Christa Nehs

Christa Van Dort


Christa Nehs, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Anesthesia 

Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School


Research Focus: Many changes occur in the aging brain including mitochondrial dysfunction, increased inflammation, insulin resistance and decreased neurotransmitter release leading to lower energy substrates for optimal neuronal function and cognitive decline. These changes likely contribute to poorer quality sleep and more complications with general anesthesia in the elderly. The brain’s ability to use glucose as fuel declines with age but the brain’s ability to use ketones as fuel remains. Therefore, my work aims to develop metabolic interventions (increasing ketones) to alleviate the metabolic-immune dysregulation that occurs in the aging brain to improve sleep and general anesthesia safety in the elderly and eventually to treat neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.

Research Interests: Neuroscience, Sleep, Metabolism, Aging and Anesthesia