Sponsored by the Garvey Institute for Brain Health Solutions
Over the last ten years, our understanding of cranial fluid dynamics has undergone radical revision. During that time, the characterization of the ‘glymphatic’ system, the brain’s waste clearance system, has shed important new light on physiological basis for the restorative effects of sleep on cognitive performance. Jeffrey Iliff, PhD, will discuss how early studies carried out in preclinical models and in human study populations suggests that impairment of glymphatic function may contribute to the development of age-related neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and may underlie the effects that aging, cerebrovascular disease, traumatic brain injury, and sleep disruption have on risk of developing these conditions.
Dr. Iliff is the Associate Director for Research at the VISN 20 Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC) at the VA Puget Sound. He is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, and of Neurology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, where he is the Arthur J. and Marcella McCaffray Professor in Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr. Iliff was part of the research team that discovered the ‘glymphatic’ system, the brain’s cleaning system that is active during sleep. His research focuses on identifying the molecular changes that underlie glymphatic system failure with aging and after traumatic brain injury, extending these experimental studies into human subjects and clinical populations with an aim of developing new treatment and prevention strategies for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.