Dr. Ann McKee is a nerve pathologist who has spent decades learning about the brains of individuals who died from neurodegenerative diseases, such a Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). She talks about what is involved in her study.
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So, a nerve pathologist studies brain and central nervous system tissues. So generally the brain spinal cord and also peripheral nerves. And for the last thirty years I've been involved in primarily looking at the brains of individuals who died from neurodegenerative diseases -- Alzheimer's, Parkinson's. What we do is, after death, we remove the brain. We analyze it. We look at it. Photograph it. We'll dissect it. Will save part of it fresh and then flash ... flash frozen for chemical studies, molecular studies, genetic studies, that can only be done on flash frozen tissue. And then we'll use the other half of the brain to do a dissection fix ... fix it. And then we prepare slides and those slides will be used for the diagnosis. This video was produced by BrainLine thanks to generous support from the Infinite Hero Foundation.
Ann McKee, MD is the chief neuropathologist for the Framingham Heart Study and the Boston University-based Centenarian Study. She is also the chief neuropathologist for the Boston-based Veterans Administration Medical Centers and for the Sports Legacy Institute.