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Researchers in the Adam Sapirstein Lab focus on the roles played by phospholipases A2 and their lipid metabolites in brain injury. Using in vivo and in vitro models of stroke and excitotoxicity, the team is examining the roles of the cytosolic, Group V, and Group X PLA2s as well as the function of PLA2s in cerebrovascular regulation. Investigators have discovered that cPLA2 is necessary for the early electrophysiologic changes that happen in hippocampal CA1 neurons after exposure to N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA). This finding has critical ramifications in terms of the possible uses of selective cPLA2 inhibitors after acute neurologic injuries.
Aliaksei Pustavoitau Lab
The Aliaksei Pustavoitau Lab conducts research on models and mechanisms of impaired consciousness in patients who have suffered acute brain injury. Examples of our work include a study on the mechanisms of neurologic failure in critical illness and another on the use of intensivist-driven ultrasound at the PICU bedside. We also have a longstanding interest in patient safety and quality of care in the ICU setting.
The overall goal of the Auditory Brainstem Library is to understand how abnormal auditory input from the ear affects the brainstem, and how the brain in turn affects activity in the ear through efferent feedback loops. Our emphasis is on understanding the effects of different forms of acquired hearing loss (genetic, conductive, noise-induced, age-related, traumatic brain injury-related) and environmental noise. We are particularly interested in plastic changes in the brain that compensate for some aspects of altered auditory input, and how those changes relate to central auditory processing deficits, tinnitus, and hyperacusis. Understanding these changes will help refine therapeutic strategies and identify new targets for treatment. We collaborate with other labs in the Depts. of Otolaryngology, Neuroscience, Neuropathology, the Wilmer Eye Institute, and the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins, in addition to labs outside the university to increase the impact and clinical relev...ance of our research. view more
Work in the Courtney Robertson Lab is focused on identifying interventions that could minimize the neurological deficits that can persist after pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI). One study used a preclinical model to examine potential disruption of mitochondrial function and alterations in cerebral metabolism. It was found that a substantial amount of mitochondrial dysfunction is present in the first six hours after TBI. In addition, we are using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to evaluate global and regional alterations in brain metabolism after TBI. We're also collaborating with researchers at the University of Pennsylvania to compare mitochondrial function after head injury in different clinically relevant models.
Healthy Brain Program
The Brain Health Program is a multidisciplinary team of faculty from the departments of neurology, psychiatry, epidemiology, and radiology lead by Leah Rubin and Jennifer Coughlin. In the hope of revealing new directions for therapies, the group studies molecular biomarkers identified from tissue and brain imaging that are associated with memory problems related to HIV infection, aging, dementia, mental illness and traumatic brain injury. The team seeks to advance policies and practices to optimize brain health in vulnerable populations while destigmatizing these brain disorders.
Current and future projects include research on: the roles of the stress response, glucocorticoids, and inflammation in conditions that affect memory and the related factors that make people protected or or vulnerable to memory decline; new mobile apps that use iPads to improve our detection of memory deficits; clinical trials looking at short-term effects of low dose hydrocortisone and randomized to 28 day...s of treatment; imaging brain injury and repair in NFL players to guide players and the game; and the role of inflammation in memory deterioration in healthy aging, patients with HIV, and other neurodegenerative conditions. view less