Alvaro Pascual-Leone, MD, PhDDirector, Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
Integrated Approach to the Neurological Consequences of Repeated Traumatic Brain Insults
Longterm neurological consequences of mild traumatic brain injury and repeated traumatic brain insults, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), pose an understandable grave public concern. However, there remains a paucity of knowledge regarding mechanisms of injury linking brain trauma with longterm neurological consequences. In addition, we do not have a way to identify individuals at risk, diagnose the process early, treat the condition, and ultimately prevent it. To fill these knowledge gaps, an integrated approach with parallel animal and human studies to test a comprehensive hypothesis about longterm consequences of traumatic brain insults is needed. I will present such a hypothesis and outline the translatable biomarkers, diagnostic and prognostic indicators of disease progression, and also potential novel therapeutic interventions that might prevent longterm neurological consequences of concussions, repeated traumatic brain insults, and CTE.
Alvaro Pascual-Leone, MD, PhD, is Professor of Neurology and an Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research at Harvard Medical School. He serves as Chief for the Division of Cognitive Neurology and the Director of the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Dr. Pascual-Leone received his M.D. in 1984 and his Ph.D. in Neurophysiology in 1985, both from Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany. Following an internship in Medicine at Staedtisches Klinikum Karlsruhe in Germany and residency in Internal Medicine at Hospital Universitario de Valencia in Spain, Dr. Pascual-Leone completed a Neurology residency at the University of Minnesota and then trained in Clinical Neurophysiology and Human Motor Control at the University of Minnesota and the National Institutes of Health. He joined Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 1997, after several years at the Cajal Institute of the Spanish Research Council.
Dr. Pascual-Leone’s research aims at understanding the mechanisms that control brain plasticity across the lifespan to be able to modify them for the patient’s optimal behavioral outcome, prevent age-related cognitive decline, reduce the risk of dementia, and minimize the impact of neurodevelopmental disorders.
Dr. Pascual-Leone is a world leader in the field of noninvasive brain stimulation where his contributions span from technology development, through basic neurobiologic insights from animal studies and modeling approaches, to human proof-of-principle and multicenter clinical trials. His research has been fundamental in establishing the field of therapeutic brain stimulation. His work has provided evidence for the efficacy of noninvasive brain stimulation in treating various neurologic and psychiatric conditions, including epilepsy, stroke, Parkinson disease, chronic pain, autism, and drug-resistant depression. Dr. Pascual-Leone has authored more than 600 scientific papers as well as several books and is listed inventor in several patents. His work is highly regarded for its innovation and quality and is highly cited.
Dr. Pascual-Leone is the recipient of several international honors and awards, including the Ramón y Cajal Award in Neuroscience (Spain), the Norman Geschwind Prize in Behavioral Neurology from the American Academy of Neurology, the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany), and the Jean-Louis Signoret Prize from the Ipsen Foundation (France). He is an elected member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Science (Farmacia). His work also has wide general public appeal and outreach through dissemination in articles in the lay press (Time Magazine, Newsweek, New Scientist, National Geographic) and documentaries on television and radio (Scientific American, 60 minutes, CNN, BBC, Discovery, National Geographic, etc.) Dr. Pascual-Leone is a dedicated mentor, recognized with a K24 NIH award and various distinctions, including the Daniel Federman Outstanding Clinical Educator Award from Harvard Medical School. He directs an intensive mini-fellowship in noninvasive brain stimulation at HMS that has trained over 400 people in the past 10 years, and the Sidney R. Baer, Jr. Foundation Fellowship in the Clinical Neurosciences.