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Stroke, dementia & Alzheimer's disease

The research study focused on the causes and treatments of stroke and dementia, or cognitive impairment, is comprehensive and adopts a variety of methods.

We are combining clinical, neurophysiological, neurocognitive and neuroimaging analyses to understand the processes of recovery and decline in stroke and dementia, which are the two leading neurological disorders that are challenging a rapidly aging population.

  • Senior scientist Dr. Sandra Black is developing clinical and neuroimaging tools to detect dementia as early as possible, to aid differential diagnosis and to monitor disease progression and response to therapy. Visit the LC Campbell cognitive neurology research group for more information.
  • Dr. Black is also a leading clinical trialist for treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD). She is involved in working to bring disease-modifying therapies that aim to change the course of this devastating disease. Her lab group is particularly interested in the interactions of Alzheimer’s and cerebrovascular disease.
  • Dr. David Gladstone leads clinical trials in stroke recovery and stroke prevention.
  • Dr. Greg Stanisz focuses on advanced imaging techniques for understanding brain white matter. He uses imaging methods to monitor reparative effects of stem cells in rodent models of stroke.

    Being able to use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to assess patients’ brain activity as they recover from stroke may help to predict outcomes and pinpoint where brain functions happen. This could then help with the early detection of conditions like AD. It could also help with targeting and monitoring response to treatments for these impairments.
  • Core scientists in the Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery, including Drs. Black, Gladstone and Bill McIlroy aim to understand and map brain recovery in people who have had a stroke. They want to develop new rehabilitation techniques to optimize their recovery.

    So far, findings have led to the classification of useful signs to detect and differentiate AD from normal aging and other dementias. They have also mapped brain changes in people recovering from stroke. Their findings have led to the stimulation of new approaches, like bilateral training and biofeedback, to boost recovery.