Houston Methodist

Natural Foci of Neurodegenerative Diseases in the Western Pacific

Biomedical scientists were slow to recognize the unique opportunities that natural experiments among isolated human populations provide when it comes to understanding disease etiology and mechanisms of pathogenesis. Hyperendemic foci of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinsonism-dementia (PD), which occur in different cultures, in different ecological zones, and among genetically divergent populations, have been important to our thinking and understanding of these and related neurodegenerative disorders. The ultimate significance of these Pacific paradigms may very well depend on our ability to comprehensively evaluate and synthesize relevant scientific information from widely divergent academic fields and to recognize and study-related new and emerging neurodegenerative disease models globally.

Hosted by the Center for Neuroregeneration Department of Neurosurgery

Ralph Garruto is Professor of Biomedical Anthropology at Binghamton University, SUNY, and Adjunct Professor of Pathology at Upstate Medical University. Previously he was a Research Scientist for many years at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke where he began both field and laboratory-based research on Guamanian ALS and Parkinsonism-Dementia. His other cross-disciplinary research includes prion diseases, especially chronic wasting disease, experimental modeling, health transitions in the developing world, and host-pathogen interactions.

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Tuesday, September 21 at 10:30am to 11:30am

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Academic Institute, Neurological Institute, Neurosciences Research Program

Ralph M. Garruto, PhD Professor, Graduate Program in Biomedical Anthropology, Binghamton University, SUNY Binghamton, NY

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