Target brain disease(s): Neurosarcoidosis
Project goal: Improve care for patients with neurosarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease involving the nervous system, by identifying less invasive ways to diagnose the disease, optimizing neuroimaging (MRI) to detect the characteristic pattern of inflammation that marks sarcoidosis and discover better treatments.
Project description: Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease affecting various body organs, with about 5 percent to 15 percent of cases involving the nervous system, which is called neurosarcoidosis. Neurosarcoidosis can be severe and lead to permanent brain injury or paralysis. Sarcoidosis can be difficult to diagnose and often requires surgery to get a piece of the affected organ (brain, lung or lymph node) to detect if the inflammation characteristic of sarcoidosis is present. One of the major challenges is to strike the right balance between aggressively treating neurosarcoidosis to reduce the chance of permanent neurological injury while minimizing harm from treatment Dr. Gelfand’s research is focused on identifying less invasive ways to diagnose neurosarcoidosis and optimizing neuroimaging (MRI) to detect the characteristic inflammation pattern marked by sarcoidosis. Dr. Gelfand and his colleagues hope that their study will expand our understanding of brain injury from inflammation in general.
Funding: Received $130,000 in research funds.