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Neuroscience Institute

Research

Allegheny Center for Neurology Research

Allegheny-Singer Research Institute

Anesthesiology Research Laboratory (specializing in experimental stroke)

Brain Injury and Epilepsy Research Laboratory

Neurosurgery Division of Research

 


Allegheny Center for Neurology Research

In recent years, significant progress has been made in developing cures for neurological diseases. Physicians at Allegheny Neurological Associates are diligently applying cutting-edge neuroscience research to improve the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders. To ensure there is adequate funding for breakthrough research, we hope you will consider a financial contribution to these research endeavors. No donation is too small. The revenue raised through donations will be used to fund research projects being conducted by the faculty and staff of the Department of Neurology at Allegheny General Hospital.

Donation can be made to support any of the following fields of research:

  • Stroke
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease and other Dementias
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Brain Tumors
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Stem Cell Research
     

How to Make a Donation

There are three ways you can contribute to the General Research Fund:

  • Mail –  Print and complete the form and mail it with payment to the address listed.

  • Phone - Call us at 412.359.5110

Planned Gifts

Make provisions in your will to support the Allegheny Center For Neurology Research Fund. Call us at 412-359-5130 to receive more information.

Your donation will make an impact in supporting extremely important research projects that are being conducted by Allegheny General Hospital. Support your physicians as they pursue research to find cures for neurological diseases.

Faculty of Allegheny Neurological Associates

James Valeriano, MD - Department Chairman, Director of Epilepsy Center
Tom Scott, MD - Vice Chairman, Director of Multiple Sclerosis Center
Kevin Kelly, MD, PhD - Director of Center for Neuroscience Research
George Small, MD - Director of Myasthenia Gravis Center
Sandeep Rana, MD - Director of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Center
Susan Baser, MD - Director of Movement Disorder Clinic
Patricia Jozefczyk, MD - Director of Botulinum Toxin Therapy Center
Ashis Tayal, MD - Director of Comprehensive Stroke Center
David Wright, MD - Stroke Center
Crystal Wong, MD - Stroke Center
Jon Brillman, MD - Chairman Emeritus, Stroke Center
Steven Jones, PhD - Director of Stroke Laboratory Research
Carol Schramke, PhD - Director of Behavioral Neurology
Carole Lane, MA - Epilepsy program
Judy Jarouse, CRNP - Stroke Center - Outpatient Clinic
Susan Gustafson, CRNP - Stroke Center - Inpatient Service
Melissa Tian, RN - Stroke Center Research
Gail Love, RN - Stroke Center Research
Carol Chieff, RN - Multiple Sclerosis program
Mary Powell, RN - ALS and Multiple Sclerosis program
Amy Giampole, RN - Neurology
Barbara Kabazie, RN - Neurology

Allegheny-Singer Research Institute Anesthesiology Research Laboratory (specializing in experimental stroke) Neurophysiology Laboratory

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Allegheny-Singer Research Institute

Allegheny-Singer Research Institute (ASRI) is a non-profit, independent research institute and a member of the West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS). As the research component of Allegheny General Hospital (AGH), ASRI’s vision is to facilitate the advancement of translational and clinical research in harmony with the clinical strengths of Allegheny General Hospital for improved patient care.

ASRI was founded in 1913, when the family of William H. Singer endowed a laboratory in his name. Subsequent endowments helped establish the William H. Singer Memorial Laboratory, later incorporated into the Allegheny-Singer Research Institute. Current research activity is sponsored through a combination of external funding and internal support from the WPAHS.

Today biomedical research is moving from the periphery of medicine to focusing on vital questions on how the human body works at the cellular and molecular level. The Institute’s unique emphasis is on translational research, applying biological science principles to clinical problems, and clinical research, evaluating the specific application of medicines, devices, procedures and surgical techniques for patient care. Our mission is to sponsor superior collaborative interdisciplinary programs in health, education , and research in order to promote the understanding, treatment and prevention of human disease. The Institute has a synergistic and professional research culture throughout its organization from its customer support driven administrative team to its innovative physicians and scientists. Together, the common goal is to develop and disseminate new methods and technologies for advanced care in the areas of cardiovascular/pulmonary, oncology , human genetics, neuroscience and musculoskeletal medicine.

Additional information is available on ASRI’s research endeavors, sponsorships, collaborative opportunities and private support for our medical research initiatives by browsing this website.

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Anesthesiology Research Laboratory (specializing in experimental stroke)

Stephen C. Jones, PhD

The objectives of the laboratory concern experimental focal cerebral ischemia and its relation to cerebral blood flow - arterial blood pressure autoregulation, the involvement of endothelial nitric oxide synthase in cerebral blood flow - arterial blood pressure autoregulation, and the use of brain tissue sodium in the diagnosis of ischemic stroke. These objectives deal with the (1) understanding, (2) diagnosis, and (3) treatment of stroke. From the basic science perspective, the strengths of the laboratory include the knowledge and ability to develop, evaluate, and utilize techniques for cerebral blood flow and other measurements of cerebral physiology, including those relating to magnetic resonance imaging. Several areas have been especially important for the laboratory: that nitric oxide synthase inhibition administered by cortical superfusion raises the lower limit of cerebral blood flow - arterial blood pressure autoregulation, that the shape of the cerebral blood flow - blood pressure autoregulation curve during moderate hypertension has extensive vertical variations (as opposed to horizontal variation of the limit lower), and that brain tissue sodium might provide a ticking clock to tell the time from stroke onset.

We are currently exploring: 1) the role of cortical brain eNOS in cerebral blood flow autoregulation using laser speckle imaging; and 2) the brain potassium and blood-brain barrier dynamics during the initial hours after stroke using histochemical and MRI methods.

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Brain Injury and Epilepsy Research Laboratory

Kevin M. Kelly, M.D., Ph.D

The focus of the laboratory is to determine how different forms of brain injury result in epilepsy.  The development of epilepsy is studied using long- term video-electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings following two basic types of experimental brain injury: stroke and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Poststroke Epilepsy.  In the elderly, stroke is the dominant cause of epilepsy, yet there is little understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms of aged brain following stroke that cause or predispose it to the development of epileptic seizures. In an effort to establish reliable animal models of poststroke epilepsy, two different models of experimental stroke are used: 1) transient unilateral middle cerebral artery and common carotid artery occlusion (MCA/CCAo), and 2) cortical photothrombosis.  Both models result in the development of convulsive epileptic seizures in aged (20-month old) rats as early as 1-2 months after stroke, whereas there is little to no seizure activity seen in lesioned young adult (4-month old) or in aged-matched control animals.  These results form the basis of more detailed studies aimed at elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which injured brain generates epileptic seizures.  These studies assess various aspects of altered cortical and hippocampal excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission with several techniques, including patch clamp electrophysiology, neuropharmacology, immunohistochemistry, molecular biology, and biochemistry. 

Posttraumatic Epilepsy.  The Brain Trauma Foundation of America reports that at least 5.3 million Americans, or 2% of the U.S. population, currently live with disabilities resulting from TBI, and 1.5 million head injuries occur every year in the U.S.  Moderate to severe TBI is often followed by weeks, months, or years before the development of epilepsy seizures.  The technique of controlled cortical impact is used in the laboratory to study the development of posttraumatic epilepsy (PTE).  These studies have focused on the reorganization and long-term changes of GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampal dentate gyrus, as well as alterations in hippocampal glutamate receptor subunit and heat shock protein expression.  These studies use the same techniques as those described in the poststroke epilepsy studies.

By establishing reliable animal models of poststroke and posttraumatic epilepsy, we hope to identify potential targets for antiepileptogenic strategies in these patient populations and thereby shift the focus of therapeutic approaches from control of seizures, to prevention and cure of epilepsy.

Supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the American Heart Association, and the Epilepsy Foundation.

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