What Is the Best Self-Care during the COVID-19 Crisis?
Originally published by SF Gate.
Dr. Rudolph Tanzi is the Vice-Chair of Neurology, Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit, and Co-Director of the McCance Center for Brain Health at Massachusetts General Hospital, and serves as the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Tanzi received his B.S. (microbiology) and B.A. (history) at the University of Rochester in 1980 and his Ph.D. (neurobiology) at Harvard Medical School in 1990. In his research achievements, Dr. Tanzi served on the team that was the first to find a disease gene (Huntington’s disease) using human genetic markers, helping to launch the field of neurogenetics. Dr. Tanzi then went on to co-discovered all three early-onset familial Alzheimer’s disease genes. He has identified several other AD genes as leader of the Alzheimer’s Genome Project supported by the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. Dr. Tanzi also discovered the Wilson’s disease gene and several other neurological disease genes.
More recently, Dr. Tanzi and his team used Alzheimer’s genes and human stem cells to create “Alzheimer’s-in-a-Dish” - a three-dimensional human stem cell-derived neural culture system that was the first to recapitulate both pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease: plaques and tangles. This model has made drug screening for Alzheimer’s disease considerably faster and more effective. Using this system, Dr. Tanzi has developed several novel therapies for AD including gamma secretase modulators aimed at plaque pathology.
Most recently, Dr. Tanzi and his team have discovered that beta-amyloid, the main component of senile plaques, may play a role in the innate immune system of the brain operating as an anti-microbial peptide, suggesting a possible role for infection in the etiology and pathogenesis of AD.
Dr. Tanzi has published over 500 research papers and has received the highest awards in his field, including the Metropolitan Life Foundation Award, Potamkin Prize, Ronald Reagan Award, Silver Innovator Award, and the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award, the top national award for invention and innovation. He serves on dozens of editorial boards and scientific advisory boards and was named to TIME magazine’s list of TIME100 Most Influential People in the World. He also co-authored the books Decoding Darkness, (and with Dr. Deepak Chopra), the international bestsellers, Super Brain and Super Genes, and most recently, The Healing Self.
Originally published by SF Gate.
Originally published by SF Gate. One way to respond in a crisis is to reduce its threat. The other way is to add to the threat. The coronavirus COVID-19 might be the first collective crisis that many people have faced, and it poses an uncertain future in every country that confronts it. But this doesn’t change the two choices just mentioned. Know that your individual actions will have an impact on countless other people.
To date, one of biology’s greatest achievements, mapping the human genome, is only just beginning to translate into medical advances. But in 2014 there will likely be more headlines about another type of study in genetics that is already impacting everyone.
How many of us grew up believing that the brain we are born with is the brain we get for the rest of our lives? How many of us still believe that the brain consists of a set number of nerve cells that we slowly lose as we get older, never to be replaced. And, how about the notion that we only use 5 to 10 percent of our brains? Most of us were raised believing these things. But, guess what? They are not true. The modern age of neuroscience research has taught us that the brain is a much more powerful and adaptable organ than we have ever imagined possible.