Current Grantees

Aphasia patients’ responses to brain stimulation may predict their extent of language recovery - Phase II

by Roy Hamilton, M.D.

This Phase II study will investigate whether responses by aphasia patients to a form of non-invasive brain stimulation, called transcranial magnetic stimulation, predict their capacity for brain plasticity and recovery of language and motor function....
Read more >

Aphasia patients' responses to brain stimulation may predict their extent of language recovery - Phase I

by Roy Hamilton, M.D.

Researchers will undertake Phase I of a planned two-phase study to determine whether responses by aphasic stroke patients to a form of non-invasive brain stimulation, called transcranial magnetic stimulation, predict their capacity for brain plastici...
Read more >

Chronic Imaging of Striatal Subcircuits During the Progression of Parkinsonism

by Xin Jin, Ph.D.

This cellular imaging study in the Parkinson’s disease animal model will explore which of two hypothesized neural signaling problems is responsible for loss of voluntary motor control. People with Parkinson’s disease (PD) develop a characteristic gai...
Read more >

Radiographic Biomarkers and Functional Outcomes of Vision in Optic Pathway Gliomas

by Peter de Blank, M.D., MSCE

         This first phase of a planned two-phase study will determine whether it is feasible to use two imaging techniques in very young children with optic glioma. If feasible, the investigators propose a second phase to determine if the combined i...
Read more >

Neural Reorganization as a Consequence of Age-Related Sensory Decline

by Jonathan Peelle, Ph.D.

This study will investigate how common age-related hearing loss changes brain structure and function, and what consequences these neurobiological effects have on understanding and remembering speech. Behind only arthritis and hypertension, hearing l...
Read more >

Improving the Early Detection of Schizophrenia and Outcomes with a Novel Method of Precisely Measuring Substansia Nigra Activity

by Jong Yoon, M.D.

This study will examine whether high dopamine levels, as measured by high resolution fMRI, correlates with the onset of psychosis in schizophrenia and can serve as a diagnostic and therapeutic biomarker. The prognosis for schizophrenia is poor. No...
Read more >

Novel Strategies to Enhance MRI Detection of Ultra-Small Brain Lesions in Vascular Dementia

by Andy Shih, Ph.D.

Through studies in mice, researchers will seek to improve MRI detection of tiny blockages in the brain’s small blood vessels that can lead to vascular dementia. Their findings may help clinicians identify at-risk patients and implement early preventi...
Read more >

The neurobiological mechanisms of complicated grief

by Mary-Frances O'Connor, Ph.D.

 Researchers will use fMRI imaging and other measures in 40 adults whose spouses have recently passed away to determine whether an oxytocin nose spray reverses signs of complicated (intense) grief and therefore might lead to an effective treatmen...
Read more >

Inhibitory and network dysfunction in primary focal dystonia

by Brian Berman, M.D., M.S.

 Researchers will combine PET and fMRI imaging in patients with cervical dystonia to see if deficits in the neurotransmitter GABA alter the brain’s sensorimotor circuit to produce the disorder’s characteristic involuntary muscle contractions that ...
Read more >

Frontal-occipital interactions during visual memory

by Scott Slotnick, Ph.D.

 Imaging techniques in patients and healthy volunteers may identify a biomarker for diagnosing and assessing treatments for frontal lobe diseases and injuries that produce visual memory problems, such as Alzheimer’s and other dementing diseases, ...
Read more >

Using MRS imaging of a biomarker to assess brain tumor treatments and prognoses

by Robert J. Young, M.D. and Ingo K Mellinghoff, M.D.

Investigators will advance a new MR spectroscopy (MRS) imaging technique in patients to provide fast and reliable indicators of deadly brain tumor progression and response to experimental treatments.Brain tumors may be malignant or benign. Malign...
Read more >

Modulating the glutamate/glumathione system in schizophrenia: an MRS-based study

by Ragy Girgis, M.D.

 This research is designed to determine whether MRS imaging (Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy) can assess the effects of experimental therapies in increasing glutamate levels to treat schizophrenia.  Currently schizophrenia is treated with antipsy...
Read more >

Sphingosine-1-phosphate signaling in the inflamed brain

by Susan Schwab, Ph.D.

 Investigators anticipate that cellular imaging techniques in a multiple sclerosis mouse model will enable them to identify the signaling that drives immune cell infiltration and inflammation in autoimmune multiple sclerosis (MS) and assess whethe...
Read more >

Mapping ATP in microglial activation in vivo using genetically encoded reporters for MRI

by Mikhail Shapiro, Ph.D.

 The ultimate goal of this planned two-phase study is to use a novel MRI imaging agent to show, in living laboratory mice, how brain inflammation occurs and damages cells following brain injury. Phase I will establish the imaging approach’s feasib...
Read more >

Development and validation of a prognostic neuroimaging biomarker for depression

by Conor Liston, M.D., Ph.D.

 Researchers will use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) to try to identify atypical connectivity patterns in the brain that are biomarkers for diagnosing MDD and for predicting...
Read more >

Remote activation of the ventral midbrain by transcranial direct current stimulation of prefrontal cortex: amelioration of impaired learning in schizophrenia

by Vikram Chib, Ph.D.

 Researchers will undertake Phase I of a planned two-phase study to ultimately determine whether a non-invasive brain stimulation technique helps schizophrenia patients learn from positive rewards and reduce the “negative” symptoms that character...
Read more >

MRI Imaging may identify a biomarker for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease

by Anthony Wagner, Ph.D.

 Investigators will use high-powered MRI imaging in older adults to see whether thinning of a tiny ribbon of tissue in the brain’s hippocampus is a biomarker for pre-symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and can be used for screening and early dete...
Read more >

Prediction of Antidepressant Treatment Response Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

by Christine DeLorenzo, Ph.D.

       Clinicians soon may be able to use a type of MRI imaging, called diffusion spectrum imaging, to predict whether an individual patient with depression is likely to respond to treatment with the class of antidepressants called SSRIs (selectiv...
Read more >

Neuroimaging Markers of Spreading Frontotemporal Degeneration Pathology

by Corey McMillan, Ph.D.

    Investigators will use MRI imaging techniques to determine which of two proposed pathways young-onset degenerative diseases use to spread in the brain, and to identify key brain changes (biomarkers) that can be used to see if experimental the...
Read more >

The ‘missing-link’: Establishing the First Mammalian Model System for Investigating Vocal Learning and its Clinical Pathology

by Michael Yartsev, Ph.D.

    Vocal learning, or the ability to hear a sound or word, imitate it, and develop language is often thought of as a required or necessary human ability, so much so that the lack of appropriate language acquisition is a hallmark of many neurolog...
Read more >

Brain PET Imaging of Synaptic Density in Alzheimer’s Dementia

by Ming-Kai Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

    Can a new PET imaging tracer outperform the currently used one in diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and in monitoring its progression?     Diagnosing probable AD currently relies on three major measures. One is whether there is a decrease i...
Read more >

The role of iron in Alzheimer's disease

by Michael Zeineh, Ph.D., M.D.

    Might inflammation arising from iron that is converted into an active state in the brain be the third leg of the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) stool, joining the abnormal proteins “amyloid” and “tau” as the hallmarks of AD? Stanford investigators...
Read more >

Imaging may identify treatment targets in early, pre-symptomatic, stage of Huntington’s disease

by Jun Hua, Ph.D.

             MRI imaging may be able to pick up early functional, vascular and metabolic brain changes in people with the Huntington’s disease gene, potentially providing targets for treating this devastating disease in its earliest stage.        ...
Read more >

Using Pharmacological fMRI to Develop Novel Therapies for Treating Depression

by Jennifer Felger, M.S., Ph.D.

Some patients being treated for depression continue to lack motivation to engage in potentially rewarding behaviors, like social interactions, and this problem may be related to inflammation that impedes communication among reward-related brain a...
Read more >

Neuromelanin-sensitive MRI: development and validation of a novel dopamine biomarker for risk of schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease

by Guillermo Horga, M.D., Ph.D.

 A new molecular MRI imaging technique, called Neuromelanin-sensitive MRI (NM-MRI), may be able to identify early signs of illness in people who are at a high risk of developing Parkinson’s disease (PD) or schizophrenia. PD and schizophrenia each ...
Read more >

First-in-Human Trial of 4-18F-(2S,4R)-Fluoroglutamine Positron Emission Tomography

by Mark Dunphy, D.O.

            A new non-invasive PET imaging tracer is showing promise for improving the ability to differentiate indolent brain tumors from those that are aggressively growing, and for assessing the aggressive tumor’s response to therapy, faster an...
Read more >

Illuminating a gut-brain neural path for sensory signaling and pathogens

by Diego Bohórquez

The Investigators will use two optical imaging technologies in mice to explore whether a neural circuit that connects the gut to the brain may be the source of eating and anxiety-like disorders. The vagus nerve, the longest nerve in the human bod...
Read more >

Cortical Network Reorganization in Lower-Limb Amputees

by Jeffrey M. Yau

Investigators will use a novel combination of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to study how the functional connections between brain regions change in amputees who have lost a lower leg. Thes...
Read more >

In Vivo Imaging of Synaptic Density in Schizophrenia

by Patrick D. Skosnik, Ph.D., and Rajiv Radhakrishnan, M.D.

Investigators will use a newly developed positron emission tomography (PET) tracer in individuals with schizophrenia to examine whether this disorder, and its symptoms and degrees of severity, are directly associated with decreases in brain synaps...
Read more >

Hyperpolarized Pyruvate MRI to Characterize Glioma Metabolism Non-invasively in Man

by Kayvan Keshari, Ph.D.

A new type of MRI imaging that reflects the metabolism of brain tumor cells versus that of healthy brain cells may serve as an early biomarker of whether a tumor treatment is working. Aggressive brain tumors, called gliomas, can be potentially de...
Read more >