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Kindred Spotlight: Meet Neuroimmunologist and July Kindred Café Guest, Dr. Lindsay McAlpine

Kindred Spotlight: Meet Neuroimmunologist and July Kindred Café Guest, Dr. Lindsay McAlpine

Tell us a bit about your background. How did you get started in health research?    

I started in research in medical school, looking into visual symptoms and concussions. Then when the pandemic started, I ran an acute COVID-19 neurology consult service and was inspired to investigate the neurological symptoms due to COVID-19. Shortly afterward, we heard many reports of ongoing neurologic issues after the acute infection had resolved and long COVID was born.

What drives you to do the work you do?  

My patients. I’m motivated to do what I can to help people recover from this illness. The patterns are very clear after seeing hundreds of people with long COVID. I really want to uncover the underlying cause of long COVID’s neurologic symptoms. 

How has your experience in research impacted your views regarding the pandemic?  

My experience seeing the 1% of people with long COVID with the worst disability and symptoms has made me particularly conservative when it comes to prevention. Long COVID can be averted in some cases by preventing infections, promoting vaccinations, and treating acute illnesses promptly. 

What most excites you about joining the July Kindred Café?   

I’m excited to answer questions. I think there’s a lot of misinformation and so much we still need to learn about long COVID. 

What would you like to discuss with the Kindred network?  

Typical neurologic symptoms and how to approach them with your provider.  

Last question: Just wondering, did you have any childhood heroes?  

My mom, who is also a physician and specializes in internal and functional medicine. I’m a third-generation female physician in my family. She has taught me much about being a clinician: Listen carefully to your patients. Notice patterns that emerge. Keep an open and curious mind. And never ever stop learning.  

Is there anything else you’d like to share?  

I'd like to encourage all people with long COVID and vaccine injuries to remain hopeful. I’ve seen many many people get better over the years. It is possible, and the research community is working on more targeted treatments. 

Register for the July Kindred Café here.

Dr. Lindsay McAlpine is a neuroimmunologist and an instructor in the division of neurological infections and global neurology at the Yale University School of Medicine. She started a neuroCOVID clinic at Yale in October 2020 and sees patients with neurologic issues related to long COVID. She's an investigator in the COVID Mind Study at Yale, and her research interests are related to the pathophysiology of cognitive impairment after COVID-19 using several modalities, including MRI. 

 

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