While considering whether to go to medical school, Dana Alliance member Reisa Sperling, M.D., noticed her grandfather had started to act strangely. She only later realized that he had symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. His death when she was a neurology resident, along with her father’s diagnosis, influenced her decision to focus her research on the early detection of Alzheimer’s. She is now the director of clinical research at the Center for Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Sperling discussed her personal experience with the disease, and her ongoing research, in a fall interview for the Harvard Medical Labcast.
Dana Alliance member Paul Greengard, Ph.D., whose over 45 year commitment to understanding neurological diseases and disorders led him to win a Nobel Prize, was recently featured in an interview with Scientific American. The interview covered Greengard’s lengthy career, from his beginnings at Geigy pharmaceutical company to his current research at the Greengard Laboratory at The Rockefeller University in New York.
Greengard’s main areas of research are neurotransmitters and slow-signaling transduction, the pathways and messages of the brain. While not widely accepted when Greengard began his studies, they are now crucial to our understanding of the brain and are targeted in the development of more effective drugs for neurological diseases and disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, and depression, all of which Greengard has spent his life studying.
Genes passed down from generation to generation within families are the main culprit in contracting Alzheimer’s disease. Recent research for the disease is focusing on individual variations of these genes, instead of trying to find a “one size fits all” treatment.
That was part of the message delivered by Richard Mayeux, the Gertrude H. Sergieysky co-director of the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University Medical Center. Mayeux’s talk on the role that genetics plays in Alzheimer’s disease last Thursday evening at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan came at an opportune time. November is both National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness month and National Epilepsy Awareness Month.
Mayeux, M.D., MS.c., who is also Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry, and Epidemiology and a member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, has been featured in the New York Academy of Sciences podcast series, Dementia Decoded. His research on genomes aims to understand the differences in gene structure and what it could mean for future treatment.
Are you going to be near Gainesville, Georgia this weekend? If so, please join us Saturday morning, August 29 for our free Staying Sharp forum. It will be an exciting and informational morning that includes a panel discussion from 10 to 11 AM with Swati Gaur, MD, the medical director and owner of Senior Care Office LLC, and Patrick A. Griffith, MD, FAAN, a professor of clinical medicine at SABA University and a member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. As an added bonus, the session will be moderated by Dr. Griffith’s wife, Marcia Griffith. The panel will discuss the latest information on the aging brain, memory, Alzheimer’s disease, brain health, and more. For the last thirty minutes, they will take questions from the audience.