Nils Henninger MD
|Institution||University of Massachusetts Medical School|
|Address||University of Massachusetts Medical School|
55 Lake Ave North
Worcester MA 01605
|Institution||UMMS - School of Medicine|
Dr. Henninger received his M.D. degree from the University of Mainz, Germany. Following residency training in Neurology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany and University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA he completed a fellowship in Cerebrovascular Diseases at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA before joining the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 2012.
As a cerebrovascular disease-trained neurologist I mostly see stroke patients in my clinic but I am broadly interested in emergency neurology. As a physician scientist I devote ~80% of my full time effort to researching mechanisms driving brain white matter injury and how it relates to outcome.
My main basic science research is aimed at understanding how axons in the brain’s white matter degenerate after acute brain injury. My research has provided first evidence that by blocking a key gene driving Wallerian degeneration, Sarm1, it is possible to prevent axonal degeneration and preserve neurological function after brain trauma. These fundamental observations indicate that traumatic axonal degeneration is governed by a Wallerian degeneration-like mechanism and represent the first evidence that it is possible to prevent axonal degeneration after mammalian brain trauma in vivo. This is a major step forward in the field of traumatic brain injury, which represents a leading cause of adult disability and death in the US and for which there is no specific therapy available.
My main clinical research interest is focused on investigating chronic ischemic white matter injury in the brain termed leukoaraiosis and how it impacts outcome after ischemic stroke. Leukoaraiosis is common among patients with stroke as it shares common risk factors with stroke and has been linked to cognitive and neurological decline as well as increased stroke risk. Results from my research have highlighted that stroke patients with severe pre-existing leukoaraiosis have larger strokes, worse functional deficits at presentation, recovery to a lesser extent, and have an overall greater risk for functional dependence after their stroke as compared to patients with only mild leukoaraiosis.
We accept residents and fellows year round to work on mentored clinical research projects. Lab rotations are available on a case-by-case basis.
Those interested in providing philanthropic support for a specific area of interest should contact Dr. Henninger at Nils.Henninger[at]umassmed.edu.
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