Health research soaring at WVU

What if we could find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease right here in West Virginia? What if it came on the heels of innovative methods to help people cope with pain without using addictive drugs?

Not long ago, thoughts such as those would have been laughable. Accomplish either of those breakthroughs, much less both, in the Mountain State? No way.

But maybe there is a way. On May 15-16, the West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute will be holding a summit meeting to discuss topics such as those. That will happen in conjunction with opening of the institute’s new Innovation Center.

Real cutting-edge medical science research is occurring at the institute in Morgantown. This is not the stuff of dreams or wishful thinking. This is pioneering work to relieve the suffering of millions of people. More important, it is research with genuine possibilities for succcess.

Institute research on Alzheimer’s focuses on getting past what scientists refer to as the blood-brain barrier. Introducing drugs into the brain in attempts to help sufferers from many diseases is hampered by one of nature’s self-defense mechanisms. Getting past it could mean cures.

Meanwhile, WVU researchers are working on new ways to deal with chronic pain and addiction, some of them without using chemicals.

Our state university is engaged in many types of important research. Giving medical researchers the tools to explore issues such as those above was a conscious decision at WVU. Good for those who made the choice.

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