MINNEAPOLIS – The American Academy of Neurology and the American Brain Foundation are awarding a Missouri researcher the 2019 Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick’s, Alzheimer’s and Related Diseases for his work in Alzheimer’s disease research. Randall J. Bateman, MD, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo., and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, will be presented the award at the American Academy of Neurology’s 71st Annual Meeting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, May 4-10, 2019.
Bateman will be recognized during the Potamkin Prize Panel Presentation held on Monday, May 6, at 3:30 p.m. Past winners of the Potamkin Prize will also be present and give updates on their research.
Sometimes referred to as the Nobel Prize of Alzheimer’s research, the Potamkin Prize honors researchers for their work in helping to advance the understanding of Pick’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. The $100,000 prize is an internationally recognized tribute for advancing dementia research.
Bateman, who was a 2004 recipient of the AAN Clinical Research Training Fellowship, is receiving the award for his research in Alzheimer’s disease. His contributions to understanding the disease include developing a new method to determine how effectively amyloid beta is cleared from the brain. Amyloid beta is a sticky protein that can accumulate and turn into amyloid plaques in the brain, leading to dementia. Bateman found the process of clearing it from the brain is impaired in people with Alzheimer’s disease. He is also leading studies of people with an inherited form of the disease and has shown a relationship between brain lesion development and symptom development 15 to 20 years later.
Bateman also created a blood test that can detect Alzheimer’s disease in its earliest stages by measuring levels of amyloid beta. Bateman says the blood test can detect amyloid up to 20 years before a person develops Alzheimer’s disease. While it is still being researched, a blood test for Alzheimer’s disease would be less expensive and easier to administer than the current methods of detecting amyloid beta, a PET scan of the brain or a spinal tap to detect amyloid in the spinal fluid.
“A simple blood test could someday enable testing for Alzheimer’s disease for the world’s population,” said Bateman. “When effective treatments and preventions are developed, it will have enormous impacts on the lives of families, medical systems and society as a whole.”
When asked about receiving the Potamkin Prize, Bateman said, “I am honored and humbled to join the elite group of Potamkin Prize winners and I hope our work inspires other researchers as they strive to make big impacts in dementia research.”
The Potamkin Prize is made possible by the philanthropic contributions of the Potamkin family of New York, Philadelphia and Miami. The goal of the prize is to help attract the best medical minds and most dedicated scientists in the world to the field of dementia research. The Potamkin family has been the Academy’s single largest individual donor since 1988, providing more than $2 million to fund the Potamkin Prize.
Learn more about dementia at BrainandLife.org, home of the American Academy of Neurology’s free patient and caregiver magazine focused on the intersection of neurologic disease and brain health. Follow Brain & Life® on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The American Brain Foundation brings researchers and donors together to cure brain diseases and disorders. The Foundation invests in research of the whole brain and all nervous system disorders knowing they are interconnected. This holistic, innovative approach allows the Foundation to build bridges between diseases and break new ground in research and application. The Foundation understands that when we cure one brain disease, we will cure many. Since 1992, the American Brain Foundation has been investing
The American Academy of Neurology is the world’s largest association of neurologists and neuroscience professionals, with over 36,000 members. The AAN is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, concussion, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.