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Neurology

Project Leader

Dr. Benedict C. Albensi, PhD, BCMAS, CRQM

The major focus of our laboratory is to understand the biological basis of memory and to also understand what happens to memory when it is impaired. To this end, we attempt to identify molecular signaling pathways and mechanisms that could be targeted with promising therapeutics for enhancing memory and for preventing and/or reversing memory impairments, in diseases or conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, head trauma, etc. Much of our work is centered on the signaling pathway involving the transcription factor, nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB), which is central to not only in inflammatory processes and immune system function, but also plays a central role in basic mechanisms of memory formation and recall.

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Members

Richard Camicioli, MD

Professor of Medicine University of Alberta, Edmonton, Albert

 

The focus of my research is the interface between aging and neurological disorders and impairments. I examine risk factors for age-related cognitive decline and dementia and the impact of Parkinson’s disease and vascular disease on cognitive risk. My collaborators and I have developed novel biomarkers for cognitive decline in Parkinson’s disease such as intra-individual reaction time variability and metabolomic profiles. I have applied MRI imaging to predicting and tracking cognitive decline in aging and Parkinson’s disease. Our studies confirmed that hippocampal volume is related to cognitive decline and dementia in Parkinson’s disease. We established gait impairment and dual task effects on gait as related to cognitive decline in aging. I bring practical clinical expertise which we have successfully used to help understanding health related changes and their relationship to cognitive and motor decline in aging and Parkinson’s disease. I have a study ready sample of patients with Parkinson’s disease and healthy controls (BIOCOG-PD) with 3-year longitudinal follow up and available baseline plasma and serum. As director of the Lewy Body Team of the Canadian Consortium on Neuro-degeneration in Aging (CCNA), we are recruiting a new cohort with multiple bio-fluids for validation of biomarkers.

Dr. Wendy Johnston

Professor

Department of Medicine

Division of Neurology

 

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W. McIntyre Burnham, PhD
Director, University of Toronto Epilepsy Research Program
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David J. Mikulis, MD
Full Professor and Co-Director of Medical Imaging Research i
 

 

David J. Mikulis, MD is Full Professor and Co-Director of Medical Imaging Research in the Dept. of Medical

Imaging at the University of Toronto and the University Health Network in Toronto. He holds two additional

directorships in the Dept. of Medical Imaging including the Director of the Radiology Residency Research

Program, and Director of the Functional Imaging Research Lab. The primary emphasis of his work has been

translational research focusing on the application of novel imaging methods to the clinical environment. He

established one of the first fMRI labs in Canada in 1993 and is currently involved in developing advanced

neurovascular imaging methods with major program arms including: 1) quantitative measurement and clinical

application of cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) metrics using a patented device (RespirActTM) that enables

precision control of blood oxygen and carbon dioxide, and 2) high resolution and functional imaging of intra and

extra-cranial blood vessel walls, and 3) input function independent penumbra imaging in acute ischemic stroke.

Work in these areas has led to the discovery of a form neurovascular uncoupling that may explain the origin of

chronic ischemic white matter injury a major contributor to vascular dementia.

James Eubanks, PhD

Dr. Eubanks completed his bachelor's degree in Arts and Agricultural Sciences at the University of California, Davis in 1985, and received his Doctoral degree in Physiology/Pharmacology from the University of California, San Diego in 1991. Upon completion of his Doctoral degree, he conducted postdoctoral training at the Salk Institute and at Duke University before coming to Toronto. Dr. Eubanks started his lab at the Toronto Western Research Institute in 1994 studying aspects of developmental neurobiology, stroke-induced neurodegeneration and the pathogenesis of epilepsy. In 1996, Dr. Eubanks became interested in how epigenetic factors influenced the sensitivity of the brain to epilepsy and stroke, and started investigating whether or not specific methyl DNA-binding factors played a role in these processes. When mutations of the MeCP2 gene were identified as primary causes of Rett syndrome in 1999, his focus became delineating how MeCP2 normally regulates brain development and function, and identifying how the absence of MeCP2 affects brain activity. These investigations revealed mitochondrial alterations to be readily evident in MeCP2-deficient neurons, which led to interests in defining the mechanisms through which these alterations occur in the Rett syndrome brain, and whether they can be targeted for therapeutic intervention. By identifying deficits related to MeCP2, his work has provided a framework for rationale drug development to treat Rett syndrome, and some of his findings currently serve as targets for early stage rationale drug development programs. See More

Neil Duggal, MD MSc. FRCSC
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, Western University
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