Current Grantees

Formation of tau prions in transgenic mice following traumatic brain injury

by Stanley B. Prusiner, M.D.

         Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative brain disease that results from repetitive “closed” head trauma and produces symptoms that range from problems with attention, concentration, disorientation, and depressio...
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Study of highly prevalent Alzheimer's disease in Down's syndrome adults may yield AD biomarkers

by Dr. Michael Rafii

    This longitudinal study of adults with Down’s syndrome, who have a high probability of developing mild cognitive impairment that eventually progresses to dementia superimposed on the existing intellectual disability, may identify biomarker...
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Filling the treatment gap: Ultrasonic thalamic stimulation in disorders of consciousness following severe brain injury

by Dr. Martin M. Monti

         Investigators will conduct the first clinical evaluation of the effects of using non-invasive Low Intensity Focused Ultrasound Pulsations to restore consciousness in a small number of severely head-injured adults.           Few disorders ar...
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Towards Identification of Neural Predictors of Adolescent Depression: A Multi-Model Neuroimaging Study

by Diego Pizzagalli, Ph.D. and Randy Auerbach, Ph.D.

         Investigators will use psychological testing and imaging in teenage girls whose mothers have major depressive disorder to determine whether specific neurological factors predict which of the adolescents will similarly develop depression.  ...
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Investigating the Physiology of Human Decision-Making

by Sameer Sheth

         Neurosurgical researchers will explore how a specific brain network functions as people make decisions.                We are constantly making decisions. Often we make them rapidly with nearly imperceptible effort. Other decisions require ...
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Nanoparticle-Based MRI for First-In-Man Immune-Therapy Trials in Brain Tumor Patients

by Samuel Cheshier, M.D., Ph.D.

           This neurosurgeon and neuroradiologist team will determine whether a new non-invasive MRI imaging technique can reveal innate immune cells’ presence in deadly brain tumors in children and adults, and can be used to assess responses to ...
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Determinants of Delayed Ischemic Neurological Deficits and Infarction after Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

by Rose Du, M.D., Ph.D.

 In a two-phase exploration, neurosurgeons will seek to identify factors that may predispose certain patients with ruptured brain aneurysms to experience complications leading to poor neurological outcomes. Doing so may lead to new approaches to ...
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A Novel Compound for Cocaine Addiction

by Drs. Wade H. Berrettini and Kyle Kampman

 Investigators who are part of a University of Pennsylvania expert group studying drug addiction will conduct a Phase II clinical trial in 40 adult cocaine users of an experimental drug that may block cocaine’s action in the brain. If the drug pr...
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Enrichment of neurogenesis in the hippocampus via the environment

by Craig Stark, Ph.D.

Intriguing research in young adults suggests that their memory can be improved by the act of exploring richly stimulating environments in 3-D video games. Importantly, the memory improvements seen so far are not confined to simply playing the same...
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Understanding the susceptibility of glutamatergic neural circuits to Alzheimer's disease: clinical and basic studies

by Bruce McEwen, Ph.D., and Ana Pereira, M.D.

Researchers will expand their Dana-supported pilot clinical trial to gain an initial indication of whether the drug riluzole can improve functioning in adults with age-related cognitive problems and those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Conc...
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Identifying pre-symptomatic Alzheimer’s brain changes to facilitate early treatment

by Guy McKhann, M.D.

For the first time, researchers may be able to define the interrelated functional and structural brain changes that evolve over time in cognitively healthy adults who eventually develop Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Identifying the earliest brain sign...
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Serum amyloid P component (SAP) in Alzheimer's

by Professor Marin Rossor and Professor Sir Mark Pepys

In a small number of patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease, investigators will test the effects on synaptic transmission of an experimental drug that depletes “serum amyloid P component,” a potential new target for treating Therapeutic approaches...
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