Brian Callaghan, MD, MS, a Michigan Medicine NeuroNetwork for Emerging Therapies faculty member, has published numerous scientific articles identifying obesity as a driver of neuropathy in patients, five already in 2020. His dedication and results have now been recognized by the American Neurological Association, which named him its 2020 Wolfe Neuropathy Research Prize recipient. The Wolfe Prize honors an outstanding investigator each year who identifies a new cause or treatment of axonal peripheral neuropathy.
Callaghan, the Fovette E. Dush Associate Professor of Neurology, will be formally recognized at the 145th Annual Meeting of the ANA, which will be held virtually from October 4-9, 2020. He will also give a presentation entitled “Dietary Weight Loss May Halt Progression of Polyneuropathy in Patients with Obesity,” on October 4, during the Derek Denny-Brown Young Neurological Scholar Symposium.
“This award is a true testament to the exceptional work Dr. Callaghan has done to understand how obesity is an independent factor of neuropathy for patients,” says Eva L. Feldman, MD, PhD, Director of the NeuroNetwork for Emerging Therapies. “Through his patient studies, he has shown that obesity, but not other metabolic factors, is consistently associated with neuropathy. I am excited to see how his work continues to change how we care for patients.”
Dr. Callaghan recently discussed his work that determined obesity's impact on neuropathy:
"I am honored to have my work recognized by the American Neurological Association,” says Callaghan. “I want to thank all of my collaborators for their amazing work to help us address the pervasive issue of neuropathy. We’re very excited about our current study where we’re looking at both surgical weight loss and exercise in obese patients to learn more about what works best for people. I look forward to sharing our work in October at the ANA Meetings.”
The Wolfe Neuropathy Research Prize has been awarded since 2009. Notable previous recipients include: Hsinlin (Thomas) Cheng (2010 honoree), MD, PhD, who was a NeuroNetwork doctoral student and fellow and now works for Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital; Douglas W. Zochodne (2011), MD, from the University of Alberta who has collaborated with Drs. Callaghan and Feldman; Lucy Hinder (2015), PhD, who was a NeuroNetwork fellow from 2009-19; and Stefanie Geisler (2017), MD, from Washington University in St. Louis who was a visiting grand rounds speaker.
The ANA is a professional organization representing the world’s top academic neurologists and neuroscientists. Typically, the annual meeting convenes more than 900 of the world’s leading academic neurologists and neuroscientists to share ground-breaking research and updates on the diseases and conditions that affect more than 100 million Americans, including stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, neuromuscular disorders, headache, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and more.