For nearly 30 years, the funding provided by the Rappaport Foundation to physicians and researchers has allowed brilliance to flourish and breakthroughs to triumph in the areas of neurologic diseases and mental illness.
Since joining the Neurology faculty, Dr. Rosas has focused her research activities on brain imaging of patients with cognitive disorders, particularly Huntington’s disease. She has recently been promoted to assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and has been successful in getting independent funding from NIH. Much of the Rappaport funding was used to purchase key equipment needed to perform sophisticated data analyses required to develop and validate surrogate biomarkers for Huntington’s disease. A small portion was used to provide partial salary support for a laboratory research assistant, and the remaining funds were used for other related laboratory and office supplies.
Dr. Rosas and her team have been investigating the regional and temporal progression of the changes that occur in the brain as part of normal aging and how those are distinct in neurodegenerative diseases, more specifically in Huntington’s disease (HD).Our growing understanding of HD underscores the complexity of the disease. We have found very specific changes in the cortex and in white matter that correlate with clinical features of HD and represent a paradigm shift in how HD is perceived.
More recently, we have begun to explore the sensitivity, reliability and reproducibility of neuro-imaging methods to serve as a biomarker of HD onset and HD progression and its potential to enhance the efficiency of clinical trials.