity and repetitive TBI contribute to elevated memory complaints in Veterans with histories of mild traumatic brain injury. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 36(6), 418-423.

12.  Bangen, K., Delano-Wood, L., Clark, A.L., Evangelista, N.D., Hoffman, S.N., Sorg, S.F., Holmqvist, S., Osuna, J., Weigand, A.J., Jak, A.J., Bondi, M.W., & Lamar, M. (2021). Decreased myelin content of the fornix predicts poorer memory performance beyond vascular risk, hippocampal volume, and fractional anisotropy in nondemented older adults. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 1-9.

13.  Tate, D.M., Dennis, E., Adams, J.T., Adamnson, M.M., Belanger, H.G., Bigler, E.D., Bouchard, H.C., Clark, A.L., Delano-Wood,L., Disner, S.G., Eapen, B.S., Franz, C.E., Gueze, E., Goodrich-Hunsaker, N.J., Han,H., Hayes, J.P., Hinds, S.R., Hodges, C.B., Houvenden, E.S., Irimia, A., Kenney, K., Koerte, I.K., Kremen, W.S., Levin, H.S., Linsey, H.M., Morey, R.A., Newsome, M.R., Ollinger, J., Pugh, M.J., Scheibel, R.S., Shenton, M.E., Sullivan, D.R., Taylor, B.W., Troyanskaya, M., Velez, C., Wang, X., Ware, A.L., Zafonte, R., Thompson, P.M., & Wilde, E.A. (2021). Coordinating global multi-site studies of military TBI: Opportunities, challenges, and harmonization guidelines. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 15(2), 585-623. 

14.  Clark, A. L., Weigand, A. J., Bangen, K. J., Merritt, V. C., Bondi, M. W., & Delano-Wood, L. (2021). Repetitive mTBI is associated with age-related reductions in cerebral blood flow but not cortical thickness. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism41(2), 431-444.


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  • Department of Psychology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    SEA 4.208
    108 E. Dean Keeton Stop A8000
    Austin, TX 78712-1043
    512-471-1157