Rebecca F. Gottesman, M.D., Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Stroke, Cognition And Neuroepidemiology Section


Building 10, Room B1D733
10 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20814


Research Topics

Vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia (VCID): Dr. Gottesman studies modifiable risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia. Through large epidemiologic cohorts, such as the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, she studies the association between vascular risk factors, especially in midlife, and cognitive decline and dementia. Using neuroimaging (with brain MRI and amyloid PET), she studies the mechanism of a vascular impact on cognition, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease.

Post-stroke cognitive impairment and dementia. (PSCID): As part of the DISCOVERY study (Determinants of Incident Stroke Cognitive Outcomes and Vascular Effects on Recovery), which is a large cohort currently recruiting patients with stroke (ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, and subarachnoid hemorrhage) across 30 U.S. sites, Dr. Gottesman and her team will evaluate the association between stroke and dementia, with a focus on disparities populations.

Cerebral small vessel disease: Dr. Gottesman studies risk factors for, progression of, and outcomes related to cerebral small vessel disease, in clinical cohorts as well as population-based studies, using neuroimaging and cognitive assessment.


Dr. Rebecca Gottesman joined the NINDS as the Chief of the Stroke Branch in May 2021. In addition to the Branch, she is also Chief of the Stroke, Cognition and Neuroepidemiology Section. Prior to NINDS, Dr. Gottesman was an investigator at The Johns Hopkins University where she made significant research contributions to understanding the cognitive impacts of stroke and other vascular disease, as well as short- and long-term associations between vascular risk factors, vascular disease, and dementias.

Selected Publications

  1. Walker KA, Silverstein N, Zhou Y, Hughes TM, Jack CR Jr, Knopman DS, Sharrett AR, Wong DF, Mosley TH, Gottesman RF. Brain White Matter Structure and Amyloid Deposition in Black and White Older Adults: The ARIC-PET Study. J Am Heart Assoc. 2021:e022087.

  2. Sullivan KJ, Blackshear C, Simino J, Tin A, Walker KA, Sharrett AR, Younkin S, Gottesman RF, Mielke MM, Knopman D, Windham BG, Griswold ME, Mosley TH. Association of Midlife Plasma Amyloid-β Levels With Cognitive Impairment in Late Life: The ARIC Neurocognitive Study. Neurology. 2021.

This page was last updated on August 27th, 2021