Cerebrum Spring 2021


DABI Members Win Brain Prize: Migraine Research Recognized T his year, two of the four winners of the Brain Prize—the world’s most prestigious award for brain research—are Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives (DABI) members: Michael A. Moskowitz and Jes Olesen . The award, sponsored by the Lundbeck Foundation in Sweden, were all awarded for research on migraine, and provides close to $400,000 in US dollars to each winner. The other two winners are Lars Edvinsson , M.D., Ph.D., professor of internal medicine at Lund University in Sweden, and Peter Goadsby , M.D., Ph.D., director of the NIHR-Wellcome Trust King’s clinical research facility at King’s College in London. Moskowitz, M.D., a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, showed “that a migraine attack is triggered when trigeminal nerve fibers release neuropeptides that lead to dilated (opened up) blood vessels of the meninges, inflammation, and pain …. He was the first to propose that

Left to right: Michael A. Moskowitz, Jes Olesen, Lars Edvinsson, and Peter Goadsby

blocking the action of released neuropeptides could be a new approach to treating migraine.” Olesen, M.D., a professor of neurology at the University of Copenhagen, gave migraine patients a gene-related peptide called calcitonin (CGRP), which triggered migraine attacks. He then found that certain drugs—known as antagonists—blocked the peptide and effectively treated migraine. Working collaboratively, Edvinsson and Goadsby showed that CGRP—a particularly potent dilator of blood vessels in the meninges—may be of crucial importance in migraine and the key molecule in primary headache disorders.

This Issue’s Cerebrum Podcast Episodes Mark Shelhamer , Sc.D., former chief scientist for the NASA Human Research Program and a professor at the Johns

Peter Campochiaro , M.D., the Eccles Professor of Ophthalmology and Neuro- science at the Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and the author of our feature on macular degeneration, “Eye of the Needle.”

Hopkins School of Medicine, is the author of our cover story, “Space Between the Ears.”

"There's something that astronauts sometimes call space fog or the space stupids… the sense that things that I used to be able to do on earth seamlessly without thinking about them, now, all of a sudden, they're a little bit more challenging for me to do.”

“In general, most patients with the wet form of macular degeneration require injections of these medications every four to six or eight weeks for the remainder of their life.”



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