Science superstar

Stephen Hawking leaves a lasting legacy

Stephen Hawking, a visionary physicist, as well as a pop culture icon, died March 14, 2018 at the age of 76, leaving scientists, doctors, space enthusiasts and “Simpsons” fans alike to reflect on his contributions to modern cosmology and entertainment.

Photo
Stephen Hawking
Source: hawking.org.uk

Hande Ozdinler, an associate professor in the department of neurology in Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, reflects on Hawkings impact on the research and public awareness for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). She is also a faculty member in the Les Turner ALS Research and Patient Center, the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Research Center and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Research Center.

“As you know, ALS is the disease of the motor neurons in the brain and the spinal cord, and neuronal activity is what keeps neurons alive and functional. Active thinking, conceptualization of complex ideas, and hypothesis-driven analysis of integrated and convoluted theories keeps the brain nourished, active, connected and alive."

Dr. Hawking, even with his death, teaches us a lesson: keeping brain cells active and happy could indeed be a solution for the ALS disease

Hande Ozdinler

“Many of us believe that it is impossible to live with ALS more than five to six years, and yet Dr. Hawking lived with ALS for more than 50 years! In my opinion, Dr. Hawking was able to overcome ALS thanks to his ability to keep his brain neurons alive, connected and active. His brain capacity might have contributed to the slowing of his disease. Dr. Hawking, even with his death, teaches us a lesson: keeping brain cells active and happy could indeed be a solution for the ALS disease.”


Source: Northwestern University

17.03.2018

More on the subject:
Read all latest stories

Related articles

Photo

From the MS Experts Summit

An update on MR imaging in Multiple Sclerosis

This year’s ”MS Experts Summit” sees 18 clinicians and researchers convene online for seven sessions during this summer. Under the motto “People with MS: 360º evidence-based daily…

Photo

Immune system overreaction

Sepsis can cause long-term damage in the brain

Infections can trigger a particularly strong immune reaction of the body (termed sepsis). In such a sepsis the immune system reacts so strongly that not only the pathogens but also tissues and organs…

Photo

Neuro-Imaging

Advanced MRI scans may improve treatment of Parkinson's disease

Recently developed MRI techniques used to more precisely target a small area in the brain linked to Parkinson's disease and essential tremor may lead to better outcomes without surgery and with less…