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Featured Profile: David Beversdorf


David Beversdorf

Dr. David Beversdorf is discovering insights into autism, dementia and other neurological disorders.

Beversdorf is working to determine possible causes of autism. He led a team of researchers in examining in utero stress, genetic markers, fatty acid profile and other prenatal factors in families of children with autism and families of children without autism. They discovered connections between prenatal stress, genetics, health and nutrition, and the predisposition for autism. Beversdorf is also using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging to understanding the the role of the neurotransmitter noradrenaline in the treatment of autism, as well as effects of stress on the brain.

In addition, Beversdorf is striving to make life easier for those with autism and neurological dysfunctions. He discovered that propranolol, a drug commonly used to treat high blood pressure and anxiety, could improve social functioning, language abilities and working memory in people with autism. He is now leading a team investigating whether elderberry juice, known for its anti-inflammatory effects, could improve cognition and delay progression of dementia in older adults.

Dr. David Beversdorf is an associate professor and William and Nancy Thompson Endowed Chair in radiology and neurology in the School of Medicine and psychological sciences in the School of Arts & Science. He is also a researcher at MU’s Brain Imaging Center and the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

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Related Initiative(s):
One Health/One Medicine