Various members of CONNECT-TBI congregated in Austin, Texas this year for the National Neurotrauma Society (NNS) Symposium 2023, where we also took the opportunity to hold our annual General Assembly. We were thrilled to welcome Candace Gantt, Founder and Co-Director of Mind Your Brain Foundation, to give updates on the charity’s work and partnership with our project. Thank you, Candace!
We must also offer massive congratulations to CONNECT team members, Dr Andrea Schneider, and PhD candidate Natalie Jenkins, on their respective awards:
Andrea was awarded the NNS Rising Star Award
Natalie was awarded 1st Place for her poster presentation
and was a winner of the NNS diversity award
Huge congratulations to University of Pennsylvania’s Eddie Lee for receiving the Excellence in Neuroscience Mentoring Award at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC)! The Alzheimer’s Association tweeted: “Dr Lee is dedicated to educating the next generation of neuroscientists and physician-scientists, with service on over 50 thesis committees”
Willie Stewart’s team are eager to find a lab technician to enhance our complement of amazing people working on the CONNECT-TBI project. You needn’t be Scottish, but you do need to be in Glasgow…!
If you are (or want to be) based in Glasgow, Scotland, we are seeking a Research Associate to make a contribution to our growing body of research and publications. You will be working closely with Prof Willie Stewart and the rest of the Glasgow team, as well as collaborating internationally with other CONNECT-TBI sites!
CONGRATULATIONS TO DR EMMA RUSSELL!
Dr Emma Russell has successfully been awarded an early postdoctoral fellowship, funded by the Chief Scientist Office, to pursue a 3-year study titled “HEalth And Dementia outcomes following Traumatic Brain Injury (HEAD-TBI)”, which will begin in October 2022.
HEAD-TBI is designed to leverage comprehensive, population level health datasets to explore the complex interaction between traumatic brain injury and late health outcomes and their relationship to dementia risk.
The project will be supervised by Professor William Stewart and Dr Donald Lyall and will consist of a multidisciplinary collaboration of researchers and experts in traumatic brain injury, epidemiology, and public health.
PROF WILLIE STEWART PLAYS GOALIE AT CHARITY SOCCER GAME
On Sunday 25th September, the charity Head for Change organized a soccer match devoid of heading the ball – aiming to spread awareness of the risks associated with the practice and to demonstrate that soccer without heading can work!
Prior to the match (and donning his very own kit), Prof Willie Stewart gave a talk on the link between heading the ball and dementia later in life. Jeremy Wilson, in his article on the event, said:
“Anyone doubting that this is an urgently needed debate should simply listen to the pre-match talk provided by Prof Willie Stewart, the Glasgow neuropathologist who proved [soccer]’s dementia link. He described his work examining the brains of deceased former [soccer players], who are five times more likely to die of Alzheimer’s disease and are often also suffering with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a type of dementia only associated with head impacts”Jeremy Wilson – Read the full article here: Families of 1966 World Cup heroes want heading ban for young players
Shortly after the talk, Willie joined the eager players as goalie and showed all the enthusiasm we’ve come to know him for – GO WILLIE!
NEW PAPER PUBLISHED!
“Concussion leads to widespread axonal sodium channel loss and disruption of the node of Ranvier”
The latest from CONNECT-TBI was published in Acta Neuropathologica on September 15th. Primary author Dr Hailong Song dedicated a lot of time to this and we offer our sincerest congratulations to him, and to everyone who worked on it.
Read the full paper here!
Song, H., McEwan, P.P., Ameen-Ali, K.E. et al. Concussion leads to widespread axonal sodium channel loss and disruption of the node of Ranvier. Acta Neuropathol (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00401-022-02498-1
Dr C. Dirk Keene talks Alzheimer’s on NPR
Our collaborator, Dr Dirk Keene, and his team featured on NPR today (1st Aug) in a piece about the shifting focus in Alzheimer’s research. Dr Keene is quoted talking about current methods – the transcript reads:
“What we’re trying to do with this study is to look at cell vulnerability early on in the disease, before [people] have plaques and tangles, before they have cognitive impairment,” says Dr. C. Dirk Keene, a neuropathologist at the University of Washington.
To create the atlas, Keene and a team of researchers analyzed more than a million cells from 84 brains donated by people who’d signed up for Alzheimer’s research projects run by the University of Washington and Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute.
The brains came from donors “at all different stages of disease” Keenes says, “so we can pinpoint what’s happening from the earliest levels all the way through to people with advanced disease.”
LISTEN TO/READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE
The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference is running from Jul 31st – Aug 4th in San Diego.
CONNECT-TBI General Assembly
While several of us converged at the Annual Symposium of the National Neurotrauma Society (NNS) 2022 in Atlanta, we took the opportunity to hold a General Assembly of the CONNECT-TBI team, discussion a year in review as well as upcoming projects! It’s been a long time since we were able to meet face-to-face, and these discussions truly are invaluable to our preparations. Here’s to planning the next year of ground-breaking research!
We were also thrilled to welcome Dr Sally Tucker, Trustee of Head for Change, speaking about the founding and ongoing work of the charity, as well as telling us some of her father’s experiences as a former professional soccer player now dealing with early-onset dementia. We are so grateful to her for sharing her family’s story.