Jeff Waugh, MD, PhD: Using Imaging to Discern the Cause of Diseases

October 21, 2018

The director of the Pediatric Movement Disorders Program at UT Southwestern spoke about the ability of advanced imaging to help better understand the causes of disease.

“We don’t just want to be treating symptoms, we want to be treating causes. This gets us much closer to the cause of some of these diseases, instead of just treating at the end.”

It is known that there are several diseases affecting humans which are caused by damage done to the striatum. While certain conditions cause damage to 1 of the 2 parts of this area of the brain, others cause damage to the second. What’s important is understanding the role these injuries play in disease.

Despite these 2 distinct portions of the striatum operating very differently, to this point, they have been almost indistinguishable from one another using most imaging techniques. In order to address this inability to better monitor this area of the brain, a group of researchers from UT Southwestern has developed an imaging method that allows clinicians to explore how each of these parts operates independently.

At the American Neurological Association’s 143rd Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, Jeff Waugh, MD, PhD, the director of the Pediatric Movement Disorders Program at UT Southwestern, sat with NeurologyLive to discuss how this imaging method can better aid the development of therapeutics for movement disorders, as well as how it could potentially help better understand the causes of some of these neurological conditions.