PRIME Scholars In the News

Jesse Mez Receives DoD Grant to Study Role of TBI and Military Service in Alzheimer’s Disease

Jesse Mez, MD, MS, assistant professor of neurology at BUSM, has received a three-year, $1.2 million grant from the United States Department of Defense to study the impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and military service on Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.

Dr. Mez, who also serves as Associate Director of the BU Alzheimer’s Disease and CTE Center Clinical Core, will study Framingham Heart Study participants to test the hypothesis that TBI and military service are independently and jointly associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions (such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy Bodies). The study will examine this relationship by looking at clinical, radiologic, and neuropathologic markers of Alzheimer’s and other related conditions in participants followed over decades as part of the Framingham Heart Study. In addition, the study aims to determine whether some individuals may be at even greater risk based on additional factors such as genetic factors and lifestyle choices.

Dr. Mez, also a neurologist at Boston Medical Center, is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Society of Human Genetics, the International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment, and the Society for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology. He is a past recipient of a K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award from the National Institute on Aging, a New Investigator Research Grant from the Alzheimer’s Association and a BU Alzheimer’s Disease Center Pilot Grant.

Dr. Mez completed his undergraduate studies at Cornell University and earned his medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He performed his residency training in neurology at Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals. He completed a clinical fellowship in Aging and Dementia and a research fellowship in neuroepidemiology at Columbia University.


PRIME Scholars published in Annals of Internal Medicine

image of prescription drugs

Survivors of opioid overdose have a higher risk of death than individuals who have not experienced an overdose. Effective strategies to lower that risk are critically important to combatting the opioid epidemic in the United States.

Medications to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) are one potential strategy, but research about the effect of medication use on survival after an overdose is limited. To address that gap, a team led by researchers from Boston University, an NCATS Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program hub, reviewed medical records for more than 17,500 adults who had survived an opioid overdose. The goal was to determine whether survivors who received medications for OUD were less likely to die from another overdose within the next 12 months, compared with survivors who did not receive treatment.

CTSA Program funding supported statistical analysis for the study, which also included support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The study included all three medications currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat OUD: methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone. The results, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (link is external), showed that survivors who received methadone were 59 percent less likely to die from another opioid overdose and that those who received buprenorphine were 38 percent less likely to die. Naltrexone treatment showed no significant effect on survival.

Only 30 percent of the survivors in the study received medication-based treatment following overdose. The results demonstrate a strong link between the use of medications to treat OUD and a reduced risk of overdose death. These findings can help inform effective approaches to save more lives from opioid overdose. Learn more about this study

BMC News Release

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