NIH Study Provides Hope for Diagnosing and Testing the Effectiveness of New Treatments for More Disabling Forms of Multiple Sclerosis
BY CHRISTOPHER THOMAS, NINDS
Aided by a high-powered brain scanner and a 3-D printer, NIH researchers peered inside the brains of hundreds of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and found that dark-rimmed spots that represent ongoing, “smoldering” inflammation, called chronic active lesions, may be a hallmark of more aggressive and disabling forms of the disease.
“You can’t go to medical school; you’re a woman,” someone told Karen Berman in 1969 when she was an undergrad majoring in biology at the University of Rochester (Rochester, New York). The warning only made her more determined to become a doctor and pursue her dream of helping people suffering from neuropsychiatric diseases. She has gone on to pioneer the use of neuroimaging to map brain structure, function, and neurochemical mechanisms associated with schizophrenia, Williams syndrome, and aging.
The Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES), which was established in 1959 to create a university-type environment at NIH, is offering new kinds of biomedical courses—onsite and online credit-bearing courses, noncredit workshops, and new opportunities for networking.
Imagine having a brain that enabled you to recall every event of every day in your past. Or a brain that caused you to constantly hear sounds or music, made you feel as if you were dead, or empowered you to feel others’ every sensation and emotion as if they were your own. These are but a few of the startlingly unusual brains that NIH Big Read featured author Helen Thomson writes about in her book, Unthinkable: An Extraordinary Journey through the World’s Strangest Brains (2018).