Evaluating Neurodegeneration Following Traumatic Brain Injury: Some New Ideas
Wednesday, March 15th, 2017, at 12pm noon ET
Mony J. de Leon, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry, Director of the Center for Brain Health, New York University School of Medicine
Silvia Fossati, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology, New York University School of Medicine
This webinar discussed the pathology of TBI and highlighted similarities and differences to Alzheimer’s Disease. The characterization of these changes were from the perspectives of neuropathology, neuroimaging, and fluid biomarkers. Neuroimaging has gained considerable value as it has evolved, from providing descriptive evidence of damage to more specific characterization of types of lesions. We reviewed selected mechanisms by which TBI can evolve into neurodegeneration, including tauopathy, amyloidosis, and cerebrovascular dysfunction, and pointed out possible opportunities for intervention. Recent work at NYU has started characterizing the glymphatic clearance system in humans, and preliminary data highlighting this work in Alzheimer’s disease and its potential in TBI were discussed.
About Mony de Leon, PhD
Dr. Mony de Leon completed his doctoral work in Gerontology at Columbia University in 1980 followed by 2 years of NIH post-doctoral training in computed tomography (CT) brain imaging at NYU (Psychiatry and Radiology) and positron emission tomography (PET) imaging at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. Dr. de Leon’s scientific goals have consistently been to develop and improve early diagnostic accuracy and mechanistic understanding of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). He has published over 400 papers and sits on many national and international scientific review boards.
Among his early work, he published the first papers describing:
- Cortical atrophy in AD using CT scans (1979)
- Glucose metabolism reductions in AD (1980)
- Universal involvement of the hippocampus in AD (1988)
- How hippocampal atrophy predicts future dementia (1989)
- How glucose metabolism reductions predict cognitive decline in aging (2001)
- How hippocampal atrophy predicts cognitive decline in aging (2003)
- How CSF clearance, measured with PET, predicts amyloid and tau pathology (2017)
Dr. de Leon has received many honors and awards, including the “World’s Pioneer in Brain Imaging in Alzheimer’s Disease” in 2006 at the 100th anniversary celebration of Alois Alzheimer’s first publication, the 2006 Special Award from the Alzheimer’s Association Imaging Consortium for “Imaging in Alzheimer’s Disease.” The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference created the annual de Leon Prize in Neuroimaging in 2010, and Dr. de Leon was honored as a pioneer in the 40-year development of FDG-PET at the Society for Nuclear Medicine in 2016.
About Silvia Fossati, PhD
Dr. Silvia Fossati is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at the NYU School of Medicine, and the Director of the Biofluid Biomarkers Core at the Cohen Veteran Center at NYU Langone Medical Center. She is strongly committed to the understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. She obtained a PhD in molecular and cellular neuropharmacology at the University of Florence, Italy. She joined the NYU School of Medicine as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 2007 to conduct research focused on understanding signaling pathways that trigger cell toxicity and cellular stress responses in Alzheimer’s disease and cerebral amyloid angiopathy, with a focus on mitochondrial dysfunction, deregulation of apoptotic factors, neuroinflammation, and stress of cells composing the neurovascular unit. In 2012, Silvia was promoted to a faculty position in the Pathology Department at NYU School of Medicine, and subsequently received an appointment in 2015 as Assistant Professor in the departments of Neurology and Psychiatry, thereby establishing her independent laboratory. As Director of the Biofluid Biomarker Core of the NYU Cohen Veteran Center, she introduced novel ultrasensitive biomarker discovery technologies for the study of TBI and PTSD in military veterans. She has receiving multiple awards, including the Alzheimer’s Association New Investigator Research Grant, the Blas Frangione Foundation New Investigator Grant, the prestigious American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant, and, recently, the Leon Levy Fellowship in Neuroscience. Silvia is a known expert in the molecular mechanisms of cell death/stress underlying multiple causes of brain diseases, including amyloidosis, tauopathy, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, TBI, and PTSD.