The Kentucky Neuroscience Institute (KNI) integrates the expertise of the University of
Kentucky’s neurology and neurosurgery physicians and researchers. KNI is a regional
referral center dedicated to providing comprehensive care to our patients. Physicians
and scientists from both disciplines work collaboratively to find the causes and design
new treatments for neurological disorders.
Neurosurgeons and neurologists at KNI provide diagnosis and management of a wide
spectrum of neurological conditions involving the brain, spine and nervous system.
We are comprised of a highly experienced team of physicians that can treat children
and adults. Our team of world-renowned clinicians uses the most advanced surgical
and medical treatments for brain diseases and disorders. UK is on the cutting edge
of patient care and is taking the next step by putting the power of an entire team of
specialists to work on your condition.
UK is first in the U.S. to conduct trial of new Parkinson’s disease treatment A clinical trial being conducted at UK is investigating a new treatment strategy for Parkinson’s disease that, if successful, could drastically change future treatment of the disease and possibly halt or reverse brain degeneration. UK is the first in the U.S. to conduct the clinical trial.
Craig van Horne, MD, associate professor of neurosurgery in the College of Medicine and principal investigator of the clinical trial, came to the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute only two years ago, but he is already making significant contributions to research and patient care related to Parkinson’s disease. If successful, this procedure could significantly change the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and could have an impact on other neurodegenerative disorders as well. Learn more.
UK HealthCare's Stroke Program has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the program’s commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines. Read more about the Gold Plus Award »
Stroke patients at the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute have access not only to the region's top doctors, but also to the most advanced medical technology. The stroke center at UK Chandler Hospital was the first in the region to be designated as a Comprehensive Stroke Center.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 19, 2014) – A new web-based program developed by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers will provide a simple, free way for healthcare providers to determine which brain tumor cases require testing for a genetic mutation.
Gliomas – a type of tumor that begins in the brain or spine – are the most common and deadly form of brain cancer in adults, making up about 80 percent of malignant brain cancer cases. In some of these cases, patients have a mutation in a specific gene, known as an IDH1 mutation – and patients who have this tend to survive years longer than those who do not carry the mutation.
Developed by UK researchers Li Chen, Eric Durbin, and Craig Horbinski in collaboration with software architect Isaac Hands of the UK Markey Cancer Center Cancer Research Informatics Shared Research Facility, the program uses a statistical model to accurately predict the likelihood that a patient carries the IDH1 mutation and requires screening.
Gliomas are often tested for IDH1 mutation following surgery to remove the tumor, but undergoing this type of testing often requires stringent insurance pre-approvals due to rising healthcare costs, Horbinski says.
"Currently, there are no universally accepted guidelines for when gliomas should be tested for this mutation," Horbinski said. "Obtaining insurance pre-approval for additional molecular testing is becoming more commonplace, and this program will assist healthcare providers with an evidence-based rationale for when IDH1 screening is necessary."
Additionally, Horbinski notes that the program will help conserve research dollars by helping brain cancer researchers narrow down which specific older gliomas in tumor banks – previously removed in a time before IDH1 testing was routine – should be tested as data for research projects.
Horbinski's research on the program was published in the May issue of Neuro-Oncology. The work was funded through a grant from the National Cancer Institute, the Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Training Program in Translational Clinical Oncology, and the University of Kentucky College of Medicine Physician Scientist Program.
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 11, 2014) – With multiple concussions between the two of them, Dan Han and Lisa Koehl's latest research interest isn't surprising.
"I played competitive soccer through high school and continue to play recreationally," says Koehl, a doctoral candidate in the University of Kentucky's Department of Psychology, "so I have firsthand experience with the dynamics that come into play when a teen suffers a concussion."
As a former high school assistant principal in the Chicago public school system, Han was responsible for overseeing student-athletes' return to school after a concussion. Han left educational administration to pursue his doctorate in neuropsychology. Now director of the Multidisciplinary Concussion Program at UK HealthCare, Han has a reputation for top-notch clinical work and research on concussion.
"There aren't many places in Kentucky where you find a true multidisciplinary concussion program," Han says. "UK HealthCare's Multidisciplinary Concussion Program embraces an interdepartmental group effort -- from neurology, from neurosurgery, sports medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, from the trauma team -- we all work together to look at how brain injury affects the cognitive, physical and emotional state of our patients."
This group effort puts the athlete's safety first. For that reason, UK HealthCare's concussion program is the go-to for the athletics programs at Fayette County Public Schools, the University of Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University, and Kentucky State University, who all rely on the UK Multidisciplinary Concussion Program's clinical expertise in sports concussion for state-of-the-art input to help make decisions affecting an athlete's return to play.
Add to Han's clinical skills a lifelong love of full contact martial arts (Han practices kickboxing and Brazilian jujitsu), and it's easy to see how Han and Koehl are well-suited to study the symptoms of sports concussions.
Drawing from a large UK database of patients with brain injury, Koehl and Han used a subset of 37 athletes aged 12 to 17 to explore post-concussion changes in physical, emotional, and cognitive symptoms over time.
According to Koehl, 22 of the 37 study participants demonstrated post-concussive emotional symptoms. Of those, 23 percent were sensitive to light while 14 percent were sensitive to noise. In comparison, of the 15 teens without emotional symptoms, 13 percent were sensitive to light and no teens were sensitive to noise.
There were no differences between the two groups in factors such as what percentage experienced loss of consciousness, amnesia, nausea and/or headaches, indicating that the groups were likely comparable in the level of severity of concussion.
"We discovered a bidirectional relationship between both emotional symptoms developing in conjunction with physical symptoms, and also emotional symptoms developing because of the physical symptoms," said Koehl.
In other words, said Koehl, "This research gives us a better understanding of the interaction between physical and emotional symptoms in concussion and will allow us to explore ways to help adolescents recover in a more timely fashion."
According to Han, teens in the study who reported anxiety were 55 percent more likely to experience attention difficulties than those without anxiety, while teens with irritability/aggression were 35 percent more likely to self-report problems with attention than teens without irritability.
"While these findings are preliminary and require a larger sample size to predict outcomes with more confidence, we are intrigued by the potential these data offer in terms of providing teens with a better treatment plan based on their unique cognitive, physical and emotional response to concussion," Han said.
"Identifying factors that affect a teen's experience after concussion may help in planning for the appropriate treatment and in making decisions about when to return to play and what accommodations are needed at school during recovery.”
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 29, 2014) – University of Kentucky Endowed Chair of Neuroscience Dr. Diane Snow was recently elected by her colleagues to serve as president-elect of the National Neurotrauma Society (NNS). With this appointment, Snow will hold the position of president in 2015-2016.
Since joining the NNS in 2003, Snow has championed women's contributions to neurotrauma research and mentorship opportunities for young members of the profession, including students, postdoctoral fellows and young professors. She served as the three-term president of Women in Neurotrauma Research (WINTR), an arm of the NNS that promotes gender equality in neurotrauma research. She also proposed the society's Ask An Expert online database for young professionals and students to make connections with practicing clinicians and researchers who are senior NNS members.
The NNS is a society committed to promoting neurotrauma research, providing a forum for clinicians and supporting members of the profession in their endeavors to discover new treatments for neurotrauma victims. Snow was inducted as president-elect during the society's annual symposium, June 29-July 2, in San Francisco.
Snow graduated with a bachelor's degree in biology and German, and a master's degree in neuroscience from the University of Akron and Northeast Ohio University College of Medicine. She completed her doctorate in neuroscience at Case Western Reserve and postdoctoral work at the University of Minnesota. In 1996, she joined the University of Kentucky as an assistant professor in anatomy and neurobiology and currently serves as an endowed chair and professor of the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center. She is also the interim director of the UK Honors Program and the director of the Office of Undergraduate Research.
"I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to advance the society by providing a platform conducive for training and sharing of knowledge, in the hopes of finding a cure for people with traumatic brain injuries," Snow said. "Of the many societies I belong to, this is the most nurturing of young scientists and clinicians and is the most interactive. They are always concerned about mentoring and providing opportunities."
Snow's primary duties as president will be fundraising and selecting a site for the 2016 annual meeting. For the first time, the NNS will consider Lexington as one of three possible host sites in 2016.
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 16, 2014) -- UK HealthCare's Kentucky Neuroscience Institute (KNI) has received the "Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award" for maintaining specific quality measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients.
KNI also received the association’s "Target: Stroke Honor Roll" for meeting stroke quality measures that reduce the time between hospital arrival and treatment with the clot-buster tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. Stroke patients who receive the drug within three hours of the onset of symptoms may recover more quickly and are less likely to suffer severe disability.
This marks the fourth year that KNI has received this designation.
"This award provides patients with tangible evidence of KNI's commitment to the highest standard of stroke care," said Dr. Michael Dobbs, UK HealthCare's associate chief medical officer and chief of neurological services. "But patients aren't the only ones who benefit. By participating in the 'Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program,' we are able to share our expertise with other member hospitals around the country, including access to the most up-to-date research, clinical tools and resources, and patient education resources."
"What this means for Kentuckians is that the best possible stroke care is available right here in Lexington."
According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. In Kentucky, cardiovascular disease (which includes stroke) is the leading cause of death. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 10, 2014) -- The National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC) has given Level 4 designation to the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at the University of Kentucky's Kentucky Neuroscience Institute (KNI).
UK is the only Level 4 epilepsy center in the Bluegrass, and among 149 such centers in the United States. Level 4 of epilepsy care is the highest designation level offered by the NAEC.
"KNI has a commitment to providing the highest level and broadest range of treatment for its patients, and the NAEC Level 4 designation is yet another acknowledgement of our success in reaching that goal," said Dr. Michael R. Dobbs, interim chair of neurology and associate chief medical officer for UK HealthCare. "I'm delighted that the program has been recognized for its quality and range of care, and credit justly goes to the multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, rehabilitation specialists and staff that makes us worthy of this designation."
A Level 4 center provides the most complex forms of evaluation, including invasive brain monitoring and imaging and neuropsychological evaluation, and offers a broad range of medical and surgical treatment options.
"The epilepsy center has been providing the most comprehensive and specialized care to the people of Central and Eastern Kentucky for more than two decades," said Dr. Meriem Bensalem-Owen, director of KNI's Epilepsy Program. "Our epilepsy clinics, an active surgical program, and clinical trials offer a broad range of advanced forms of therapy for patients with difficult to control seizures. Those, in combination with our neuropsychological expertise and outreach efforts, make us the gold standard for epilepsy care in the bluegrass."
The NAEC is a non-profit group of more than 170 specialized epilepsy centers in the United States with the mission of setting a national agenda for quality epilepsy care.
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When a patient is referred to Kentucky Neuroscience Institute (KNI), diagnosis and treatment are made in a collaborative environment, decreasing the need for multiple visits and consultations.
An emphasis on quality of life factors such as ease of movement and communication maximizes the potential for recovery. Treated as equal partners in care, referring physicians can expect early and ongoing contact with KNI specialists.
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