The Brains Behind the Brain at BWH Research Day
During a session on the latest in traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer’s research at BWH Research Day on Nov. 21, Ross Zafonte, DO, chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Dennis Selkoe, MD, co-director of the Center for Neurologic Diseases and chief of the Division of Basic Neuroscience Research, brought to light the ways in which the brain is the most complex organ in the body, and also, the most mysterious. Zafonte discussed sports-related head injury, including how sport type and an athlete’s gender, culture and race can all play a role in the presentation of trauma. Selkoe took attendees to the various neural synapses that begin to fail in Alzheimer’s patients and the memory improvements that pre-clinical models experience as a result of an enriched environment, which may translate to humans. He also shared an exciting new prevention trial, led by BWH’s Reisa Sperling, MD, which will provide an Alzheimer’s drug to people who possess certain hallmarks of the disease but have not yet shown symptoms in order to see if earlier treatment may make a difference in disease onset.