Skip Navigation


85-year-old Georgia grandmother battles Parkinson's with boxing
Emory School of Medicine assistant professor of neurology Dr. Joe Nocera says research shows intense physical exercise like boxing may slow the progression of Parkinson's and protect the brain. He says boxing requires very deliberate, fluid movements and steps. "So, this exercise really focuses them on being intentional with their movements." (Watch Video)

Optimal approach for preserving cognition in hypertension remains unclear
Dr. Felicia Goldstein from Emory University School of Medicine, who recently detailed the relationship between cognitive functioning and current guidelines for hypertension in older adults, told Reuters Health, "Hypertension is a modifiable risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, in contrast to other known risk factors such as advanced age, female gender, and family history. Therefore, there is the ability to make lifestyle changes that can attenuate the cognitive effects of hypertension." (Read More)

How brain-machine connections can help paraplegics move again
Emory University neuroethicist Karen Rommelfanger understands why many people find the promise of connecting brains so compelling. "The idea of being able to touch somebody really far away — touch someone's thoughts from far away — is an exciting appeal." But she says that both in science and on the consumer side, there are questions that need to be asked along the way. (Read More)

Does this headline look blue to you? Then it might also feel like a triangle.
A study published in the European Journal of Neuroscience suggests that simply having one type of synesthesia for example, seeing colors in letters of the alphabet is enough to blur the lines between other senses as well. "It shows that something about their synesthesia is spilling over into another domain," said Dr. Krish Sathian, a neurologist at Emory University. (Read More)

Caregiving in Connecticut: Navigating financial burdens and emotional hardship
Whitney Wharton, a cognitive neuroscientist and assistant professor of neurology at Emory University discusses how caregivers can continue to care for their loved ones and avoid negative impacts on their own personal health. (Start listening at 39:04)

Atlanta lab plays critical role in ALS gene discovery
Project MinE's U.S. DNA collection site in Atlanta received $1 million from the ALS Association following the 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge. "This new gene will allow us to investigate the biology behind this gene," Dr. Jonathan Glass, director of the Emory ALS Center said. "This is a baby step forward, and lots of baby steps create a giant leap." (Read More)

Local clinic to practice medicine via web
Dr. Jaime Hatcher-Martin, an assistant professor of neurology at Emory in Atlanta, is kicking off a pilot telemedicine project at Emory at LaGrange. The telemedicine project will be open to people with movement disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, neurological disorders, tremors and more. (Read More)

Life Lessons: Alzheimer's and the biggest mistake caregivers can make
Cognitive neuroscientist in the Department of Neurology at Emory University, Whitney Wharton, studies Alzheimer's from the patient's side and the people who care for them. Wharton says one of the biggest mistakes caregivers make is not caring for themselves. (Watch Video)

Pat Summitt's public fight spurs research support
Pat Summitt's fight against Alzheimer's disease continues, and it has even gained momentum since her death. "Certainly in the last five years, the amount of support from the National Institutes of Health for Alzheimer's research has just skyrocketed," said Allan Levey, the director of the Emory Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. "Is that all due to Pat? Obviously not. But she was part of that campaign to raise awareness, for sure." (Read More)

Stem cells deemed safe for ALS patient
Scientists report that stem cell therapy appears to be safe for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but it's not yet clear whether the treatment provides any benefits. Dr. Jonathan Glass, one of the study authors and leader of Emory University's ALS Center, called it an important start in developing a therapy for the incurable disease, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. "We can say this procedure is doable in ALS patients," Glass said. "Now we have to test whether it's actually therapeutic." (Read More)

Common medication provides insight into brain abnormalities
Hyder A. Jinnah, professor of neurosurgery, human genetics & pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, discusses a common medication used for the symptomatic treatment of dystonia that has been shown to target brain abnormalities in the cerebral cortex in patients with cervical dystonia (CD), according to a study released at the 20th International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders. (Read More)

Muhammad Ali had a special relationship with Atlanta
The other important relationship Ali had with Atlanta is not well known. The doctor who treated Ali for Parkinson's was Atlanta's own Dr. Mahlon DeLong, the William Timmie Professor of Neurology at Emory University one of the national leaders in the treatment of Parkinson's. (Read More)

When 11 hours aren't enough: The rare disorder of perpetual sleepiness
Idiopathic hypersomnia patients sleep for excessively long periods — generally more than 11 hours at a stretch — but even after awakening in daytime hours often find themselves slipping back into slumber. David Rye, a professor of neurology in the sleep program at the Emory University School of Medicine, and more than 5,000 other physicians, researchers and experts will converge on Denver for SLEEP 2016, a gathering of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies starting Sunday at the Colorado Convention Center. Rye has identified biological activity that may be the "parking brake" on wakefulness that triggers the disorder in some patients. (Read More

Alzheimer's and the biggest mistake caregivers make
Cognitive neuroscientist in the Department of Neurology at Emory University, Whitney Wharton, studies Alzheimer’s from the patient’s side and the people who care for them. Wharton says one of the biggest mistakes caregivers make is not caring for themselves. “Caregivers, they will be stressed, they won’t eat properly, they don’t have time to exercise and that’s unfortunate because, during middle age, particularly for women, is the time when we really need to take care of our bodies.” (Read More)

Alzheimer's: Challenges, choices, and change
"There are a lot of misconceptions about the disease," explains Allan Levey, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Neurology at Emory University and director of the Emory Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. "Most of the time, the first symptoms are those of memory loss--forgetfulness, losing things and repeating stories, conversations or questions." (Read More)

Emory studying patients to eliminate chronic disease
"We're just not going to help people live longer but live longer better," said Dr. Sharon Bergquist, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Emory School of Medicine. Over a long period of time, researchers will study participants so they can someday treat and potentially cure chronic diseases such as Alzheimer's and cancer. "We're looking for early markers that predict chronic disease and we're looking to find ways to predict who will develop disease and find novel ways of not only preventing but also treating those diseases," said Dr. Bergquist. (Watch Video)

Emory wants you for massive aging study
For Alzheimer's, one of the priorities of the study, no current treatments are effective, said Michele Marcus, an Emory epidemiologist and study investigator on the leadership team, being directed by neurologists Allan Levey and James Lah. (Read More)

Somatic symptoms before concussion may predict recovery
Psychosomatic symptoms may predict concussion recovery, although post-concussive symptom burden is still a stronger predictor, researchers reported. In an accompanying editorial, David Loring, PhD, of Emory University in Atlanta, and Michael Makdissi, PhD, of Olympic Park Sports Medicine Center in Melbourne, Australia, agreed that pre-injury psychosomatic symptoms may eventually help to develop early interventions that can improve outcomes for patients who have a concussion. (Read More)

Closer look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress: Emory Healthy Aging Study
Dr. James Lah, neurobiologist and associate professor of neurology at the Emory School of Medicine, and Dr. Michele Marcus, professor of epidemiology in the Rollins School of Public Health, discuss a new study on aging and age-related diseases that hopes to enroll 100,000 people over the next four years.(Start listening at 47:23)

Encore for Bruce
Emory neurologist Dr. Stewart Factor recommended Deep Brain Stimulation to patient and pianist Bruce Gilbert after Gilbert had exhausted his pharmaceutical options. Surgeon Dr. Jon T. Willie performed the procedure at Emory University Hospital using a relatively new technology in which much of the procedure occurs while the patient is inside an extra-wide MRI machine, allowing him to map Bruce’s brain to accurately guide the wires to the target area. - AJC Subscription Required (Read More)

Emory launches largest-ever clinical research study in Atlanta
Emory's Healthy Aging Study is the largest-ever clinical research study in Georgia with an ambitious enrollment goal of 100,000 participants in the first five years. Dr. Allan Levey is helping lead the school's Healthy Aging Study aimed at better understanding Alzheimer's and other chronic diseases that afflict people as they grow older. "Their life span is increasing, but the healthy years, or the health span, is really lagging behind," said Dr. Sharon Bergquist, a member of the Emory study team. Atlanta's diversity -- a community of all colors, personalities, backgrounds -- is what makes it great for this type of study, said Michele Marcus, a professor at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health and also a member of the study's leadership team. The project is also an opportunity to develop a platform for all aging-related diseases, said Dr. James Lah, another principal investigator of the study. - AJC Subscription Required (Read More)

Apple new CareKit Platform allows any user to collect medical data
Dr. Jaime Hatcher-Martin, an assistant professor in movement disorder neurology at Emory University who did consulting work for Apple on the CareKit version of mPower, notes that these high-quality apps, developed by researchers who study specific conditions, also provide doctors with objective data such as measuring a person's tremor, recording a person's voice and even collecting information on a person's walking gait. (Read More)

Ga. woman struggles with paralyzing disorder Guillain-Barré syndrome
When the weakness spread up her arms and legs, [Glenda] Pope finally went to the ER. She was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, or GBS. "It's a syndrome that has a pretty quick onset," says Emory School of Medicine assistant professor of medicine and neurologist Dr. Taylor Harrison.(Watch Video)

Health minute: Brain game
Should we shell out time and money for games that we are told will make our brain work better? "Brain development starts in utero and there is a long period of time in which the brain matures just as the rest of the body matures," said Dr. David Loring, professor of neurology and pediatrics, Emory University. "Both social interaction that you have and some of the more broad type of activities in which you engage are related to maintaining a level of function at optimum levels." (Watch Video)

Blessing from a Curse
More than a decade ago, a woman in her early 70s came to see neurologist Allan Levey for an evaluation. She was experiencing progressive memory decline and was there with her children. (Read More)

U.S. aims to overhaul ethics rules for research with people
Karen Rommelfanger, director of neuroethics at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, was interviewed for a story on new rules proposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to add privacy protections for participants in clinical research studies. (Read More)

A closer look: Alzheimer's disease
Dr. James Lah with the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Emory University discusses current and future research on Alzheimer's disease. (Interview begins at 20:46.) (Read More)

GA family life with Alzheimer's documented in photos
A project at Emory University is helping caregivers of people experiencing the disease to document family stories of everyday life. (An audio version of the story includes an interview with Whitney Wharton, PhD, who heads the program.) (Read More)

Chastain family reunites, learns about Alzheimer's disease
After a presentation by Thomas Wingo, assistant professor of neurology and human genetics at Emory University and a researcher studying the Chastain family, members of the family gave blood to have themselves tested for a research study he and other researchers are conducting. Top researcher Dr. Allan Levey at Emory's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center believes studying the Chastain family's genetics could lead to breakthroughs in the field. (Read More)

Neuroscientist-TV host is the brain behind the brain
Researcher, writer, advocate, thinker of big thoughts and TV host David Eagleman is having a moment, the hot neuroscientist at a time when the brain is the hot organ. Karen Rommelfanger, an assistant professor at Emory University in Atlanta and director of the neuroethics program there, says Eagleman's great strength is distilling complex ideas in alluring and interesting packages. (Read More)

Women bear higher cost burdens with Alzheimer's
Experts on Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia are not surprised by the results of a recent Emory University study, which finds that women pay more for Alzheimer's disease care than men. Changing that reality is not an easy feat to accomplish. "There is not that much there happening to mitigate the cost," said one of the study's authors, Zhou Yang, assistant professor in Emory's Rollins School of Public Health. The other study author is Dr. Allan Levey, chair of the Department of Neurology and director of the Emory Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, which is the only National Institutes of Health designated ADRC in the Southeast. (Read More)

Women the bigger losers in terms of Alzheimer's costs
When the patient is a man, the true value of the time and energy a female family member typically puts into her caregiving job is 20 times greater than that performed by a male family member when the patient-caregiver roles are reversed, the Emory University researchers said. In other words, women perform more unreimbursed labor. And when men care for sick women, more money is spent on paid caregiving staff, driving up the overall cost, said study authors Zhou Yang and Allan Levey. (Read More)

Blood pressure meds may cut Alzheimer's risk
People with early thinking and memory issues who took an ACE inhibitor or an ARB medication for their high blood pressure were less likely to get Alzheimer's disease than those on other BP drugs. "All of these blood pressure medications have been available for decades. They're all FDA-approved. They're cheap. And blood pressure is easily controlled," says researcher Whitney Wharton, PhD, an assistant professor at the Emory University School of Medicine. Results from the study were presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2015 in Washington, D.C. (Read More)

Emory study finds women bear brunt of cost of Alzheimer's disease care
"There is strong evidence that women face higher risks of being affected by Alzheimer's, as either patients or informal caregivers," said Zhou Yang, Ph.D., assistant professor in Emory's Rollins School of Public Health, one of the study's authors. Yang and Dr. Allan Levey, chair of the Department of Neurology and director of the Emory Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, used a lifetime perspective to calculate Alzheimer's costs. (Read More

Emory reboots Ice Bucket Challenge
Emory has one of the largest centers for ALS in the country, so their lead team stood in front of Emory's School of Medicine to promote the 'Every August until a cure campaign,' encouraging people to do it again, to donate money again, to help research and find a cure for ALS. Doctors Nicholas Boulis and Jonathan Glass bumped chests after getting the buckets dumped on their heads. They then issued the ice bucket challenge to the incoming class of medical students at Emory University School of Medicine, all residents in neurosurgery and neurology at Emory, administrative staff at the new Emory Brain Health Center, and the whole incoming freshman class at Emory. (Watch Video)

As movie suspense builds, brains zoom in
Daniel Drane, a neuroscientist at Emory who wasn't involved in the study, said the study could be helpful for surgical applications, too. He uses neuroimaging to plan for epilepsy and tumor surgery. (Read More)

Sleeping Beauty Syndrome makes it hard to wake up
Doctor David Rye and his colleagues study hypersomnia at the Emory University Sleep Center, where they say they have identified a possible cause in some patients by testing cerebrospinal fluid. "Their body is producing a small protein, or what's called a peptide, that essentially mimics the effects of sleeping pills or anesthesia," Dr. Rye explained. (Read More)

UM awards Taubman Prize, $100K to Emory U. researcher
Mahlon DeLong, M.D., a professor of neurology at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, has been named the recipient of the 2015 Taubman Prize for Excellence in Translational Medical Science. The award, which carries a cash prize of $100,000, was announced by the University of Michigan's A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute. DeLong's research into Parkinson's disease over a 40-year career has improved the quality of life for tens of thousands of Parkinson's disease patients. (Read More)

Homunculus re-imagined
The brain area that controls neck muscles used to be between areas that control the thumb and the top of the head, but a new study puts the neck between the shoulder and the trunk. Hyder Jinnah of Emory University in Atlanta and colleagues used fMRI to scan the brains of volunteers as they activated their head-turning neck muscles. The research was published in the Journal of Neuroscience.This article aslo appeared in io9. (Read More)

Grace under pressure
CNN Accent Health featured Winship Cancer Institute volunteer piano player Bruce Gilbert, a patient of Emory movement disorder specialist Dr. Stewart Factor, in a story about living with Parkinson’s Disease. (Watch Video)

Johnny Isakson reveals Parkinson's diagnosis, will still run
Dr. Stewart Factor, the director of the Emory University School of Medicine's Comprehensive Parkinson's Disease Center, said, "Progression is variable, so where he would be five years down the road is difficult to predict, but I don't think it's unreasonable to think that he could" serve out another term. Dr. Factor also offers questions and answers to describe Parkinson's disease, its causes, and treatment. (Read More)

Alzheimer's research takes a leaf from the prion notebook
Neuroscientist Larry Walker described how he has borrowed a technique from prion research to study different 'strains' of the amyloid-B protein, which accumulates in clumps in the brains of people with Alzheimers "The Alzheimer's field has not been paying enough attention to whats happening in the prion field," says Walker, who is based at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. (Read More)

Jaffar Khan, MD, and Sandra Solomon receive Best Clerkship Awards from SOM Class of 2015
Jaffar Khan, MD, and Sandra Solomon were the respective recipients of the Best Clerkship Director and Best Clerkship Coordinator Awards from the School of Medicine Class of 2015! Congratulations to our outstanding education leadership!

Jaffar Khan and Sandy Solomon

Community brain health forum focuses on nutrition, preventing memory loss and self-care
The Emory Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation to provide education and training on brain health and offer memory screenings for older adults in metro Atlanta. (Read More)

Easing dystonia symptoms with deep brain stimulation
Michael Richardson first experienced symptoms of dystonia, a movement disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions and spasms, when he was 13.  These exaggerated movements are called "overflow"—a common occurrence among dystonia patients, says Mahlon DeLong, William Timmie Professor of Neurology at Emory's School of Medicine. (Read More)

Brain Health Center to address massive burdern of brain disease
On any given day in the United States alone, more than 42 million people are fighting brain disease such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer's disease, stroke, traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, and Parkinson's disease. (Read More)

Improving your health could help you sleep better
The most common sleep disorder is insomnia, but for others they get too much sleep and still battle constant tiredness. Both conditions have consequences for your health. What can you do to improve your sleep? Dr. David Rye of the Emory Sleep Center says good sleep hygiene means keep a regular schedule, try to get to bed at the same time, get up early, get exposure to the sun, don't go to bed with your iPhone, and try not to take long naps in the day. (Watch Video)

Alzheimer's research and African-Americans
Emory University researcher Whitney Wharton says African-Americans are more likely to become afflicted with vascular risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, all which contribute to Alzheimer's. She is leading a clinical trial that hopes to determine if a medication used to treat high blood pressure might reduce the risk of Alzheimer's in Blacks. (Watch Video)

ALS Ice bucket challenge donations are funding research at Emory University
The ice bucket challenge raised awareness of ALS and generated an enormous amount of funds. Dr. Jonathan Glass, director of the Emory ALS Center, says "the ice bucket money has really jump started a lot of research projects that I think many researchers have been thinking about and looking for funding for a long time." (Watch Video)

Music can hinder a person's memory
A new study from Georgia Tech looks at the effect of music on memory and the difference between young and old brains.The findings have implications for improving memory, said Emory clinical neuropsychologist Felicia Goldstein, who wasn't involved in the study."It sounds pretty common sense, but we often don't think about the importance of minimizing distraction," Goldstein said. (Read More)

Shots of brain cells restore learning, memory in rats
The researchers directed human stem cells to become a type of brain cell that is destroyed by radiation, a common cancer treatment, then grafted the cells into the brains of irradiated rats. Within a few months, the rats' performance on learning and memory tests improved. "This technique, translated to humans, could be a major step forward for the treatment of radiation-induced brain … injury," says Jonathan Glass, a neurologist at Emory University in Atlanta. (Read More)

Still Alice: An accurate look at Alzheimer's?
For the latest video from Emory Looks at Hollywood, Ken Hepburn of Emory's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center analyzes the authenticity of the film "Still Alice" and Julianne Moore's performance. (Watch Video)

Emory ADRC receives funding to promote brain health for people of color
The Emory Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) has received a $50,000 grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation to provide education on brain health and offer memory screenings for people of color. (Read More)

How an Emory researcher benefited from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Jonathan Glass, who directs the Emory ALS Center, is one of the U.S. investigators for Project MinE, an international genetic research program that will receive $1 million in funds raised by the challenge. The project is working to map the DNA profiles of 15,000 people with ALS to compare with the profiles of 7,500 control subjects. (Read More)

What is the best way to measure disability in MS?
What is the best way to measure disability progression in multiple sclerosis patients? Two specialists took on the question: William Tyor, MD, of Emory University in Atlanta and co-director of the Emory MS Center, and Jerome Graber, MD, MPH of Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, N.Y. They recommended a variety of tools including standardized scales, MRI scans, and clinical judgment. (Read More)

Emory ALS researchers to receive funds from ice bucket challenge
The ALS Association has announced an initial commitment of $21.7 million from this summer’s ice bucket challenge to support six programs to expedite the search for treatments and a cure for ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. (Read More)

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Conversation with Dr. Mahlon R. DeLong
Emory neurologist Mahlon R. DeLong has a lot to show for his three decades studying Parkinson's, a progressive disease of the nervous system. His discoveries, coupled with those of French neurologist Alim Louis Benabid, have led to the current standard therapy for treating advanced stages of Parkinson's. The treatment is called high frequency deep brain stimulation, or DBS. In September, DeLong and Benabid were honored with the prestigious Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for enhancing "the lives of more than 100,000 patients worldwide." (Read More)

Stopping migraine pain
When it comes to headaches, migraines are in a league all their own. Symptoms can last as long as three days, but what can you do to stop the pain? Dr. Gregory Esper, director of general neurology at Emory, says typically people require what's called an abortive medication, something to knock out the migraine when it happens. (Read More)

Design power: Patients play researchers in drug trials
Brandy Parker-McFadden, a 39-year-old with epilepsy who lives near Nashville, Tenn., says she joined the Emory trial as a member of the executive committee after meeting David Loring, professor of neurology and pediatrics at Emory. (Read More)

Renowned neurologist Mahlon DeLong receives Lasker award for pioneering research in Parkinson's disease
The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation will present the 2014 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award to Mahlon DeLong, MD, William Timmie Professor of Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine. DeLong will receive the award along with Alim Louis Benabid of Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France. (Read More)

Research making ALS less of a mystery
New research suggests that in ALS patients, these supporting cells become killers, poisoning the motor neurons. Animal studies have found stem cells can help heal the toxic supporting cells. "What the stem cells will do is create a nutritious environment for those motor neurons that are sick," said Dr. Jonathan Glass at Emory University. (Video)

Light can switch bad memories to good
There are potential ethical issues with changing a patient's memories as a form of medical treatment, says Karen Rommelfanger, director of Emory University's Neuroethics Program. For example, would a memory change have side effects, perhaps on a patient's identity and interactions with others? Rommelfanger thinks it's worth pursuing these results, especially for their possible application to those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. (Read More)

Pediatricians: Start middle and high schools later so kids can sleep
Emory sleep expert David Rye indicated that teens are programmed to stay up late. While parents could try to alter their teens' natural sleep patterns and force them to bed earlier, he said it would be a challenge. The better alternative, he suggested, would be delaying the start of school. (Read More)

'Sleep drunkenness' is common and linked to other behavior issues
"Sleep drunkenness" is more common than previously thought, affecting about one in seven Americans, or 15 percent, according to a new study that looked at the sleeping habits of more than 19,000 adults. Also called confusional arousal, the condition causes people to wake up in a confused state, not knowing where they are. Dr. David Rye, a professor of neurology at Emory University in Atlanta, said, "Confusional arousals exist -- and are probably more common than we thought." (Read More)

Emory ALS team takes on the ice bucket challenge
Members of the Emory ALS team, along with many colleagues from across the Emory University School of Medicine, took on the ALS ice bucket challenge. The team was participating to help bring awareness and support for ALS research. (Video)

Laser surgery shows promise in halting seizures in epilepsy sufferers
According to studies by Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, one of which was funded by a grant from the manufacturer, six months after surgery the laser procedure had a 59 percent seizure-free rate versus 69 percent for traditional surgery but resulted in better memory and cognitive function. "But the million-dollar question is how well does it control seizures long term?" said Daniel Drane, an assistant professor of neurology at Emory whose study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. (Read More)

'Lucy' may be tops at the box office, but is the film wrong about human brain capacity?
In the latest installment of Emory Looks at Hollywood, neurologist Krish Sathian debunks the popular myth that human beings use only 10 percent of our brains. (Video)

Making the most of your aging memory
"There's a decreased efficiency in how our brains work, in the information retrieval process, as we age," says James Lah, MD, PhD, director of Emory University's Cognitive Neurology Program. "That's why names and facts don't come to mind like they used to. It's like a filing system." (Read More)

Sandy Springs woman struggles with Alzheimer's diagnosis at 55
The Alzheimer's Association estimates about 200,000 Americans are living with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, diagnosed before their 65th birthday. Emory School of Medicine Professor of Neurology Dr. Krish Sathian says the disease tends to affect a region of the brain called the hippocampus first. (Read More)

Hot Topics: Alzheimer's disease
Early this year, Medpage Today asked, "What will be the most important clinical developments in Alzheimer's disease in 2014?" Now, at the half-year mark, experts including Allan Levey, MD, PhD, of Emory University in Atlanta, were asked how their predictions are holding up. (Video)

Emory leads $7.2 million Alzheimer's proteomics project
"We have developed a proteomics strategy that will allow us to discover the hundreds or thousands of protein changes that occur in the very first stages of Alzheimer's disease," says principal investigator Allan Levey, Betty Gage Holland Chair of neurology and director of Emory's ADRC. The goal, he says, is to pinpoint proteins most central to the network of changes in the brain, most likely to trigger the disease years before onset of symptoms, and most promising as new targets for preventive therapies. (Read More)

Metlife Foundation recognizes Alzheimer's disease researcher
Lary C. Walker, PhD, research professor of neuropharmacology and neurologic diseases and associate professor of neurology, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, is a recipient of the 2014 MetLife Foundation Awards for Medical Research. The winners were recognized at a scientific briefing and awards ceremony in New York. (Read More)

Dr. Melanie Winningham receives 2014 HOPE Award
Dr. Melanie Winningham is among the recipients of the prestigious 2014 House Staff Organization Professionalism Excellence Award. This peer-nominated award recognizes the top 1% of residents and fellows at Emory University exemplifying professionalism as perceived by their colleagues. Dr. Winningham will enter her 4 and final year of residency July 1, 2014. Upon graduation she will rejoin our Department as a Fellow in Vascular Neurology

Emory researchers receive grants from Harrington Discovery Institute and Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation
Two researchers studying Alzheimer's disease at Ohio State University and Emory University will be the first to receive funding for their work from a new collaboration between the Harrington Discovery Institute (HDI) at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF). Emory University's, Thota Ganesh and Dr. Allen Levey will receive $101,000 to collaborate on research focusing on a new anti-inflammation drug for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (Read More)

Dr. Khan Recipient of Clerkship Director Award
The Class of 2014 presented Dr. Jaffar Khan with the “Best Clerkship Director” award at this year’s Emory University School of Medicine Senior Banquet.  The Department’s Clerkship Coordinator, Sandy Solomon, received the “Best Clerkship Coordinator” award.  The Department is proud of their excellent performance and well deserved recognition.   They are an outstanding team!

Alzheimer's research in Georgia: Moving along but not fast enough
So, how quickly is Alzheimer's research moving? Dr. James Lah is the lead researcher for the Alzheimer's Research Center at Emory. He says the research isn't moving fast enough, but it's still coming along at "a remarkable pace (Read More)

MS: Best way to measure disability
William Tyor, MD, of Emory University in Atlanta and co-director of the Emory MS Center, was one of two specialists who recommended a variety of tools to measure disability that include standardized scales, MRI scans and clinical judgment. (Read More)

Alzheimer's deaths higher than previously thought
A new study says Alzheimer's deaths are under-reported and may be as much as 6 times higher. Dr. Allan Levey, professor and chair of neurology at Emory University and director of the Emory Alzheimer's Disease Research Center says death certificates often only record the immediate cause of death. (Video)

Regularly sleeping too long may indicate a health problem
Neurologist David Rye, whose particular expertise is in excessive daytime sleepiness, says that when a patient expresses concerns about needing too much sleep, he looks for underlying medical problems. Rye, director of Emory University's Program in Sleep, often checks for hypothyroidism, in which the thyroid doesn't produce the right balance of hormones. (Read More)

'A Family Affair' benefits Emory Alzheimer's Disease Research Center
Also joining in the event were Dr. Allan Levey, professor and Betty Gage Holland Chair of the Department of Neurology at Emory University's School of Medicine and director of the Emory Alzheimer's Disease Research Center; and Dr. David Weinshenker of the Emory University Department of Human Genetics. (Read More)

Grady Memorial Hospital receives 'Star Award' from Georgia Coverdell Acute Stroke Registry
From GCASR newsletter: The “Star Awards” recognize an individual and a hospital for leadership in the GCASR. The award recipients were nominated by their colleagues. We want to recognize people and facilities that have changed and continue to change stroke care in the state of Georgia. The awards are in appreciation for the mentoring, support, and passion that our Coverdell hospitals and staff provide to the registry. We received an overwhelming number of submissions and we want you to know that the voting process took place by an independent team of reviewers not affiliated with the Georgia Coverdell Acute Stroke Registry (Read More)

Samir Belagaje, MD, awarded a 2014 A. B. Baker Teacher Recognition Certificate
Dr. Belagaje has been awarded a 2014 A. B. Baker Teacher Recognition Certificate. This is an American Academy of Neurology recognition honoring outstanding teachers of neurology. Dr. Belagaje will be honored Monday, April 28, 2014, at the 66th AAN Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA. The Education Colloquium will begin at 9:00 a.m. and will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.  Congratulations Dr. Belagaje!

Potential risk factor for Alzheimer's: DDT exposure
Marla Gearing (pathology) and Allan Levey (Betty Gage Holland Chair and chair of neurology) were co-authors of a study published last month in JAMA Neurology. (Read More)

US study finds pesticide may raise risk of Alzheimer's
"This is one of the first studies identifying a strong environmental risk factor for Alzheimer's disease," said a statement by study co-author Allan Levey, chair of neurology at Emory University School of Medicine. (Read More)

Memory fares better with laser ablation for epilepsy than with surgery
In a study comparing pre- and post-treatment cognitive outcomes in 17 people with temporal lobe epilepsy, those treated with MRI-guided laser ablation had better outcomes on episodic memory measures 6 months after surgery than did the patients treated with standard surgical treatments, said Dr. Daniel Drane of the departments of neurology and pediatrics at Emory University, Atlanta. (Read More)

US study finds pesticide may raise risk of Alzheimer's
The World Health Organization says some 35 million people around the world are living with dementia. "This is one of the first studies identifying a strong environmental risk factor for Alzheimer's disease," said a statement by study co-author Allan Levey, chair of neurology at Emory University School of Medicine. (Read More)

Tackling Stroke
Prevention also means research to figure out why certain people are at higher risk of stroke. Frankel, for example, leads a national NIH study to evaluate blood biomarkers in at-risk patients. Nahab's research has focused on how nutrition and diet may explain why Georgians, especially African Americans, are at greater risk for stroke. (Read More)

Emory-led stroke team part of revolutionary national stroke endeavor
"We are the only funded site in Georgia. The Georgia StrokeNet is a close collaboration of community providers, clinical investigators, departments and institutions," says Michael Frankel, MD, professor of neurology, Emory University School of Medicine, chief of neurology and director of the Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center for the Grady Health System, and principal investigator for the Georgia StrokeNet. (Read More)

Local Doctors Weigh in on Controversial Hypertension Guidelines
The new guidelines concern Dr. Michael Frankel. Frankel is director and chief of neurology for Grady's Marcus Stroke & Neuroscience Center and professor of neurology at Emory University. "Overall I believe the approach to being more aggressive with blood pressure control over the past decade has had an impact on reducing the risk of stroke, and I believe these guidelines could be a step in the right direction." (Read More)

Mahlon DeLong, MD, honored at 'Oscars of Science'
Mahlon DeLong, Emory University, awarded for defining the interlocking circuits in the brain that malfunction in Parkinson’s disease. This scientific foundation underlies the circuit-based treatment of Parkinson’s disease by deep brain stimulation. (Read More)

Older people may be less tired: study
"This is a provocative paper, which raises much thought about what it means to be tired in old age," Donald Bliwise, from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, said. Bliwise directs the Program in Sleep, Aging and Chronobiology at Emory and was not involved in the current research. (Read More)

Laser ablation surgery shows better cognitive results for people with epilepsy
"Overall, from a clinical standpoint, if we continue to see better outcomes in patients undergoing SLA, this technique could have a huge impact in brain surgery," said Daniel Drane, PhD, Emory University School of Medicine. (Read More)

Alzheimer's drug discovery: Looking under the right ROCK
"Jeremy has found a promising approach toward reducing beta-amyloid production and potentially modifying Alzheimer's disease progression, something for which there is immense need," says senior author James Lah, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurology at Emory University School of Medicine and director of the Cognitive Neurology program. (Read More)

Georgia men undergo risky surgery in battle against ALS
When Emory ALS specialist Jonathan Glass confirmed why, John decided to fight. That's why he decided to try the experimental surgery..."So our first goal is to keep people alive longer and that's why injecting the cervical spinal cord is the most important," said Dr. Nicholas Boulis, an Emory neurosurgeon. "On the other hand, it's also the most dangerous." (Read More)

How to beat everyday infection spreaders: West Nile virus
"It's a very serious neuroinvasive disease that attacks the cells in the spinal cord that are responsible for motor strength and activity," says Taylor Harrison, MD, a professor of neurology at Emory University. "Some people regain movement of their limbs; others don't recover as well." (Read More)

New research could change the future of Alzheimer's disease
A predictive test that could allow early intervention would be groundbreaking, says Dr. William Hu, an Alzheimer's specialist at the Emory Clinic ."If we can delay AZD onset by about 5 years, we can really reduce the prevalence of AZD by about half. And that's going to be half the people who have AZD now essentially cured," Hu said. (Video)

Emory launches Lou Gehrig's disease trial
In the Phase II trial, the first 12 patients will receive injections in the cervical spinal cord only, the region that may help in preserving breathing function, noted Dr. Jonathan Glass, professor of neurology, Emory School of Medicine and director of the Emory ALS Center. (Read More)

Playing for time: Can music stave off dementia?
Early research suggests keeping the brain active -- such as by speaking two languages -- may hold back dementia symptoms by up to five years. Scientists are hoping to find that the same is true for music playing, said Brenda Hanna-Pladdy, assistant professor of neurology at Emory University, who studies cognitive functioning among musicians. (Read More)

No coffee for pregnant moms
To date, no large-scale study in people has found any negative effect of caffeine exposure on fetal brain development, says Kimford Meador, a neurologist at Emory University in Atlanta. (Read More)

Emory researchers seek biomarkers for Parkinson's disease
Emory researchers are examining the possibility of diagnosing Parkinson's disease (PD) before physical symptoms occur. "Since Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder, we believe that by learning to recognize pre-motor symptoms for PD, we may be able to develop therapies that would delay or prevent the onset of the impaired movements, tremor and gait problems in PD patients," Stewart Factor, professor of neurology at Emory University School of Medicine, said in the statement. (Read More)

Mysterious disorder a 'life sentence'
Dystonia can be divided into primary and secondary types, says Dr. H.A. Jinnah, director of the Dystonia Coalition and professor in the department of neurology, pediatrics and human genetics at Emory University. It is difficult to quantify exactly how many people suffer from it. (Read More)

MD-SEE: The next best thing to med school
Students in the MD-Summer Experience Emory (MD-SEE) program gain first-hand experience working with both physicians and patients as they explore clinical neurology. The idea behind the MD-SEE program arose from a Clinical Neurology Study course created by Paul Lennard, director of Emory's Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology (NBB) program and Neurology Professor Linton Hopkins more than decade ago — a course that's still so popular "there's usually a one- to-two year waiting list to get into it," Lennard confirms. (Read More)

Famed designer shares Alzheimer's diagnosis
Dr. Alan Levey with the Emory Alzheimer's Disease Research Center says right now there is no medicine to slow the progression of Alzheimer's. (Read More)

Imagine a Flying Pig: How words take shape in the brain
Philosophers have been debating the importance of metaphors like these since the time of Aristotle. But now, brain researchers like Krish Sathian at Emory University are getting involved. Sathian has been studying an area of the brain that responds to the texture of an object — whether it feels smooth or rough. And he wondered whether the same area would respond when we use textures like smooth or rough as metaphors.  (Read More)

Epilepsy drug in pregnancy tied to autism risk
"Valproate is an effective drug, but it appears that it is being prescribed for women of childbearing potential at a rate that does not fully consider the ratio of benefits to risks," wrote Dr. Kimford Meador and David Loring from Emory University in Atlanta, in a linked editorial. (Read More)

Neuralstem receives FDA approval to commence phase II
"Emory is proud to have conducted the pioneering Phase I trial where we successfully completed 18 transplants in 15 patients, and saw that the cells and the surgical technique were well-tolerated, and that the cells survived, long-term," said Jonathan Glass, MD, Director of the Emory ALS Center. (Read More)

Emory selects Pearce Korb's proposal for University-wide course on Healthcare
CONGRATULATIONS, DR. PEARCE KORB! Dr. Korb is an epileptologist in the Department of Neurology at Emory University, and his proposal for a new course for The Center for Faculty Development and Excellence (CFDE) , titled SICK: Healthcare in the Modern Era, was selected from among several proposals to be the new offering to both undergraduate and graduate students at Emory University. Course proposals were sought out by the CFDE to encourage a multidisciplinary examination of issues and topics of interest to faculty and students from across the university. (Read More)

Study finds gene that may raise Alzheimer's risk in blacks
Dr. Allan Levey, director of Emory University's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, said the study was significant for being the first large-scale genetic study done in African Americans. But he said a major limitation is that the study was not replicated in another population of blacks to confirm the findings, which is considered necessary to ensure its validity. (Read More)

Too Soon: Early-onset Alzheimer's
"Early-onset Alzheimer's is devastating because it affects people who are often in the prime of their lives," says Allan Levey, MD, PhD, director of Emory's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and chair of the department of neurology in the Emory University School of Medicine. (Read More)

Stroke may trigger chronic pain
Pointing to the relationships between pain and both physical and cognitive function, Fadi Nahab, MD, medical director for the stroke program at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, said that the study "helps to highlight how important these factors are when it comes to treating the patients after they've had a stroke." (Read More)

UCB and Emory partner to address pressing public health issues for people living with epilepsy
research collaboration to analyze the clinical factors that impact epilepsy care and outcomes was announced today by the Department of Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine and UCB, a leading biopharmaceutical company. This work is part of an innovative research collaboration that seeks to identify factors and approaches that achieve optimal response in epilepsy patients. (Read More)

Fetal Exposure to Antiepileptic Drug Valproate Impairs Cognitive Development
"Data published at ages 3 and 4.5 showed similar results in cognitive impairment," says lead study author Kimford Meador, MD, professor of neurology at Emory University School of Medicine. "Age 6 IQ was our primary outcome goal because it is standardized and predictive of school performance." (Read More)

Dr. Allan Levey to be honored at Heroes, Saints, and Legends Awards Dinner and Gala
Dr. Allan Levey, Professor and Chair, Department of Neurology at Emory University and Director of the Emory Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, to receive Key to a Cure award in recognition of his tireless efforts to find a cure and treatment for those afflicted with Alzheimer's Disease. (Read More)

Taylor Harrison, MD, awarded a 2013 A. B. Baker Teacher Recognition Certificate
The A.B. Baker Section of Neurologic Educators believes that excellent teachers deserve recognition for their contributions to improving neurology now and in the future. Teaching binds students, residents, faculty, other clinicians, researchers, and even patients together and helps make our daily work more meaningful. (Read More)

ALS community tells FDA 'We Have No Time To Waste,' urges changes in trial design and review process
"Regulatory barriers inhibit treatment, based on a traditional model that I believe should be updated," said Jonathan Glass, a physician conducting a phase 2 clinical trial at Emory University in Atlanta involving the injection of neural stem cells into the spines of people with ALS. (Read More)

Cooling treatment for acute ischemic strokes shows promising preliminary results
"tPA - tissue plasminogen activator—is the standard of care for treatment of acute ischemic stroke, and it's used to dissolve a blood clot," says Christopher Horn, MD, assistant professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Emory School of Medicine and senior investigator for ReCCLAIM I. (Read More)

Debate over brain scans and Alzheimer's
That means the brain scans cannot ensure the accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer's. "I see a big potential for overuse and misuse," warned Dr. Raymond Faught, Jr., a member of the Medicare advisory panel and a professor of neurology at Emory University in Atlanta. (Read More)

Dr. Glass comments on patient diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease
In fact, it wasn't until late 2007 that a doctor in Macon made the first definitive diagnosis of ALS and referred Jeremy Williams to specialists at Emory. "It's hard to because it's a very variable disease," said his doctor, Jonathan Glass, professor of neurology at Emory. (Read More)

Dr. Mahlon Delong comments on Muhammad Ali's health.
Dr. Mahlon Delong, professor of neurology at Emory University, comments on Muhammad Ali's health. (Video)

Legislators look at plan to fight Alzheimer's
The medical fight against Alzheimer's still has a "long way to go'' testified Dr. Allan Levey, chairman of the department of neurology at Emory. "We don't have a cure. We have pretty mediocre treatments.'' But early diagnosis can help save money, reducing institutionalization. Levey, director of the Emory Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, estimated that implementing a program for early diagnosis and treatment in Georgia could translate to cost savings of at least $1.25 billion. (Read More)

Bill to help fight Alzheimer's
Allan Levey, head of Neurology at Emory University and the Alzheimer's Research Center there, said this is a momentous day for those fighting the disease. "The way I look at it we could have the cure sitting on a table somewhere, and we need some public action to have us all wake up," Levey said. "This is really the first step in order to get everybody working together." (Video)

Jaffar Khan, MD, recipient of 2013 Clerkship Directors Teaching Award
The American Academy of Neurology and the Consortium of Neurology Clerkship Directors has selected Jaffar Khan, MD, as the recipient of 2013 Clerkship Directors Teaching Award. The AAN Neurology Clerkship Directors Teaching Award is given to acknowledge the outstanding educational efforts of neurology clerkship directors. This award recognizes individuals who have dedicated themselves to neurology education and to creating not only future generations of neurologists but also teaching neurology to students choosing other disciplines. Dr. Khan was selected from a large very competitive set of applicants, and this award is a testimony to his wonderful accomplishments. He will receive a certificate of recognition at the Consortium of Neurology Clerkship Directors business meeting at the 2013 Annual Meeting in San Diego, on Saturday, March 16, 2013.

Illness makes woman a 'sleeping beauty'
Researchers led by Emory neurologist David Rye, MD, PhD, have discovered a substance in the cerebrospinal fluid that is responsible for a rare sleep disorder, hypersomnia. A clinical study showed that the drug flumazenil may be an antidote that can restore alertness. (Video)

The ALS Association announces new research awards to focus on therapies for Lou Gehrig's disease.
In addition to the clinical management grants and drug discovery contracts, The ALS Association is supporting two novel clinical pilot studies involving people with ALS with the Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS) Clinical Trials Network. Jonathan Glass, MD, and Christina Fournier, MD, with Emory University in Atlanta, along with Merit Cudkowicz, MD, and James Berry MD., in Boston, Mass. will work together to determine whether they can identify a subset of people with ALS that respond to immune suppressing medication. (Read More)

Anesthesia Antidote May Help Treat Extreme Sleep Disorder
A disorder that causes extreme sleepiness may be better treated with a drug commonly used to counter the effects of a Valium overdose, researchers said. (Read More)

New Alzheimer's risk gene identified
Researchers have identified a new genetic variation that confers an increased risk for late-onset Alzheimer's disease. (Read More)

Dr. Gregory Esper appointed Emory Healthcare’s Director of New Care Models
Dr. Gregory Esper has been appointed as Emory Healthcare’s Director of New Care Models. This is a new position focused on driving and catalyzing the development and testing of new care models that will improve quality outcomes, decrease cost of care and position Emory Healthcare to be financially successful in the value-based reimbursement models of the future.

Dr. Khan Recipient of AAN Program Director Award
Jaffar Khan is the 2012 recipient of Neurology Program Directors Recognition Award of the American given by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN).  The AAN recognizes two individuals each year individuals whose leadership, creativity, and innovation, is crucial in ensuring the future of Neurology.  The award was developed in recognition of the many unique challenges in administering a residency program.

Emory Neurologist Honored with Two Prestigious Awards by American Epilepsy Society
Kimford Meador, MD, director of the Emory Epilepsy Center and professor of neurology at the Emory School of Medicine, was recently given the Award for Clinical Science and the inaugural Fritz Dreifuss Epilepsy Fund Award by the American Epilepsy Society at their 65th annual meeting in Baltimore, Md. (Read More)

Dr. Sathian appointed as the Director of the Rehabilitation Research and Development Center of Excellence
Dr. Krish Sathian, staff neurologist and professor of medicine at Emory University, was recently appointed as the Director of the Rehabilitation Research and Development Center of Excellence. The Atlanta VAMC Rehabilitation Research and Development (Rehab R&D) Center of Excellence (CoE) is one of 16 VA Rehab R&D CoE in the country and the only Rehab R&D CoE in VISN 7.  The Atlanta CoE has been continuously funded since 1983 and represents the “gemstone” of the Atlanta VA Research program.  The focus of the Atlanta CoE is to improve the health and well-being of veterans with visual and neural disorders.  Krish Sathian MD, PhD, an internationally recognized expert in research related to low vision and neurological rehabilitation, admirably served as Acting CoE Director for 1.5 years and was recently appointed as Center Director.  Direct funding for the Atlanta CoE is over $1 million annually and CoE investigators currently have awards for over $5.2 million per year.  The Center will undergo a renewal cycle in the next year.

Study found musical activity may improve cognititve aging
A study conducted by Brenda Hanna-Pladdy, PhD, a clinical neuropsychologist in Emory’s Department of Neurology, and cognitive psychologist Alicia MacKay, PhD, found that older individuals who spent a significant amount of time throughout life playing a musical instrument perform better on some cognitive tests than individuals who did not play an instrument. (Read More)

Dr. Jaffar Khan will be awarded 2011 Teacher Recognition Certificate by The American Academy of Neurology
Dr. Jaffar Khan, the Vice Chair of Education of the Department of Neurology at Emory University, was awarded the “2011 Teacher Recognition Certificate” by The American Academy of Neurology’s A.B. Baker Section of Neurologic Educators. Adding to his other accomplishments, this award further distinguishes Dr. Khan as a national leader as an educator in the Neurological Sciences. Specific factors contributing to Dr. Khan’s award include the development of an innovative medical school neuroscience curriculum, the growth of a nationally recognized neurology residency program, and the direction of highly sought-after fellowships in clinical neurophysiology and other subspecialties. This award highlights Emory’s leadership in the ever-changing field of neuroscience education of medical students, residents, fellows, and other trainees. Congratulations Dr. Khan!

Top American Hospitals - US News Best Hospitals
U.S. News & World Report released its annual ranking of the best hospitals in America. Emory University Hospital is among the nation’s best – with 11 specialties scoring rankings. The Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery were among five rankings in the top 20, ranked #12.