During the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease, a protein called tau accumulates and spreads in the brain. Understanding the mechanisms behind tau spread—and its consequences—may point to new prevention and treatment strategies for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Departments, Centers, & Programs:
Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114-2696
- PhD, Wayne State University School of Medicine
- MD, Xuzhou Medical College
- Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital
American Board Certifications
- Anesthesiology, American Board of Anesthesiology
Accepted Insurance Plans
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- Investigating the neuropathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease and Postoperative cognitive dysfunction.
- Studying neurotoxicity of anesthetics and other perioperative factors, e.g., pain and sleep deprivation.
- Assessing cognitive function and postoperative delirium in humans.
Description of Research
Our own laboratory studies have suggested that perioperative factors such as hypoxia, hypocapnia, surgery, anesthetics, sleep deprivation and pain may contribute to neuropathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD), and delirium. Future projects in the Geriatric Anesthesia Research Unit in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at MGH will explore the nature of the relationship between these perioperative factors and AD, work that may shed more light on AD neuropathogenesis; we will investigate the perioperative factors associated with POCD and attempt to establish a possible association between these factors and delirium. Our work proceeds at both the cellular and molecular levels in cultured cells, neurons, mice and human subjects, and we employ such techniques as somatic gene transfer, genetic modification of animal models, RNA interference, RT-PCR, and immunocytochemistry; we also use various pharmacological tools and behavioral evaluations (e.g., Morris Water Maze and Fear Conditioning Test) when these are indicated. These efforts may illustrate whether general anesthesia, surgery and other perioperative factors can initiate or accelerate the development of AD, POCD and delirium. The results of these studies will ultimately guide clinicians with regard to how to provide the safest anesthesia care for patients.