Research Areas: Cores to Translate Therapies

Research Areas

Age Related Memory Loss

Advances in medical research, and the growing new field of “geroscience,” have enabled us to understand the aging process better, and to live longer; however, despite progress made on the understanding of cellular changes and loss that accompany aging, little progress has been made in treating cognitive problems, most notably the progressive decline in memory function. Learn More >

Brain Cancer

Brain tumors, which are abnormal growths of cells within the brain, can be cancerous (malignant) and spread if not properly addressed. More than 200,000 people in the U.S. receive the diagnosis of a primary or metastatic brain tumor every year. Unfortunately, they are becoming even more prevalent and a particular type of tumor, the glioma, is difficult to treat because of its propensity to recur even following surgical removal of the tumor mass. The difficulty of locating and inhibiting the growth of cancer cells that have migrated away from the tumor makes gliomas recalcitrant in the face of existing radiation and chemotherapeutic approaches. Learn More >

Chronic Neurological Diseases

Chronic neurological diseases — Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Huntington’s disease, neuromuscular disease, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy, to mention only a few — afflict millions of Americans worldwide and account for tremendous morbidity and mortality. Furthermore, age is the largest risk factor for many of these diseases, which is problematic as humans are living longer as a result of modern medicinal innovation. Although treatments have been sought for these diseases, presently they are inadequate. Thus, there is a desperate need for disease-modifying therapies to combat chronic neurological disorders. Learn More >

CNS Injury

Injuries to the CNS, which consists of the brain and spinal cord, are major international health problems. 2.5 million people in the U.S. suffer traumatic brain injuries annually, and about 800,000 people per year suffer from stroke. Additionally, approximately 17,000 people per year suffer spinal cord injuries. Most people suffering from CNS injuries must endure irreversible disabilities as a result, leading to a decrease in their quality of life. Learn More >

Mental Health, Neurobehavioral Sciences and Psychiatry

The neurobehavioral sciences are gaining recognition for their potential to positively affect the quality of life for all people. Progress made in neuroscience has contributed new technologies to the armament of approaches for treating mental disorders. Examples of pioneering research being done in the clinical and basic science laboratories of the McKnight Brain Institute include the development of new brain stimulation protocols that improve behavioral outcomes for obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and schizophrenia. Learn More >

Regeneration and Rehabilitation

The field of restorative neuroscience has begun to appreciate that before new therapeutics for rebuilding a damaged brain can be developed, we must understand the cellular and molecular interactions that occur during the original construction of our nervous system. During the development of the brain and spinal cord, the expression of different genes and proteins contributes to an impressive degree of plasticity in the formation of complex circuitries that bring about our magnificent repertoire of complex human behaviors. Learn More >