“We have so many more tools now—genetics, and high-resolution imaging, and non-invasive tests that we can apply to our own patients to be able to understand the actual disease process clinically. ”

At the beginning of her career, friends and classmates of Elizabeth Ross, MD, PhD, questioned her desire to enter the field of neurology. The belief was that it was a “depressing” specialty, filled with days of treating patients who had any number of neurodegenerative diseases without any real treatment options. Although, over the course of her career, that viewpoint has changed drastically.

At the American Neurological Association’s 143rd Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, Ross expressed her excitement to NeurologyLive about the potential in the space. The professor of neurology and neuroscience and director of the Center of Neurogenetics at Weill Cornell Medicine spoke about the wealth of improvements that have really turned this area of medicine into a much more hopeful one.

From improvements in imaging techniques to the emergence of disease-modifying therapies and, now, the rise of gene therapies, the future has never looked brighter for conditions that previously were viewed as, essentially, death sentences.