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Kentucky Neuroscience Institute at the Forefront of Groundbreaking Research

At UK’s Kentucky Neuroscience Institute, research is at the heart of what we do. With our strength and commitment to clinical trial and basic science research, we uncover new and innovative approaches to neurological challenges, increase understanding and knowledge about these conditions, and provide state-of-the-art treatments to our patients across Kentucky and the region. Without our dedicated researchers, cutting-edge resources, and the patients who volunteer as trial participants and sample donors, we wouldn’t have many of the treatments and research knowledge that we routinely use today to help patients live longer and better lives.

Dr. Ed Kasarkis and Debby Taylor

Blood, BBQ and How One UK Neurologist Tracks Familial ALS

For two decades, Dr. Ed Kasarskis has traveled the region on his “Blood and BBQ” road trips, attending the gatherings of one Appalachian family that carries a gene mutation known to cause ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. Kasarskis collects blood samples, skin biopsies and histories from members of the family willing to assist in his research, which he hopes will unlock the mystery of this particular genetic form of ALS caused by a mutation in the FUS gene.

Read about how we're using genealogy websites to track a different kind of killer: ALS.


A physician looks at a stroke patient's images.

What if we could reverse the effects of stroke?

Dr. Justin Fraser and Dr. Gregory Bix are working to do just that. Fraser, surgical director of UK HealthCare’s Comprehensive Stroke Center, and Bix, director of UK HealthCare’s Center for Advanced Translational Stroke Science, have teamed up to find ways to reverse the damage caused by stroke. Alongside other UK researchers, they’re working to develop treatment trials, including the MAVARIC trial and the BACTRAC study, that would not only help limit stroke damage but also potentially restore brain function after a stroke.

Read about how we're providing innovative stroke care through clinical trials.


Ann Hanley, Dr. Craig van Horne, Dr. George Quintero, Dr. Greg Gerhardt

Experimental Treatment Only at UK Targets Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms

A team of physician-scientists and researchers at UK HealthCare’s Brain Restoration Center has embarked on a first-of-its-kind clinical study aimed at stopping or reversing the degenerative effects of Parkinson’s disease. The study combines the established treatment for advanced Parkinson’s – an electrode-implanting surgery known as Deep Brain Stimulation, or DBS – with an experimental nerve-grafting procedure. This combined procedure is known as DBS+.

Read about this new procedure.


Researchers looking at computers

On the Frontlines of the Alzheimer’s Fight

Over three decades, the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has emerged as one of the nation’s leading centers on memory disorders and Alzheimer’s research. As one of only 31 NIH-designated Alzheimer’s Disease Centers in the United States, Sanders-Brown conducts innovative research into a disease that kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.

Learn about the research, education and outreach conducted by the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging.