In addition to offering clinical expertise in the most advanced treatment of all the possible manifestations of TSC, the Herscot Center supports collaborative research and educational programs for medical students, advanced trainees, and practicing physicians.
This multidisciplinary approach to increasing awareness, aiding diagnosis, and developing treatments for the disease serves to advance the Herscot Center's mission to provide the most sophisticated and comprehensive TSC care in the world.
The Herscot Center has an active clinical research program with a research focus on the neurological aspects of TSC.
- Researchers are correlating the clinical features of TSC with both genotype and neuroradiologic data to advance the understanding of disease mechanisms and improve prognostic capabilities
- Cutting-edge neuroradiological methods go beyond the standard identification of the brain lesions associated with TSC, with new approaches that allow white matter tract tracing and subclassification of tuber types. The goal is to learn which neuroradiologic findings are most closely associated with clinically important symptoms—such as seizure foci—so that future treatment can be focused productively on the disease-causing lesions. This work is a collaboration with Dr. Ellen Grant in the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging
- The neurocognitive team at the Herscot Center has extensive experience with the learning, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of TSC, including autism. Neurocognitive data will also be analyzed with reference to TSC genotype, and to the detailed neuroanatomical data from Dr. Grant's MRI studies
- Researchers are conducting population-based studies on kidney involvement in TSC, including evaluating the possible increased risk of renal cell carcinoma, and the co-incidence of kidney and lung involvement. Efforts are also underway to develop methods to differentiate fat poor angiomyolipoma from renal cell carcinoma
Community, Family, and Medical Professional Education
The Herscot Center is committed to improving education about TSC on all levels including educating families affected by TSC, their communities, and medical professionals. The educational programs of the Herscot Center include:
- Annual Educator's Conference on TSC and Epilepsy: This conference is designed to inform teachers and school administrators about how TSC and epilepsy can impact students and their relationship with classmates, and, of equal importance, the many ways in which they do not
- School Liaison Program: The school liaison program was established to facilitate direct contact with affected individuals' schools to help optimize the educational program for individuals with TSC including addressing psychosocial issues
- Research and Clinical Symposia on TSC at Mass General and Harvard Medical School: This program integrates lectures on TSC into the Harvard Medical School curriculum