Dr Rahul Desikan: ALS cost him his life, but his work will s
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On July 14, 2019, Dr Rahul Desikan, a pioneering researcher of neurodegenerative diseases at the University of California, San Francisco, passed away after losing his two-and-a-half-year battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

ALS progressively destroys nerve cells controlling voluntary muscle movement. In other words, the brain is no longer able to communicate with muscles in our body. As a consequence, people lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, swallow and finally breathe. There is no known cure for the disease, and nothing can stop its advance.

In a cruel twist of fate, the neuroscientist and his collaborators were a month into the largest study ever undertaken of the genetics of ALS, when he began to experience symptoms he recognized from his own research.

Five months of tests confirmed his worst fears: that he had ALS. He was 38 at the time.

Despite losing basic motor functions like the ability to walk, speak or use his hands, he continued his research, publishing a series of academic papers on the genetic risk factors for ALS and other such conditions and mentoring research students.

“I went into medicine to take care of patients with brain diseases. Now, I have one of the diseases that I study…Even with this lethal disease, I continue to find neurology fascinating and beautiful,” he wrote in a column for the Washington Post published on April 28, 2019.

This allows doctors to label critical regions of the brain, ascertain their size through scans and monitor the effect of medication.

It quickly became one of the most widely-used tools in the neuroscience community, has been cited more than 4500 times,” writes Desikan’s colleague Christopher Hess. “Color figures of the atlas in its various forms still fill the pages of our leading scientific journals.”

During his research at UCSF, he also made other remarkable findings in understanding the genetic architecture of other neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s dementia, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

For example, he “developed a polygenic hazard score (PHS) for Alzheimer’s disease that gauges age-specific disease risk based on dozens of genetic variations” and how controlling blood lipid levels could delay or prevent the onset of this disease.

Irrespective of the obstacles fate had put before him, Dr Desikan never once wavered in his pursuit of the truth.

This is the mark of any legendary scientist.

Source: https://www.thebetterindia.com/203848/als-alzheimer-rahul-desikan-medicine-human-brain-tribute-india/
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Dr. A●●●l k●●●m
Dr. A●●●l k●●●m General Medicine
With a heavy heart, rest in peace
Nov 28, 2019Like
S●●●●m G●●●a
S●●●●m G●●●a General Medicine
RIP
Nov 29, 2019Like
K●●●r B●●●●l
K●●●r B●●●●l General Medicine
Huge respect
Dec 4, 2019Like