Alzheimer's Association science advisors honored with top award
John C. Morris, M.D., and Ronald C. Petersen, M.D., Ph.D., two neurologists with long-standing ties to the Alzheimer's Association, will receive the American Academy of Neurology's 2005 Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick's, Alzheimer's and Related Diseases at the Academy's annual meeting April 12.
Often called the "Nobel Prize of Neurology," the $100,000 Potamkin Prize honors and rewards researchers for advancing the understanding of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders.
Morris and Petersen are being recognized for their efforts toward identifying the earliest biological and psychological changes associated with Alzheimer's disease, laying important groundwork for intervening when treatment may have its greatest benefit.
Morris, a national board member of the Alzheimer's Association, is Friedman Distinguished Professor of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and director of the university's federally funded Alzheimer's Disease Center. Under Morris's leadership, the center has achieved notable success in accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer's in its earliest stages. Morris has also contributed major insights into the earliest brain changes that may precede symptoms of Alzheimer's by decades.
Petersen, a member of the Alzheimer's Association Medical and Scientific Advisory Council, is professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minn., and directs Mayo's Alzheimer's Disease Center. He has played a pivotal role in developing the concept of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a condition in which individuals have memory problems greater than expected for their age and education but do not meet criteria for dementia. Those with MCI are considered an extremely promising group for early and effective treatment of cognitive changes.