Zvinka Zlatar, PhD

Zvinka Z. Zlatar, PhD, is an Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Dr. Zlatar earned her doctorate in philosophy in clinical psychology from the University of Florida, Gainesville in 2012, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at UCSD in 2015. She is a bilingual (English/Spanish) clinical psychologist in California specializing in neuropsychological testing of older adults to aid in the diagnosis of different dementia types and providing neuropsychological assessment services to English- and Spanish-speaking adults. Dr. Zlatar’s research interests focus on understanding age-related brain changes that affect cognitive function in older adults and developing behavioral interventions (i.e., exercise) to improve cognition and quality of life in aging. Some of her research has focused on investigating risk factors for cognitive decline, including subjective cognitive decline (SCD), changes in cerebral blood flow, sedentary behavior, and the influence of the apolipoprotein E genotype in affecting brain and cognitive health. She uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure brain structure, perfusion (arterial spin labeling MRI), and function, and standard neuropsychological tests to assess cognitive function.




“Subjective cognitive decline (SCD) and neurocognition in Hispanic older adults.” In this study, Dr. Zlatar aims to characterize SCD in older Hispanics with the long-term goal of improving care for this underserved segment of the U.S. population. She will collect primary data on a sample of older adult Hispanics enrolled in the UCSD Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC), to investigate if there are associations between self-reported SCD and objective neurocognition in Hispanic older adults after adjusting for symptoms of depression, and investigate if self-report of SCD is congruent with informant SCD report and whether informant SCD report is a better predictor of objective neurocognition than self-reported SCD in Hispanic older adults. Dr. Zlatar aims to begin a line of research investigating SCD in Hispanic older adults with the long-term goal to improve early detection of Alzheimer’s disease risk in Hispanics and implement early-prevention strategies.