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Research in the Bakker Memory Laboratory is focused on understanding the mechanisms and brain networks underlying human cognition with a specific focus on the mechanisms underlying learning and memory and the changes in memory that occur with aging and disease. We use a variety of techniques including neuropsychological assessments, experimental behavioral assessments and particularly advanced neuroimaging methods to study these questions in young and older adults and patients with mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.
Through our collaborations with investigators in both basic science and clinical departments, including the departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Psychological and Brain Sciences, Neurology and Public Health, our research also focuses on brain systems involved in spatial navigation and decision-making as well as cognitive impairment in neuropsychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, eating disorders, obsessiv...e-compulsive disorders, depression and anxiety. view more
The Constance Monitto Lab conducts clinical research on pediatric pain management as well as basic science studies on chemotherapy resistance. In our pediatric pain management research, we work to assess the impact of low-dose opioid antagonism on opioid-related side effects, such as nausea and vomiting. We also analyze data on current methods of pediatric pain management in the United States. In addition, our team uses basic science studies to assess the success of epigenetic gene regulation on the development of resistance to chemotherapeutic agents in cancer.
Johns Hopkins Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) Clinic
The Johns Hopkins NMO Clinic launched in July 2009 and now follows 210 patients with NMO or NMO Spectrum Disorder (last count March 31, 2014), along with 81 patients with idiopathic transverse myelitis, 45 patients with recurrent transverse myeltis and small handful with recurrent optic neuritis. We also follow a few patients with multiple sclerosis who thought they might have NMO.
Until 2005, 90% of NMO patients were misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis and treated with medications that did not help. We've become much better at identifying NMO and treating it correctly. Whereas 30% of patients used to be blind or paralyzed within 5 years of diagnosis, now > 70% of our patients are remission without any progression of disease using safe medications.
Dr. Michael Levy directs the NMO Clinic and sees NMO patients in clinic every other Monday. He completed the MD/PhD program at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX (where he grew up), and trained in the neurology residency and fe...llowship programs at Johns Hopkins before joining the faculty in 2009. In addition seeing patients with NMO, Dr. Levy also runs clinical trials in NMO (see the clinical trials page) and runs a basic science laboratory devoted to the finding the cure to NMO.
Maureen Mealy, RN, is the program director for the Johns Hopkins Transverse Myelitis Center and the NMO Clinic. Maureen graduated from the University of Maryland and obtained her nursing degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. She has 7 years of experience in neurocritical care nursing and 6 years of experience working with patients with NMO.
Regina Brock-Simmons, RN, is the clinical coordinator for all of the trials in NMO. While Regina is relatively new to NMO, she has 10 years of experience running clinical trials at Johns Hopkins and is also trained in phlebotomy and infusions. view less
Basic science investigations span an array of inquiries, such as understanding the basic mechanisms underlying cardiac dyssynchrony and resynchronization in the failing heart, and beneficial influences of nitric oxide/cGMP/protein kinase G and cGMP-targeted phosphdiesterase signaling cascades on cardiac maladaptive stress remodeling. Recently, the latter has particularly focused on the role of phosphodiesterase type 5 and its pharmacologic inhibitors (e.g. sildenafi, Viagra®), on myocyte signaling cascades modulated by protein kinase G, and on the nitric oxide synthase dysregulation coupled with oxidant stress.
The lab also conducts clinical research and is presently exploring new treatments for heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction, studying ventricular-arterial interaction and its role in adverse heart-vessel coupling in left heart failure and pulmonary hypertension, and testing new drug, device, and cell therapies for heart disease. A major theme has been with the use ...of advanced non-invasive and invasive catheterization-based methods to assess cardiac mechanics in patients.asive and invasive catheterization-based methods to assess cardiac mechanics in patients.
David Kass, MD, is currently the Director at the Johns Hopkins Center for Molecular Cardiobiology and a professor in cellular and molecular medicine. view more
The Johns Hopkins comprehensive Subependymoma and Ependymoma Research Center divideS its efforts into three areas: basic science, translational research and clinical practice. Each division works separately but shares findings and resources openly with each other and our collaborators. The goal of our united efforts is to optimize current treatments to affect the care received by patients with subependymomas and ependymomas. Also, our clinical, translational and basic science teams work to develop novel therapies to improve and extend the lives of those with these rare tumors.
More than ten years ago, Congress created the Morris K. Udall Centers of Excellence for Parkinson's Disease Research (Udall Centers). The primary goal of the Udall Centers is to develop new clinical treatments for Parkinson's disease. However, it is well recognized that because there is so much that we do not yet understand about the causes of Parkinson's disease, basic science is currently a key component of the overall effort to develop clinical treatments. One of the goals of the Udall Centers is to have an infrastructure in place that can efficiently facilitate a rapid translation from research to clinical when promising breakthroughs occur. Recently the Udall Center has made significant steps towards understanding the underlying mechanisms that cause Parkinson's disease and have yielded promising targets for developing treatments against the disease.
The mission of the laboratory of vestibular neurophysiology is to advance the understanding of how the body perceives head motion and maintains balance - a complex and vital function of everyday life. Although much is known about the vestibular part of the inner ear, key aspects of how the vestibular receptors perceive, process and report essential information are still mysterious. Increasing our understanding of this process will have tremendous impact on quality of life of patients with vestibular disorders, who often suffer terrible discomfort from dizziness and vertigo.
The laboratory group's basic science research focuses on the vestibulo-ocular reflexes - the reflexes that move the eyes in response to motions of the head. They do this by studying the vestibular sensors and nerve cells that provide input to the reflexes; by studying eye movements in humans and animals with different vestibular disorders, by studying effects of electrical stimulation of vestibular sensors, and b...y using mathematical models to describe these reflexes. Researchers are particularly interested in abnormalities of the brain's inability to compensate for vestibular disorders.