15:56 PM

Diplomat sickened in China pledges to donate his brain

The Boston Globe reports Mark Lenzi is among dozens of American diplomats in Cuba and China who were evacuated after reporting symptoms of a brain injury (i.e. headaches, trouble sleeping and forgetfulness). While Lenzi’s symptoms resemble those of a concussion, he never hit his head, and the incident is still under investigation. Lenzi signed a pledge to donate his brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to the study, treatment, and prevention of the effects of brain trauma in athletes and others. When he dies, if his next of kin agree, Lenzi’s brain will be placed in the brain bank used by researchers at Boston University and the VA Boston Healthcare System.

In 2016, Lenzi was referred to and treated by Teena Shetty, MD, neurologist at HSS, after experiencing severe headaches. The Boston Globe spoke to Dr. Shetty, who commented on the case, saying, Lenzi “exhibited a constellation of symptoms which were consistent with those typically seen in mild traumatic brain injury, but notably without any history of head trauma. I have not seen a case like this before. It’s very unusual.” Dr. Shetty added, “At this point it is still unclear whether some kind of novel neurological mechanism underlies the constellation of symptoms he has.”

Read the full article at Bostonglobe.com. This article also appeared in print on May 11, 2019.

Additional coverage: NYPost.com.