The UC Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine is not only recognized for providing world-class subspecialty care, but also is considered leaders in translating research from the laboratory to the bedside and back again. Our researchers have played a role in lifesaving medical breakthroughs and continually seek improved treatments and therapies for patients.
The department’s clinical and basic multi-disciplinary research program has been consistently ranked in the top 10 of all departments of neurology in the United States and in the top five of public universities. Our research has revolutionized the treatment and understanding of neurologic diseases.
Our faculty are leaders in researching neurological disorders. Highlights of some of continue research include:
Our cerebrovascular research program has received funding from the National Institute of Neurologic Diseases and Stroke (NINDS) since the mid-1980s, with extensive federal funding for both basic and clinical research. Our program was the first to test and explore the use of the tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA), the only current approved therapy for acute ischemic stroke.
Examples of other continued leadership include:
- We are the coordinating center for the largest randomized interventional stroke trial to this point, a 50-plus-center international study, examining whether a combined intravenous (IV) and intra-arterial (IA) approach to recanalization is superior to standard IV rt-PA alone when initiated within three hours of acute ischemic stroke onset.
- We were one of the first centers in the country to be awarded a program project grant by the NIH for acute stroke (SPOTRIAS); the project includes a multicenter pilot trial of low-dose t-PA and a GIIbIIIa platelet reception blocker and the use of rFVIIa in subjects with ICH as well as some of the first work in the genomics and proteomics of acute stroke.
- We are the coordinating centers for a 26-center international study to identify the genes associated with intracranial aneurysms, a separate regional study to identify the genes associated with intracerebral hemorrhage.
- We lead several NIH-funded interventional studies of recovery following stroke. Our multidisciplinary research program spans the entire gamut of stroke, from population-based studies of environmental and genetic causes of stroke, to acute medical and interventional treatments for stroke, to the very latest and most exciting research in recovery after stroke.
The adult epilepsy research program, headed by Michael Privitera, MD, has been involved with much of the testing of the new antiepileptic medication over the past 10 to 15 years.
The pediatric epilepsy program, headed by Tracy Glauser, MD, at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, has been a leader as well.
The adult and pediatric programs enjoy a collaborative relationship and have been well supported by NINDS. In 2003 Glauser was awarded a $15 million grant from NINDS for a large multi-center, randomized treatment trial of childhood epilepsy.
A separate epilepsy monitoring program is located at Cincinnati Children’s. The addition of a 4 Tesla Research Magnet at UC Health University Hospital and combined EEG/fMRI several years ago has accelerated ongoing research studies headed by Jerzy Szaflarski, MD, PhD. For example, an ongoing study uses functional MRI to select patients for epilepsy surgery.
The epilepsy monitoring program, headed by David Ficker, MD, is one of the busiest and most successful in United States and continues to grow.
Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders
The UC Gardner Family Center for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders, directed by Alberto Espay, MD, has one of the most active neurosurgical programs for Parkinson’s disease.
The center has a busy clinical research program that includes five full-time neurology faculty (four adult and one pediatric), an active neurosurgical program headed by George Mandybur, MD, and the Davis Phinney/Donald Krumme Fellowship in movement disorders.
UC, along with Stanford University, was the first national Davis Phinney Research Center. We have six outstanding scientists who work in animal and cell culture models of Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders and are mapping out some of the most exciting new potential cell and growth factor therapies for Parkinson’s disease.
A well-funded, active clinical research program in pediatric movement disorders focusing on Tourette’s and other movement disorders of childhood is a unique part of our program.
The UC Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine also showcases the endowed $5 million UC Waddell Center for Multiple Sclerosis. Aram Zabetim, MD, director of the UC Waddell Center for Multiple Sclerosis, heads an active clinical trials program.
The neuromuscular group, headed by John Quinlan, MD, has recently expanded over the past few years with five adult and one pediatric neuromuscular-fellowship-trained specialists.
This group of physician/investigators has active clinical and research programs in spinal muscular atrophy, muscular dystrophy and other neuromuscular disorders in children and adults. The researchers work with other neuroscientists in the UC Academic Health Center, using a well-defined mouse model of muscular dystrophy.
Our department has one of the most active clinical and research programs in the U.S. for childhood headaches. The program, headed by Andrew Hershey, MD, PhD, in the Division of Pediatric Neurology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, features separate headache treatment centers for adults and for children.
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Our division participates in various clinical research throughout the medical center and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital as well as through surrounding hospitals in the region. Our physician faculty collaborate with many allied health professionals to study cutting edge techniques to improve the function and quality of life of patients with disabilities. Areas of research interest in which faculty are involved include: traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke rehab, spasticity management, musculoskeletal medicine, EMG, therapy techniques, and outcome measures.