Nasim Sheikh-Bahaei, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Radiology and Neurology

Associate Section Chief of Neuroradiology

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Dr. Sheikh-Bahaei is a double board-certified physician in internal medicine and radiology with subspecialty training in neuroradiology. She received her M.D. from Tehran University of Medical Sciences and her PhD on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) imaging from University of Cambridge, U.K. Her PhD was a multimodality imaging study focusing on positron emission tomography (PET), MR spectroscopy (MRS) and susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI) in AD, funded by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
Dr. Sheikh-Bahaei’s main research interest is the imaging biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis of different neurodegenerative diseases and dementias utilizing advanced MRI techniques and PET scans with various tracers for metabolism, amyloid and tau. She is currently a Co-Investigator in the imaging core of Alzheimer’s disease research center (ADRC) at USC and working on different imaging cohorts at Laboratory of Neuroimaging (LONI) and ADRC. Her active research studies are:
• Neurodegenerative diseases including AD, Primary Progressive aphasia and PDD/DLB.
a. Synaptic function in Alzheimer’s disease and its association with amyloid beta and tau proteins.
b. Interaction between the level of different neurotransmitters measured by MRS and function and density of synapses and their relationship with tractography in AD.
c. Development of new tracers for AD and other dementias and optimizing the production of current tracers and improving the quality of PET images and establishing a semi-automated high-quality quantitative PET analysis system.
• The role of microvascular changes (i.e. cerebral microbleeds, perivascular spaces and white matter changes) in different neurological disorders including:
a. Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias: investigating the interaction between vascular changes and proteinopathy in AD. She was involved in developing an automated software for quantification of perivascular spaces at USC and currently working on a new atlas for normal and abnormal distribution of perivascular spaces across the life span.
b. Migraine and other headaches, using 7T MRI to investigate the microvascular changes, perfusion and functional alteration in different types of Migraine.
c. Normal pressure hydrocephalus, Idiopathic intracranial hypertension and Spontaneous intracranial hypotension; investigating the glymphatic system and perivascular spaces and the role of CSF clearance in various disorders associated with CSF flow impairment


  • Western Neuroradiological Society: Gabriel H Wilson Award, 2018
  • Cambridge University: EG Fearnside Scholarship, 2016
  • Cambridge University Hospitals: Charles Freer Scholarship, 2013


  • Age of onset predicted by Aß profiling in a novel PSEN1 (I180F) mutation Neurosci Lett. 2024 Jan 18; 820:137591. . View in PubMed
  • Correction to: Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) in Alzheimer’s Disease Methods Mol Biol. 2024; 2785:C1. . View in PubMed
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) in Alzheimer’s Disease Methods Mol Biol. 2024; 2785:115-142. . View in PubMed
  • Perivascular spaces in Alzheimer’s disease are associated with inflammatory, stress-related, and hypertension biomarkers bioRxiv. 2023 Jun 05. . View in PubMed
  • Characterization of spastic paraplegia in a family with a novel PSEN1 mutation Brain Commun. 2023; 5(2):fcad030. . View in PubMed
  • Functional MRI and Diffusion Tensor Imaging in Migraine: A Review of Migraine Functional and White Matter Microstructural Changes J Cent Nerv Syst Dis. 2023; 15:11795735231205413. . View in PubMed
  • Structural MRI in Migraine: A Review of Migraine Vascular and Structural Changes in Brain Parenchyma J Cent Nerv Syst Dis. 2023; 15:11795735231167868. . View in PubMed
  • Utility of Neuroimaging in the Management of Chronic and Acute Headache Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2022 Jun; 55(3):559-577. . View in PubMed
  • White matter degradation near cerebral microbleeds is associated with cognitive change after mild traumatic brain injury Neurobiol Aging. 2022 12; 120:68-80. . View in PubMed
  • Brain energy failure in dementia syndromes: Opportunities and challenges for glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists Alzheimers Dement. 2022 03; 18(3):478-497. . View in PubMed
  • Older age, male sex, and cerebral microbleeds predict white matter loss after traumatic brain injury Geroscience. 2022 02; 44(1):83-102. . View in PubMed
  • Dementia is associated with medial temporal atrophy even after accounting for neuropathologies Brain Commun. 2022; 4(2):fcac052. . View in PubMed
  • Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy-related Inflammation Presenting With a Cystic Lesion in Young-onset Alzheimer Disease Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2021 Jul-Sep 01; 35(3):265-268. . View in PubMed
  • Neuroimaging Features of Intracranial Hypertension in Pediatric Patients With New-Onset Idiopathic Seizures, a Comparison With Patients with Confirmed Diagnosis of Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension: A Preliminary Study J Child Neurol. 2021 10; 36(12):1103-1110. . View in PubMed
  • Body mass index, time of day and genetics affect perivascular spaces in the white matter J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2021 07; 41(7):1563-1578. . View in PubMed
  • Global and Regional Changes in Perivascular Space in Idiopathic and Familial Parkinson’s Disease Mov Disord. 2021 05; 36(5):1126-1136. . View in PubMed
  • Volumetric distribution of perivascular space in relation to mild cognitive impairment Neurobiol Aging. 2021 03; 99:28-43. . View in PubMed
  • Common Data Elements in Head and Neck Radiology Reporting Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2020 Aug; 30(3):379-391. . View in PubMed
  • MR spectroscopy in Alzheimer’s disease Biomedical Spectroscopy and Imaging. 2020; 9:13-21. . View in PubMed
  • Alteration of perivascular spaces in early cognitive decline biorxiv. 2020. . View in PubMed
  • Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome (PRES): Pathophysiology and Neuro-Imaging Frontier in Neurology. 2020; 11:463. . View in PubMed
  • Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome (PRES): Pathophysiology and Neuro-Imaging Front Neurol. 2020; 11:463. . View in PubMed
  • Advanced Imaging Techniques in Diagnosis of Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome (PRES) Front Neurol. 2020; 11:165. . View in PubMed
  • Body mass index, time of day, and genetics affect perivascular spaces in the white matter BioRxiv. 2020. . View in PubMed
  • Nonparenchymal fluid is the source of increased mean diffusivity in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease Alzheimers Dement (Amst). 2019 Dec; 11:348-354. . View in PubMed
  • Correlation of Lobar Cerebral Microbleeds with Amyloid, Perfusion, and Metabolism in Alzheimer’s Disease J Alzheimers Dis. 2019; 68(4):1489-1497. . View in PubMed
  • Image processing approaches to enhance perivascular space visibility and quantification using MRI Sci Rep. 2019 08 26; 9(1):12351. . View in PubMed
  • Positron emission tomography-guided magnetic resonance spectroscopy in Alzheimer disease Ann Neurol. 2018 04; 83(4):771-778. . View in PubMed
  • Cerebral small vessel disease in middle age and genetic predisposition to late-onset Alzheimer’s disease Alzheimers Dement. 2018 02; 14(2):253-258. . View in PubMed
  • Current Role for Biomarkers in Clinical Diagnosis of Alzheimer Disease and Frontotemporal Dementia Curr Treat Options Neurol. 2017 Nov 14; 19(12):46. . View in PubMed
  • Imaging Biomarkers in Alzheimer’s Disease: A Practical Guide for Clinicians J Alzheimers Dis Rep. 2017 Jul 19; 1(1):71-88. . View in PubMed
  • Can MRI Visual Assessment Differentiate the Variants of Primary-Progressive Aphasia? AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2017 May; 38(5):954-960.. View in PubMed
  • An audit of CT colonography-compliance with NICE guidelines Clinical Radiology. 2016; 71(S1):15. . View in PubMed
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  • IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2014 Jan; 61(1):35-40. . View in PubMed
  • Intraplaque stretch in carotid atherosclerotic plaque–an effective biomechanical predictor for subsequent cerebrovascular ischemic events PLoS One. 2013; 8(4):e61522. . View in PubMed
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  • Critical mechanical conditions around neovessels in carotid atherosclerotic plaque may promote intraplaque hemorrhage Atherosclerosis. 2012 Aug; 223(2):321-6. . View in PubMed
  • JAMA Review of MRI Atlas of human White matter. 2012; 308(21):2280-2281. . View in PubMed
  • Physics MCQs for the part 1 FRCR 2011. . View in PubMed
  • The relation between intracranial and intraocular pressures: study of 50 patients Ann Neurol. 2006 May; 59(5):867-70. . View in PubMed
  • Photodynamic therapy of head and neck basal cell carcinoma according to different clinicopathologic features Lasers Surg Med. 2005 Jun; 36(5):377-82. . View in PubMed