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The Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research

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Educational Video Addresses Systemic Racism in America

In the wake of the upheaval following the murder of George Floyd, faculty members of NKI’s Center for Research on Cultural & Structural Equity (C-CASE) created an educational video addressing systemic racism and strategies to counter it. Our Racist America is a 'call to action' video presentation that discusses: (1) white privilege; (2) individual-institutional-structural racism against Black Americans; (3) historical and present-day racism embedded in law enforcement; and (4) the economic, social, physical, and emotional harm these tactics have caused Black people in America, spanning centuries. While developed for academics, researchers, and practitioners, this video is useful for any individual, organization, or institution that is taking action against systemic racism. Examples of anti-racist strategies and practices for individuals and institutions are provided and based on the presenters’ informed personal and professional experience as racial disparities researchers in public health, and as lifelong advocates for social justice. Our Racist America is free to view on the C-CASE website here.

Investigating How Stress and Aging Can Lead to Alzheimer's Disease

Dr. Stephen Ginsberg of the Center for Dementia Research was a key contributor to a paper recently published in Nature Communications (Inda et al., 2020). This research provides novel evidence of a pathological process underlying Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders, and suggests a new potential therapeutic target.

The research team, led by Dr. Gabriela Chiosis from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, shows how stressors can alter protein connectivity in the brain, which in turn can lead to brain circuitry failure in disorders including Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers coined a new term to describe this phenomenon: “protein connectivity-based dysfunction” or PCBD. According to Dr. Ginsberg, “Many people who study Alzheimer’s are thinking about circuits in the brain. But there’s no clear understanding of how stressors due to aging and the environment change the way proteins interact. Our research demonstrates that epichaperome formation rewires brain circuitry in Alzheimer’s by enabling proteins to misconnect, leading to downstream PCBD and cognitive decline.” The team further demonstrated a drug that corrected signaling problems between neurons, providing a promising new avenue for treatment.

Read more about this exciting advance in Alzheimer’s research in this Memorial Sloan Kettering blog: Study Reveals a New Way That Stress and Aging Lead to Alzheimer’s.