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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Softshell crab, café au lait and cognitive behavioral neurology …

At mid-day Monday, New Orleans was her classic self with 92 degree heat and 100% humidity. Along with the famed softshell po’ boys and café au lait, did you know that New Orleans is also known for its outstanding excellence in cognitive and behavioral neurology? Yes, at LSU Health Science Center, renowned Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology is headed by New Orleans native Anne L. Foundas MD. As the author of more than 80 refereed papers and PI on numerous grants, Dr. Foundas is recognized as a leader in the rapidly expanding interdisciplinary field of Cognitive Neurosciences. She currently serves as Professor of Neurology and Vice-Chair of Clinical Research in the Department of Neurology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.

Not only is Dr. Foundas and accomplished researcher and author, she is also an extraordinary clinician and award-winning and engaging teacher. The APA is quite fortunate as Dr. Foundas presented at the Annual Meeting on Tuesday, May 25, Advances in Medicine 4 Aging and Dementia: An Update on Neuroscience and Brain Imaging.

While at the Annual Meeting, be sure not to miss one of New Orleans’ finest!

In her words, Dr. Foundas describes her work:

Cognitive Neuroscience is being driven by dramatic advances in neuroimaging and neurophysiologic methods. Anatomical details of the brain can be reconstructed using structural MRI methodologies. Cognitive functions, such as memory and language, can be studied by analyzing subtle, task-related changes in blood flow using functional MRI paradigms. The timing of neural activity can be precisely mapped using cortical event-related potentials (ERP) which can be co-registered with brain images derived from structural and functional MRI. Cerebral ischemia can be studied with diffusion-perfusion weighted imaging, and metabolic studies can be conducted with MR spectroscopy. Motor and cognitive neural systems can be studied using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) methods. In this way, the precise anatomy, function, timing, and physiology of neural events can be studied in humans in vivo. We have utilized these state-of-the-art MRI and neurophysiological methods to study complex cognitive operations in healthy individuals, and then we have applied these methods to study clinical populations including: developmental stuttering, stroke, dementia, and epilepsy.
Our long-term goal is to develop targeted treatment strategies based on the knowledge that we gain from these basic neuroscience studies. Translational research programs are being developed to bridge basic and clinical neuroscience research. Targeted program development includes studies of: development and aging, stress and depression, stroke and neuroplasticity, and epilepsy.

Josepha A. Cheong, MD
Member, Scientific Program Committee

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