Research


The Department of Neurology has active research in cerebrovascular disease, memory disorders and aging, epilepsy, demyelinating diseases, Parkinson's disease and movement disorders, and neuro-oncology. Research opportunities in these fields are available at the basic science and clinical levels. Clinical trials of new agents for epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, motor neuron disease and brain tumors enroll large numbers of patients. The Department of Neurology sponsors residents' travel to medical meetings when presenting research findings.

Neurology research programs are located in Wallace Tumor Institute, Shelby, the Birmingham VA Medical Center, and the Sparks Neurosciences Center. The Civitan International Research Center, which opened in July 1992, contains the Neurobiology research laboratories. A recent addition to the Children's Hospital houses the Child Neurology Service. Specialized procedures such as magnetic resonance imaging, MR spectroscopy, nerve and muscle histopathology, intra-operative electrophysiological monitoring, computerized EEG analysis, brain electrical activity mapping, cerebrovascular ultrasonography, transcranial doppler sonography, and cerebral blood flow measurements by Xenon inhalation and by single photon emission CT (SPECT scanning) are available. Residents are encouraged to obtain technical expertise in cerebrovascular ultrasound in a recently opened neurosonology laboratory as well as in neuroimaging, including Magnetoencephalography (MEG) and Magnetic Source Imaging (MSI). Read more about the MEG (magnetoencephalography) Laboratory.

Residents are encouraged to participate in research activities as early as their PGY-2 year.  As a result of collaborations with the Department of Neurology faculty, most PGY-3 and PGY-4 residents present abstracts at the annual AAN meeting.  In order to support this effort, any resident who presents an abstract at a major neurology meeting will be reimbursed for travel, registration, and other expenses by the Department of Neurology.