Center for Brain HealthCenter to provide care for brain disorders while expanding neuroscience-related education and research.

Center for Brain Health receives approval

LSU Health Shreveport’s new Center for Brain Health will offer a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to treating brain injuries and diseases.

The center received one-year conditional approval from the Louisiana Board of Regents on Thursday, October 26, following the September approval by the LSU Board of Supervisors.

“Advances in brain health rely on an approach that brings together clinicians, educators and researchers from many areas of expertise, which is something we are uniquely positioned to offer at LSU Health as an academic medical center,” said Dr. Elizabeth Disbrow, Director of the Center for Brain Health and an Associate Professor of Neurology. “When researchers work with clinicians, the research improves. When the clinicians work with the researchers, the clinical care improves.”

With faculty and staff from LSU Health’s School of Medicine, School of Allied Health Professions and School of Graduate Studies working together, the center will provide comprehensive care for brain disorders while expanding neuroscience-related education and research. The center will focus on research into disorders such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. The Center for Brain Health will also partner with the Children’s Center at the School of Allied Health Professions, where children across the Ark-La-Tex are evaluated for Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

“Uniting our three professional schools, the Center for Brain Health is the only neuroscience research facility in the state that offers the comprehensive clinical aspects in treating patients. Once they are evaluated and treated medically, they’ll continue to be followed into the rehabilitation aspect of their care,” said Dr. Suzanne Tinsley, Associate Professor of Neurological Rehabilitation and Assistant Dean of the School of Allied Health Professions, which is home to the only nationally accredited neurological physical therapy residency program in Louisiana. “The goal of neurological rehabilitation is to restore patients back to the maximum level of function possible after brain injury or disease.”

Another component unique to the center is LSU Health’s role in the National Institutes of Health’s StrokeNet. This stroke trials network serves as a pipeline for new potential treatments for patients with stroke and those at risk for stroke. The Shreveport health sciences center is the first in the state to be accepted into StrokeNet, joining the ranks of institutions such as Emory, Massachusetts General Hospital, Mount Sinai, Northwestern, Stanford, UCLA and Vanderbilt.

Dr. Oleg Y. Chernyshev, Assistant Professor of Neurology and StrokeNet principal investigator, said one of the main goals of this network is to maximize efficiency in developing, promoting and conducting clinical trials focused on key interventions in stroke prevention, treatment and recovery. Under the direction of Dr. Chernyshev, the stroke program at LSU Health’s hospital teaching partner, University Health Shreveport, is the only one in North Louisiana to receive Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers from The Joint Commission, providing acute stroke care to 30 percent of the state’s population.

“StrokeNet provides a tremendous educational platform for stroke physicians and other healthcare professionals, particularly those individuals in training and focused on an academic career,” Chernyshev said. “The health sciences center’s inclusion in this network will bolster the success of the Center for Brain Health.”

Not only does the Center for Brain Health integrate LSU Health Shreveport resources focusing on brain injury and disease, it also provides a platform for collaboration with Overton Brooks VA Medical Center, Louisiana Tech University and LSU-S.

“There is so much to be accomplished by leveraging all the existing resources available in North Louisiana into an integrated hub,” said Disbrow. “We enhance the education and training of our students, we improve our ability to secure competitive national research funding for our region, and we better serve our community with advanced neurorehabilitation services.”

For more information on the Center for Brain Health, visit www.lsuhscbrainhealth.com.