Unlocking the Secrets of Neurodegenerative Diseases

Duke Health leadership launched Translating Duke Health in 2017 as a multi-disciplinary, multi-year commitment to capitalize on Duke’s collective strengths in research, clinical care, and population health to address major health challenges.

Staff Spotlight: Zhaohui Man, MSIS

Genetic and epigenetic analysis offer the potential to vastly improve our understanding of how these conditions begin and progress, as well as to identify targets for future therapy. Bioinformatician Zhaohui Man, MS, MA, recently joined the lab of Ornit Chiba Falek, PhD, to perform this analysis and advance our understanding of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other conditions.

Duke Neurology Research Round Up, September 2022

Members of the Duke Neurology Department contributed to 12 new peer-reviewed journal articles published this August. Highlights include a review article examining evoked potentials used for deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s, the healthcare received by veterans with epilepsy, the optimal stroke treatments for patients with cerebral venous thrombosis, and other topics.

Duke Neurology Research Round Up, June 2022

Members of the Duke Neurology Department contributed to 13 new peer-reviewed journal articles this May, advancing our understanding of how viruses that kill cancer cells may be used against brain tumors, the optimal treatments for various types of stroke, the origins of Parkinson’s disease, and more. Read the paragraphs below for summaries of our research from the past 31 days, as well as links to the complete articles themselves.

Hospital Neurology

Duke Neurology Research Round Up, April 2022

This March, members of our Department contributed to studies that reveal potential new therapeutic targets for Alzheimer’s disease, help triage patients suffering from traumatic brain injury, address issues contributing to physician burnout, and more. In all, our faculty, staff, students, and trainees contributed to 15 studies published over the past 31 days. Read about them and find links to the original articles below.

Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders

Postdoc Spotlight: Zhiyong Liu, PhD

Zhiyong Liu, PhD, learned about the devastating effects neurodegenerative diseases have on patients and their families firsthand during his senior year of college, when he worked in a clinical research lab. Now, as a postdoctoral associate within the lab of Andy West, PhD, he’s performing translational research to develop new treatments for one of those conditions, Alzheimer’s disease. In this week’s “Spotlight” interview, Liu talks about the focus of his work, his recent K99/R00 award, and enjoying running, fishing, and time with his family when he’s not at work.

Duke Neurology Research Round Up, March 2022

This February, new research from members of the Duke Neurology Department advanced our understanding of the treatment of stroke, brain tumors and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) as well as the genetics and origins of Alzheimer’s disease. The 13 journal articles written or co-written by members of our faculty include publications in JAMA, Neurology, the British Medical Journal, and other publications. Read summaries of those studies, and find links to the original articles, in the paragraphs below.


Staff Spotlight: Clare Essex

Professionally, Clare Essex lives in two worlds. Within the lab of Laurie Sanders, PhD, and Carol Colton, PhD, in the Duke Neurology Department, she’s working part-time to improve understandings the genetic underpinnings of neurodegenerative disease. Essex spends the other half of her work week as a medical scribe at UNC REX Hospital in Raleigh.

Duke Neurology Research Round Up, February 2022

The first month of 2022 saw the publication of 18 new peer-reviewed journal articles from members of the Duke Neurology Department. Highlights include a new article in Lancet Neurology discussing the epidemiology, diagnostics, and  biomarkers of autoimmune neuromuscular junction disorders, case reports describing the progression and treatment options for rare neurological conditions, and a summary of how the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic affects neurology residency programs in the United States.