More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, a complex neurological disorder. Better understanding Alzheimer’s and risk factors for its development has become a national research priority in this country as the population ages.
In the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, our neuropathologist John M. Lee, MD, PhD and colleagues hold a patent on a drug compound that may block the production of b-amyloid by altering a main enzyme that causes the deposition of amyloid plaques often seen in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Further research in this area could yield promising new treatments to stop the progression of the disease.
Dr. Lee is also exploring the link between traumatic brain injury such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and Alzheimer’s disease. CTE has gained notoriety in recent years with its connection to professional and amateur athletes who have suffered repetitive concussions in high impact sports such as football. NorthShore's Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery Julian Bailes, MD, through the Brain Injury Research Institute (BIRI) has conducted significant research into CTE that has made him the foremost expert in the field. Dr. Lee is a collaborator and contributor with Dr. Bailes in this important work.
Dr. Lee’s other research interests include studying the relationship between Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.