AAN: Predicting Alzheimer’s disease

Plenty of measures of brain structure and function have been shown to correlate with Alzheimer’s disease, if you look at people who already have it or even at those who have mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and who may be on their way to developing the disease. There was a handy review about all this in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics last year (subscription required).  Read more

AAN: Historical highlights – Henry Head

AAN: Historical highlights - Henry Head

Close observation of the conference program reveals that there’s more to the AAN meeting than quickfire slide presentations on the efficacy profile of PYM50028 for parkinsonism, or discussions of onabotulinumtoxinA for chronic migraine (more on that later). Yesterday I indulged my fascination with history and swung by an afternoon session on Landmark Cases in Neurology. This kind of thing turns out to be a hobby for neurologists who obviously can’t get enough neuro during any given day in the lab or clinic. Michael Okun, a specialist in deep brain stimulation at the University of Florida, gave a presentation on the  … Read more

AAN: Smarter mice

One of the first plenary talks here at the AAN meeting was on stem cell treatments for neurological diseases, given this morning by Steven Goldman of the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, NY. Goldman talked to a bulging conference hall about his labs work on progenitor cells in the brain – cells born in the mammalian brain throughout life that are destined to become neurons or glia. These progenitor cells are a bit like neural stem cells, but their destiny is fixed, and they cannot self-renew in the same way. They’re more common in the brain than you might think – about 3% of cells in the white matter are progenitor cells.  Read more

AAN: The brain in combat

AAN: The brain in combat

I’ve heard it said that traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the ‘signature’ injury of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Traumatic brain injury covers a spectrum of injuries that result from stresses, strains or deformations applied to the skull from the outside. The effects on memory are the most pronounced, but there can be other impacts on cognition. Some of these may only be short-lived, but there’s reason to believe that some persist after the injury looks to have cleared up. One reason why more service members are returning from conflict with TBI is the increased use of IEDs, or  … Read more

AAN: It all kicks off

AAN: It all kicks off

I’m here in Toronto, Canada for the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. It’s quite a clinically-focused meeting bringing together an estimated 10,000 physicians, researchers and trainees to discuss and absorb the latest scientific research in neurology.  Read more