Disorders and Diseases of the Nervous System | Research at PCOM
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Nervous system research at PCOM

Disorders and Diseases of the Nervous System 
Research at PCOM

Nervous system disease research involves studying diseases that affect the nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord and nerves. These diseases can range from common conditions like Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease to rare disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Disorders and diseases of the nervous system have a profound impact on the quality of life of affected individuals and their families. Therefore it is important to study the causes, symptoms, progressions and potential treatments for these conditions.

What is Nervous System Disease Research?

The goal of nervous system disease research is to improve our understanding of neurological conditions and develop effective ways to diagnose, prevent and treat them. Researchers may conduct experiments using various techniques such as studying human tissue samples, observing animal models or conducting clinical trials. This research often involves exploring different factors that contribute to these diseases, such as genetics, environmental influences and lifestyle factors.

By identifying the underlying mechanisms behind nervous system diseases, researchers hope to develop new drugs, therapies or interventions to alleviate symptoms, slow down disease progression or even cures. Additionally, this research helps physicians and policymakers make informed decisions regarding patient care and public health strategies.

Nervous System Research at PCOM

PCOM researchers study a number of neurological and neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, multiple sclerosis, spinal bulbar muscular atrophy, traumatic injury, brain cancer, seizures, ataxia, metal toxicity, frontotemporal dementia, autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The purpose of their work is to identify factors that affect the development, function, regeneration and pathogenesis of nervous tissue. Novel approaches to imaging, diagnosing and treating disorders and diseases of the nervous system are under development.

Center for Chronic Disorders of Aging (CCDA) at PCOM

PCOM's Center for Chronic Disorders of Aging (CCDA) is a collaborative research initiative focusing on neurodegenerative diseases and health conditions related to aging. There is renewed interest in determining what causes chronic disease and why the aging process appears to promote an increase in these types of diseases. The CCDA aims to investigate common features of disease processes and hopefully find better treatments and prevention techniques.

Our Faculty Researchers

PCOM's Center for Chronic Disorders of Aging (CCDA) hosted a free virtual Alzheimer’s disease symposium aimed to bring together experts in various fields of neurodegenerative disease research.

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Virtual Symposium Explores Causes of Alzheimer's Disease portrait

PCOM medical student Jade McLain, DO '22, explored if neurodegenerative diseases share pathology beginning with tau hyperphosphorylation and subsequent accumulation in neural tissues. Her work focused on determining if a correlation exists between glucose manipulation, DHEA administration and tau hyperphosphorylation by utilizing rat hippocampal astrocytes as an experimental model.

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Jade McLain, DO '22, Studies Neurodegenerative Disease Origins portrait

Brian Balin, PhD, and co-author Alan Hudson, PhD, call for more funding in the rapidly growing area of nervous system research to determine if antimicrobial agents could be an effective strategy for treating a Alzheimer's – a disease that has had very little success with therapeutics.

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Balin Publishes in Lancet Neurology Journal portrait

Dr. Brian Balin joined the “Better Living with Lin Tatum” radio show in Atlanta to explain that physical exercise is the number one preventive factor in reducing mental changes and cognitive impairment, followed closely by nutrition.

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Balin Explains Exercise, Nutrition Key to Longer, Healthier Lives portrait

Research at PCOM

PCOM aims to develop innovative approaches to promoting health through basic, translational, clinical, behavioral, education and community research projects.