Article by Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D.

Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D.

Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D. is a professor of neurology at Harvard University Medical School, Director of the Genetics and Aging Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, and author of Decoding Darkness: The Search for the Genetic Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease. He also serves as the head of the Alzheimer’s Genome Project. Dr. Tanzi has been investigating the molecular and genetic basis of neurological disease since 1980, and during the past several decades he has collaborated on many studies identifying other disease genes, including those that contribute to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and autism.

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To date, one of biology’s greatest achievements, mapping the human genome, is only just beginning to translate into medical advances. But in 2014 there will likely be more headlines about another type of study in genetics that is already impacting everyone.We are referring to a different aspect of our genome, which radically revises a model that is decades old, dating back as far...
How many of us grew up believing that the brain we are born with is the brain we get for the rest of our lives? How many of us still believe that the brain consists of a set number of nerve cells that we slowly lose as we get older, never to be replaced. And, how about the notion that we only use 5 to 10 percent of our brains? Most of us were raised believing these things. But,...