Research Investigator Profile


H. Diana Rosas, MD

H. Diana Rosas, MD

  • Associate Professor of Neurology,
    Harvard Medical School
  • Neurologist,
    Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Director, Center for Neuro-imaging
    of Aging and Neurodegenerative Disease


Research Description

Dr. Rosas and her team have been investigating the regional and temporal progression of the changes that occur in the brain as part of normal aging and how those are distinct in neurodegenerative diseases, more specifically in Huntington’s disease (HD).Our growing understanding of HD underscores the complexity of the disease. We have found very specific changes in the cortex and in white matter that correlate with clinical features of HD and represent a paradigm shift in how HD is perceived.

More recently, we have begun to explore the sensitivity, reliability and reproducibility of neuro-imaging methods to serve as a biomarker of HD onset and HD progression and its potential to enhance the efficiency of clinical trials.

Research interests Neuro-imaging
Research techniques Imaging
Diseases studied Alzheimer's Disease, Huntington's Disease
Selected publications
  1. Rosas HD, Hevelone NH, Zaleta AK, Greve DN, Salat DH, Fischl B (2005) “Regional cortical thinning in preclinical Huntington’s and its relationship to cognition.” Neurology 65: 745-747.
  2. Salat DH, Smith EE, Tuch DS, Benner T, Pappu V, Schwab KM, Gurol MR, Rosas HD, Rosand J, Greenberg SM. (2006) “White matter alterations in cerebral amyloid angiopathy measured by diffusion tensor imaging.” Stroke 37 (7) 1759-64.
  3. Hersch SM, Gevorkian S, Marder K, Moskowitz C, Feigin A, Cox M, Como P, Zimmerman C, Lin M, Zhang L, Ulug A, Beal MF, Matson W, Bogdanov M, Ebbel E, Zaleta AK, Kaneko Y, Jenkins B, Hevelone N, Zhang H, Yu H, Schoenfeld D, Ferrante R, Rosas HD (2006) “Creatine in HD is safe, tolerable, bioavailable in brain, and reduces serum 8OH2dG.” Neurology 66: 250-252.
  4. Rosas, HD, Tuch DS, Hevelone ND, Zaleta AK, Vangel M, Hersch SM, Salat DH (2006) “Diffusion tensor imaging in presymptomatic and early Huntington’s disease: Selective white matter pathology and its relationship to clinical symptoms.” Mov Disorders 21 (9) 1317-25.
  5. Hinds OP, Rajendran N, Polimeni JR, Augustinack JC, Wiggins G, Wald LL, Rosas D, Potthast A, Schwartz EL, Fischl B (2008) “Accurate prediction of V1 location from cortical folds in a surface coordinate system.” NeuroImage 39: 1585-1599.
  6. Rosas HD, Zaleta AK, Lee SY, Pappu V, Salat DH, Hersch SM (2008) “Complexity and heterogeneity: The role of the cortex in the clinical expression of HD.” Brain Apr 131 (Pts 4): 1057-68.
  7. Grodstein F, vanOijen M, Irizarry MC, Rosas HD, Hyman BT, Growdon JH, De Vivi I  “Shorter telomeres may mark early risk of dementia: preliminary analysis of 62 participants from the nurses’ health study.” (2008) PLoS ONE. Feb 13: 3(2) e1590.
  8. Liu W, Kennington LA, Rosas HD, Hersch S, Cha JH, Zamore PD, Aronin N. “Linking SNPs to CAG repeat length in Huntington’s disease patients.” (2008). Nat Methods Nov; 5(11) 951-3.
  9. Brocklebank D, Gayan J, Andresen JM, Roberts SA, Young AB, Snodgrass SR, Penney JB, Ramos-Arroyo MA, Cha JJ, Rosas HD, Hersch SM, Feigin A, Cherny SS, Wexler NS, Housman DE, Cardon LR: The International-Venezuela Collaborative Research Group. “Repeat instability in the 27-39 CAG range of the HD gene in the Venezuelan kindred: Counseling implication.” (2008) Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet Aug 19.
  10. Dickerson BC, Bakkour A, Salat DH, Feczko E, Pacheco J, Greve DN, Grodstein F, Wright CI, Blacker D, Rosas HD, Sperling RA, Atri A, Growdon JH, Hyman BT, Morris JC, Fischl B, Buckner R. “ The Cortical Signature of Alzheimer’s Disease: Regionally Specific Cortical Thinning Related to Symptom Severity in Very Mild to Mild AD Dementia and is Detectable in Aymptomatic Amyloid-Positive Individuals.” (2008) Cereb Cortex Jul 16.
  11. Salat DH, Tuch DS, van der Kouwe AJ, Greve DN, Pappu V, Lee SY, Hevelone ND, Zaleta AK, Growdon JH, Corkin S, Fischl B, Rosas HD. “White matter pathology isolates the hippocampal formation in Alzheimer’s disease” (2008) Neurobiol Aging May 2.
NCBI PubMed link NCBI PubMed Publications
E-mail address
Clinical interests

Alzheimer's Disease, Huntington's Disease

Clinical mailing address Massachusetts General Hospital
Neurology, Suite 835
Wang Ambulatory Care Center
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114 USA
Clinical website address

Memory Disorders Unit

Movement Disorders Unit

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