Stanford Medicine, Poston Lab | Neurology and Neuroscience
We established a research fellowship in honor of our co-founder Sue Berghoff who has Lewy body dementia (LBD), a fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects millions of people worldwide. We are grateful to Stanford Medicine for its sustained commitment and integrated approach to dementia research, from bench to bedside. This is an exciting time for LBD research and we are proud to partner with Dr. Kathleen Poston and her team in the Neurology and Neuroscience Department of Stanford.
Stanford's Poston Lab appointed Dr. Carla Abdelnour as a Sue Berghoff LBD Research Fellow in the Spring of 2022. Carla is focused on developing novel markers of Lewy body dementia.
"In recent years, novel techniques have been developed for identification of potential biomarkers in neurodegenerative diseases," Dr. Abdelnour said. "We are levering this knowledge to study different proteins in blood, CSF, and PET imaging, in combination with clinical and neuropsychological data, to identify new biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis in Lewy body disease. This will help us understand underlying causes, detect potential therapeutic targets, and improve diagnosis of Lewy body disease patients in clinic."
A neurologist and researcher, Dr. Abdelnour is investigating the impact of different comorbidities in the clinical presentation, cognitive profile, and disease progression of LBD, and studying the biological underpinnings of prodromal Lewy body disease to identify biomarkers for diagnosis. She holds a medical degree from Central University of Venezuela, and completed her neurology residency at University Hospital Príncipe de Asturias in Spain. She conducted her doctorate in Medicine at the Autonomous University of Barcelona working with Drs. Dag Aarsland, Javier Pagonabarraga and Jaime Kulisevsky. Her thesis focused on the influence of Alzheimer´s disease copathology in atrophy patterns, longitudinal cognitive decline, and heterogeneity of patients with dementia with Lewy bodies.
In 2021, Stanford’s Poston Lab appointed Dr. Joseph Winer as a Sue Berghoff LBD Research Fellow. Joe's research is focused on developing novel markers of Lewy body dementia.
According to Dr. Winer, “We are looking at the relationships between data from four research areas: cognitive and behavioral assessments, brain imaging, blood and cerebrospinal fluid samples, and sleep-wake actigraphy measures. A common symptom of Lewy body dementia is fluctuating cognition, behavior, and activity, which can change from moment to moment, hour to hour, or throughout a 24-hour cycle. Understanding the cause of these fluctuations will help us to better understand Lewy body dementia onset and progression to support discovery and development of treatments and ultimately, to find a cure.”
For his PhD at the University of California at Berkeley, Dr. Winer combined sleep physiology measures with molecular brain imaging in order to investigate how specific markers of sleep disruption are related to changes in the brain in healthy older adults. Based on his background in sleep research, Dr. Winer will also examine how disrupted sleep and daytime function may worsen symptoms of Lewy body dementia.
CHIEF OF THE MOVEMENT DISORDERS CENTER; EDWARD F. AND IRENE THIELE PIMLEY PROFESSOR OF NEUROLOGY AND THE NEUROLOGICAL SCIENCES AND PROFESSOR, BY COURTESY, OF NEUROSURGERY, STANFORD UNIVERSITY. MEDICAL ADVISOR TO THE SUSAN AND CHARLES BERGHOFF FOUNDATION.
DEPARTMENT CHAIR, NEUROLOGY AND NEUROLOGICAL SCIENCES; GEORGE E. AND LUCY BECKER PROFESSOR IN MEDICINE AND PROFESSOR, BY COURTESY, OF NEUROSURGERY; DIRECTOR, ALZHEIMER'S TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH CENTER, STANFORD UNIVERSITY.