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    Alzheimer’s group honors MGH researcher

    Studies focus on roots of dementia

    Dr. Bradley T. Hyman, Harvard professor of neurology and MGH researcher, received his award from Kristine Yaffe.
    DAVID W. JOHNSON/ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION
    Dr. Bradley T. Hyman, Harvard professor of neurology and MGH researcher, received his award from Kristine Yaffe.

    A Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School neurologist was honored for his research into the causes of dementia Sunday at an Alzheimer’s Association conference in Vancouver, Canada.

    Dr. Bradley T. Hyman, director of the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Mass. General and a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical, received the Henry Wisniewski Lifetime Achievement Award, the Alzheimer's Association said in a statement.

    “It’s an extremely nice recognition, especially because the award is named after one of the giants of neuropathology,” Hyman said in a phone interview from Vancouver Sunday.

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    Hyman has studied changes in patients’ brains and nervous systems, as well as genetic changes that underlie dementia, the statement said. His research helps describe brain lesions in Alzheimer's patients, the statement said.

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    Hyman recently worked on imaging amyloid protein fragments that are broken down in healthy brains but accumulate and form amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's patients; and tau tangles, created when proteins that keep the brain’s cell transport system in working order die and collapse the system.

    At its international conference, the Alzheimer’s Association also gave lifetime achievement awards to Lennart Mucke of the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease and the University of California, San Francisco; Monique M.B. Breteler of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases and the University of Bonn in Germany; and Ronald Petersen of the Mayo Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in Rochester, Minn.

    Gal Tziperman Lotan can be reached at gal.lotan@globe.com.