Peng Li, Ph.D.
Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Mass General Research Institute
Dr. Li’s research in the recent 8 years has contributed to the understanding of sleep and circadian disturbances as early-stage manifestations or risk factors of AD. For example, his research demonstrates simultaneous degradations in cognition and sleep/circadian rhythms with advanced age and clarifies a bidirectional relationship between cognitive decline and circadian degradation in older human participants. A highlight of his recent discoveries in this field is the link between altered daytime napping and risk for AD, which opens a new research avenue to understand behavioral rhythms or sleep behaviors in dementia etiology and to design potential interventional strategies through consolidating sleep behaviors or sleep hygiene for cognitive benefits.
Dr. Li’s research in the last 3 years has also been expanded to the study of physical and cognitive resilience in the context of sex/gender and racial minorities as well as people living with chronic inflammation burdens, who show a disproportionately higher burden of age-related comorbidities.