The Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics at UT Southwestern Medical Center conducts multiple clinical trials as well as having a large and active group of researchers investigating problems such as autism, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke.
Under the leadership of Chair Mark Goldberg, M.D., the Department launched a new initiative in 2010 to seek effective treatments for brain diseases. In conjunction with the redefined focus on neurotherapeutics, the Department is building state-of the-art facilities for drug and device testing, and bringing together current and new faculty for collaborative research on brain disease therapy.
"Our goal is to accelerate the process of therapy development by providing leading scientists with well-validated animal models and testing methods," Dr. Goldberg said. "At the same time, neurological clinicians will have opportunities to quickly bring the most promising treatment approaches to initial trials in human disease."
The Neurorepair Lab focuses on the investigation of mechanisms of injury and recovery from damage to the central nervous system after stroke and perinatal hypoxia. The Department also recently established the Neuro-Models Facility, which provides on-campus resources for scientific research into nervous system function and enhances the development and testing of novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of nervous system disorders.
Scientists will leverage the historic institutional strengths of UT Southwestern in molecular biology, genetics, and neuroscience as they seek to advance therapies for neurological disorders through scientific discovery.
Researchers in the Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics are conducting investigations in a variety of areas including neuroimmunology, neurodegenerative disorders, ion channels and cellular excitability, and muscle metabolism.
Research in the lab has led to ground-breaking developments in neurology at UT Southwestern. In just the past two years, researchers have created an experimental vaccine that could be used in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Roger Rosenberg, M.D., and other researchers developed the vaccine which eliminates beta-amyloid, a small protein believed to contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s.
Craig Powell’s lab published a study examining the possibility that drugs which lower beta-amyloid levels might offer some benefit to children with Down syndrome. Meanwhile, researcher Ann Stowe, Ph.D., is investigating the benefits of hypoxia treatments as a way to prevent stroke.
Clinical research in the Department has led to cutting-edge innovative treatment opportunities for patients and helped define the standard of care for stroke, MS, myasthenia gravis, neuropathy, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, brain tumors, spinal cord injury, and other neurological disorders. Clinical research is underway in a variety of fields:
- Dementia and cognitive impairment
- Acute and preventive management of stroke
- Immunotherapy for MS
- Drug therapy in Parkinson's and other movement disorders
- Outcome measures in epilepsy
- Rehabilitation after spinal cord injury
- Treatment trials in spinal muscular atrophy and muscular dystrophy.