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Unlocking the elusive mind: The role of protein biomarkers in understanding neurodegenerative disease

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

Unlocking the elusive mind: The role of protein biomarkers in understanding neurodegenerative disease

Recorded 01 November 2017


Neurological disorders affect millions of patients worldwide. The inaccessibility of the brain to physical examination and the complexity of clinical evaluation for such conditions represent major challenges. Subjective symptoms such as chronic pain, for example, can be difficult to confirm, while cognitive impairment can result from a range of different pathologies. In the absence of clear biological markers indicating a particular pathology, it can be difficult to provide a rapid, definitive diagnosis. These challenges are particularly pertinent in neurodegenerative diseases, as few effective treatments for slowing or stopping such conditions are currently available. This situation is confounded by the relative scarcity of blood- or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)–based biomarkers that can increase our understanding of disease pathology, and might also serve as effective differential diagnostic or prognostic tools. New protein biomarkers would ideally show specific brain pathologies and act as early indicators of disease. There is also an urgent need for biomarkers to stratify patients into subtypes of neurodegenerative disorders and facilitate selection of the most effective and appropriate treatments. Our panelists will discuss how the ability to analyze multiple protein biomarkers is beginning to address some of these challenges, providing potentially important new insights into neurological disorders.

During the webinar, the speakers will:

  • Provide an overview of the current status of and future needs for protein biomarkers for neurological disorders
  • Describe how protein profile comparisons of Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis reveal important pathophysiological and mechanistic insights
  • Show how analysis of CSF samples from Alzheimer’s disease patients has identified potential new biomarkers and provided new information about some of the major pathways involved in the disease
  • Answer your questions during the live broadcast!

This webinar will last for approximately 60 minutes

Speaker bios

Douglas R. Galasko, M.D.

University of California San Diego
San Diego, CA

Dr. Galasko received his medical training in South Africa, his neurology training at the John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and his fellowship training in dementia at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He has been a faculty member in the Department of Neurosciences at UCSD since 1987, and currently holds the rank of professor. His primary clinical and research focus is dementia, with specific areas of interest including biomarkers to assist in the diagnosis and understanding of disease mechanisms for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and translational research using novel therapeutic approaches. He is an author of over 300 journal articles and reviews related to dementia.

Henrik Zetterberg, M.D., Ph.D.

University of Gothenburg
Gothenburg, Sweden

Dr. Zetterberg is a professor of neurochemistry at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and University College London, United Kingdom, and a clinical chemist at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg. He is also head of the Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry at the University of Gothenburg. His main research focus and clinical interest is fluid biomarkers for central nervous system disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, for which he has developed new diagnostic tests. He has published more than 800 scientific articles and previously received the Erik K. Fernström Prize for young scientists and the Inga Sandeborg Prize for research on Alzheimer’s disease.

Kaj Blennow, M.D., Ph.D.

University of Gothenburg and Sahlgrenska University Hospital
Gothenburg, Sweden

Dr. Blennow is professor and academic chair in neurochemistry at the University of Gothenburg, and head of the Clinical Neurochemistry Lab at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden. He has a specialist competency in both general psychiatry and clinical chemistry, and holds the Torsten Söderberg Professorship at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Dr. Blennow has published more than 1,000 original research papers and review articles in peer-reviewed journals, has an h-index of 106, and his papers have been cited more than 50,000 times. He is president of the Society for CSF Analysis and Clinical Neurochemistry, head of the Alzheimer’s Association quality control program for cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers, and chair of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry (IFCC) working group for CSF proteins. He has received several scientific awards, including the CINP Award (1992), the IPA Research Award (1993), the Alois Alzheimer Research Award (2001), the ECNP Clinical Research Award (2010), the Henry Wisniewski Lifetime Achievement Award in Alzheimer’s Disease Research (2011), the International Foundation for Research in Alzheimer’s Disease (IFRAD) European Grand Prix for Research (2013), and the Söderberg Prize in Medicine from the Swedish Society of Medicine (2016).

Sean Sanders, Ph.D.

Washington, DC

Dr. Sanders did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, supported by the Wellcome Trust. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University, Dr. Sanders joined TranXenoGen, a startup biotechnology company in Massachusetts working on avian transgenics. Pursuing his parallel passion for writing and editing, Dr. Sanders joined BioTechniques as an editor, before joining Science/AAAS in 2006. Currently Dr. Sanders is the Senior Editor for Custom Publishing for the journal Science and Program Director for Outreach.

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