HMRI Report: What Are the Earliest Changes Before Dementia?

June 8, 2016FRT_MichaelHarrington_030216

Presented by Michael Harrington, MD, Molecular Neurology Director, Huntington Medical Research Institutes (HMRI)

Alzheimer’s disease and other brain degenerations are devastating. They progress from a pre-symptomatic stage that is not well-recognized to the impaired stage that is all too familiar. Identifying the earliest changes is important to test new treatments, but also for family members, work colleagues, and society in general. HMRI is making progress at identifying these early changes in cognitively healthy people by a range of studies including neuropsychometry, body fluid chemistry and imaging. Dr. Harrington will present these findings and discuss how the ability to recognize a pathology before it becomes symptomatic may help us in the future.

About Dr. Harrington:

Dr. Harrington joined HMRI and established the Molecular Neurology Program in 1998. He studies how the cerebrospinal fluid composition explains the intermittent disorder of migraine and the progressive neurodegeneration of Alzheimer’s disease. He also studies molecules that are transported to/from the brain in blood (including changes after mild traumatic brain injury), and those excreted in urine.

Mike enjoys collaborating with other clinical and scientific colleagues that apply complementary measures of brain function so as to gain as much information from the same study participants. This approach is important to understand what is causing brain disorder, develop tests that identify disease, and direct treatment to the underlying mechanism.

Dr. Harrington is also a research professor of psychology in the School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary as well as an adjunct research professor of neurology at the University of Southern California.

Dr. Harrington received his medical degree in 1976 from Glasgow University, Scotland, and was awarded membership into the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1979. He was elected as a fellow in 1993.