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Norman L. Foster, M.D.

Professor of Neurology
Director, Center for Alzheimer’s Care, Imaging and Research
Senior Investigator, The Brain Institute at The University of Utah


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Norman L. Foster, M.D.

Bringing Alzheimer’s Care to Utah

In 2005, Dr. Norman Foster's passion for improving Alzheimer's care through research brought him to the University of Utah, where he helped establish the Intermountain West's first academic clinic for Alzheimer's disease and related disorders - the University of Utah Center for Alzheimer's Care, Imaging and Research (CACIR).

The Utah Alzheimer's Center uses an innovative clinical model, that joins research and clinical practice, incorporates personalized health education and social support into every clinic visit, and works closely with referring physicians, who continue to be actively involved in their patient's care and management.

Academic History

Dr. Foster joined the University of Utah in 2005 as Professor in the Department of Neurology, where he is also Director of the Center for Alzheimer's Care, Imaging and Research (CACIR). He also serves as Senior Investigator for the Brain Institute at the University of Utah.

Dr. Foster completed his undergraduate training at MacMurray College in Illinois, graduating summa cum laude with a dual major in Biology and Chemistry. He received his M.D. from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where he subsequently completed an internship in Straight Medicine. After completing his residency in Neurology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Dr. Foster relocated to Bethesda, Maryland for a three-year fellowship in Experimental Therapeutics with the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke at the NIH.

Before returning to Utah, Dr. Foster spent over 20 years at the University of Michigan, where he was a faculty member in the Department of Neurology. While there, he led the Clinical Core and was Associate Director of the NIH-funded Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, and he established the first dementia clinic in Michigan, which he directed from 1984-2006.

Dr. Foster is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, and a chartered member of the NIH Clinical Neuroscience and Neurodegeneration Study Section, the Alpha Omega Alpha Honorary Medical Society, and the American Neurological Association. He has been listed as one of "The Best Doctors in America" nine times during his career, and was recognized in 2007 by Utah Business Magazine as a "Health Care Hero" for his clinical innovations.

Research Interests

Dr. Foster's research has focused primarily on brain imaging, clinical drug trials, and the clinical features and pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementia. Dr. Foster and his colleagues have recently shown that PET imaging can help distinguish between Alzheimer's and other types of dementia. They now hope to validate FDG-PET as a biomarker for frontotemporal dementia.

Click here to view Dr. Foster's NIH Biosketch.

Selected Publications

  • Foster NL, Wang AY, Tasdizen T, Fletcher PT, Hoffman JM, Koeppe RA. Realizing the potential of positron emission tomography with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose to improve the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer Dement 2008;4(S1):S29-36.
  • Foster NL, Heidebrink JL, Clark CM, Jagust WJ, Arnold SE, Barbas NR, Decarli CS, Turner RS, Koeppe RA, Higdon R, Minoshima S. FDG-PET improves accuracy in distinguishing frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Brain. 2007;130:2616-35.
  • Habeck C, Foster NL, Perneczky R, Kurz A, Alexopoulos P, Koeppe RA, Drzezga A, Stern Y. Multivariate and univariate neuroimaging biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease. Neuroimage. 2008 May 1;40(4):1503-15.
  • Fletcher PT, Powell S, Foster NL, Joshi SC. Quantifying metabolic asymmetry modulo structure in Alzheimer's disease. Inf Process Med Imaging. 2007;20:446-57.
  • Foster NL. A new framework for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease [Invited Editorial]. Lancet Neurol. 2007 Aug;6(8):667-9.
  • Porter AB, Healy L, Foster NL, Josephs KA. Compulsive urination as a presenting symptom of frontotemporal dementia [Letter]. Eur J Neurol. 2007 Aug;14(8):e16-7.
  • Foster NL. Strategies for using molecular neuroimaging in dementia [Book Chapter]. In: Duyckaerts C, Litvan I (Eds.), Dementias: Handbook of Clinical Neurology. Edinburgh ; New York: Elsevier, 2008, 87-95.
  • Foster NL. Neuroimaging [Book Chapter]. In: Weiner MF, Lipton AM (Eds.), The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Alzheimer Disease and Other Dementias. In press, 2008.

View a more complete list of Dr. Foster's publications, via PubMed, here.