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CNE2 Research Seminar Featured Speakers

The Center for Neuroepidemiolgy and Clinical Neurological Research Seminar Series features speakers from the Center who present their latest research findings to members of the Department of Neurology. We invite you to read about our past speakers and their work below:

Dr. Richa Sharma, MD, MPH (11/2/20)

Excess Cerebrovascular-Related Mortality is Associated with Greater Percent Change in Time Spent at Home

Significance of Research: For the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that we implement public health initiatives to encourage individuals to seek emergency medical care for acute stroke-like symptoms within the construct of the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Conclusion: There were excess cerebrovascular-related deaths in the United States during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. States with more restricted mobility experienced more cerebrovascular mortality even upon adjustment for COVID-19 deaths.

Dr. Allison E. Gaffey, PhD (12/7/20)

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) Medication Use is Associated with a Greater Risk of Incident Hemorrhagic Stroke Among Young Adults

Significance of Research: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are widely used as first-line pharmacotherapies for posttraumatic stess disorder (PTSD) due to their safety and tolerability. Due to their antiplatelet effects, SSRI/SNRI use increases the risk of abnormal bleeding, including intracranial hemorrhage.

Conclusion: Use of SSRIs, but neither PTSD nor use of SNRIs, was independently associate with a greater risk of incident hemorrhagic stroke among a national sample of 1 million young adults. SNRIs may be preferable for treating PTSD and comorbid conditions. Providers should review the risk of hemorrhagic stroke with patients when prescribing SSRIs. Pursuing non-pharmacological treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and lifestyle changes, also remains essential to mitigate the risk of stroke among young adults.

Dr. Carolyn Fredericks, MD (1/4/21)

PCA vs. HC - from each of the five seeds

Significance of Research: In atypical forms of Alzheimer's disease, pathology may impact different parts of the brain at different rates compared with the more common amnestic form. Understanding the spread of pathologic proteins and its impact on functional circuits and symptoms in these variants will be critical for both understanding clinical heterogeneity in these variants and monitoring the response to future treatments.

Conclusion: Atypical forms of Alzheimer's disease may impact functional circuits differently than the more common amnestic form. Subcortical structures including specific thalamic nuclei may play a role in coordinating functional circuits that are impacted in AD.

Dr. Emmanuelle Schinder, MD, PhD (1/4/21)

Migraine study conclusion with graph

Significance of Research: Psilocybin treats headache through a novel mechanism, the discovery of which will speak not only to the actions of a unique drug class, but also the nature of headache disorders.

Conclusion: In the last controlled investigations of psilocybin in headache disorders, we showed sustained headache-suppression after limited drug administration, a distinct effect in headache medicine. In contrast to clinical work in mental health, lasting headache reduction was not dependent on the namesake psychedelic effects during drug administration.

Dr. Shelli Farhadian, MD, PhD (2/1/21)

Divergent CNS immune responses in COVID-19 patients with neurological symptoms

Significance of Research: SARS-CoV-2 primarily causes a respiratory illness. Yet, in some patients, SARS-CoV-2 infection associates with severe and debilitating extrapulmonary symptoms, including neurological dysfunction. However, the biological underpinnings of neurological symptoms during COVID-19 remain incompletely understood.

Conclusion: We analyze paired spinal fluid and blood of hospitalized patients with acute COVID-19 and found evidence for divergent immunological responses in the central nervous system. Through single-cell and complementary assays, we find evidence for a CNS-specific and T and B cell response in the CNS, including a high burden of anti-neural antibodies in the CSF of patients with COVID-19 and neurological symptoms.