Neurology News & Views

In recognition of its innovative and collaborative efforts, the Department of Neurology frequently makes headlines for the breadth of research transforming the neuroscience field. Below are some of the articles highlighting the ongoing work of our faculty and residents.

Targeting Inflammation May Protect and Retore the Brain after Stroke

June 13, 2018 (Scientific American) - New therapeutic approaches directed at the post-stroke immune response show promise in mice. 

New Clinical Trial Takes Personalized Approach for Rare Type of ALS in Appalachia

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 13, 2018) – ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a neurodegenerative disease of some fame in the United States. Many Americans know the illness, which currently has no cure, as Lou Gehrig’s disease, after the beloved baseball player whose career and life were cut short by the condition in the 1930s and 40s. 

A Stroke at Age 27 Inspired Dedication to Cardiovascular Research

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 25, 2018) — When Donna Arnett, dean of the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, had a stroke when she was 27 years old people didn't believe her. Though she experienced slurring of speech, facial drooping and numbness in her arm - all telltale signs of a stroke - the people around her thought, because of her age, it must be something else. Four hours later, after she'd driven herself to work, she was sent to the emergency room for treatment. The cause of Arnett's stroke, a genetic condition, inspired her interest in cardiovascular genetics research.

Lexington healthcare facility recognized nationally for the second time for its stroke treatment and care

In Kentucky, the numbers are not good when it comes to stroke victims. In fact, we live in what some say is the stroke belt, and doctors here say we are the buckle of that belt. Fast access to stroke treatment is key to survival, that's why one Lexington health care facility has received a national ranking for its stroke research and patient care.

UK Researchers Study Rapid Blood Test for Concussions

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 15, 2018) — When an athlete takes a hard hit or fall, one of the first things that comes to the minds of coaches, athletic trainers, team physicians and spectators is the risk of concussion. Protocols are in place to assess if an athlete has sustained a concussion or if they can be cleared to go back into the game. However, there is some ambiguity between physicians as to what constitutes a concussion.

Two Strokes and Three Surgeries Later, Lexington Teen Set to Graduate High School

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 9, 2018) — "Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis" didn't show up as a question on Destiny Taschner's ACT test.  But if it had, this high schooler would have been able to give its definition.

Study Finds Possibility of New Ways to Treat, Manage Epilepsy Seizures

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 4, 2018) - New findings from the University of Kentucky published in the Journal of Neuroscience demonstrate that there may be ways to address blood-brain barrier dysfunction in epilepsy.

Head Injuries and the Path from Pilot Study to Major Grant

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 18, 2018) — Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been a hot topic of late as soldiers return from the battlefield and football players from the gridiron with debilitating injuries.

After son's multiple sclerosis diagnosis, UK doctor advocates for change

When Dr. Hatim Omar‘s 18-year-old son Kareem called to complain about a lack of feeling in his legs, Omar knew it was serious.  “My son is an amazing kid,” Omar said. “He never complains.”

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 2, 2018) —The University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has been awarded a $2 million grant by the National Institutes of Health to train the next generation of dementia researchers. 

Third Neurogastronomy Symposium Explores What We Eat and Why
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2018) — Humans have a complex relationship with food:  it is sustenance, it is a livelihood, it is an emotional reward, and it can be medicine. As the obesity epidemic illustrates, it can be the opposite of medicine, too. Neurogastronomy encompasses a number of disciplines to address that relationship, including basic science, nutrition, psychology, agriculture, food science and health.

New Options for Parkinson's Patients

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 5, 2018) — Parkinson’s Disease is a degenerative neurologic condition that affects more than one million people in the United States and 10 million people worldwide. 

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Olivier Thibault, a researcher in UK’s Department of Phamacology and Nutritional Science, along with researchers from four other institutions, is using a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a collaborative project using non-invasive treatments on mice to measure early predictors of Alzheimer’s disease in hopes of finding a cure.

Watch Bill Crawford walk across the second floor atrium of the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital. He seems to glide, a quiet minister wearing a Porter Memorial Baptist Church button-down shirt, visiting hospitalized patients.
Working Outside the Box: How a Markey Lab is Helping Stroke Patients
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2017) — When George Quintero first heard about a new clinical trial that could improve motor function in stroke patients, he knew he had to find a way to bring it to UK HealthCare.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 31, 2017) -  Sudden onset of blurred vision, slurred speech, numbness or paralysis in the face, arm, or leg can be indications of a stroke. Oftentimes, many wait to seek help, but this can be a fatal mistake: the risks of permanent damage or death increase the longer treatment is delayed.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 6, 2017) — The National Institutes of Health has awarded a five year, $2.88 million grant to a Sanders-Brown Center on Aging researcher to study a drug's potential to prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Chandler remains No. 1, nationally ranked in four specialties, U.S. News & World Report 
Chandler Hospital remains No. 1 in Kentucky for the second consecutive year in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals rankings. Additionally, we are nationally ranked in four adult specialties.

Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease and Down Syndrome

The Balm in Gilead and UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Launch Memory Sunday Weekend

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 15, 2017) – Phyllis Wilson was driving home from Fayette Mall by taking the back roads, just as she had done hundreds of times in the past to avoid the heavy Nicholasville Road traffic. Suddenly, her surroundings did not look familiar and she felt lost as her heart raced. She pulled over to the side of the road and tried to calm herself. After a few minutes, she pulled back onto the road and slowly began to drive. Something in her view triggered a memory and she knew she was going in the right direction toward home.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 12, 2017) — The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recently honored UK HealthCare's Kentucky Neuroscience Institute (KNI) with the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and the Target Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Award.

Technique to Reduce Memory Loss Post-Surgery

With the conveniences of modern medicine, anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists erase the memory and pain of invasive surgeries by administering medicines that induce relaxation and unconsciousness. Patients awake from a deep sleep with no memory of the surgery, the incision or the physical harm done to their bodies.


Treatment Took His Sense of Taste – But Life is Now Sweeter for Markey Patient
A cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event for any person - but Markey Cancer Center patient Barry Warner says it was probably one of the best things that's happened to him.

Linda Van Eldik, director of the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, was awarded a "Part the Cloud" translational research grant from the Alzheimer's Association. This two-year, $997,738 grant will fund early clinical trials for a promising new treatment for Alzheimer's disease.

Spinal Cord Injury Research with the Gensel Lab

Taylor Otto, an undergraduate lab assistant in Gensel’s lab, described UK as being the full package. “We have it all here. It’s a good program to be able to come into, not really knowing what you want to exactly do in the science field, but being able to figure it out at the same time,” said Otto.

UK Goes Purple to Support Alzheimer's Awareness Month

To celebrate the lives of those affected by Alzheimer's disease and to honor their caregivers, a purple light will glow at 13 locations on the University of Kentucky campus beginning Tuesday, Nov. 15.  "Going Purple" will continue through Friday, Nov. 18.

Research Hints at Underlying Cause for Alzheimer's Drug Trial Failures (

A paper recently published in the Journal of Neuroscience by Donna Wilcock, Ph.D., of the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, reports that a certain form of immunotherapy targeted to Alzheimer's patients may be ineffective when that patient also has VCID.

Symposium Showcases Clinical and Translational Research in the Neurosciences

KNI's inaugural Clinical-Translational Neuroscience Research Symposium featured nearly 100 poster and oral presentations focused on the latest scientific advances in a wide variety of topics related to the neurosciences being conducted by UK research groups.

The International Society of Neurogastronomy

The International Society of Neurogastronomy (ISN) is a professional organization for culinary professionals, agriculture professionals, and scientists of gastronomy in the context of brain and behavior. The concept of Neurogastronomy casts a wide net over all disciplines that are relevant to what we eat, why we like what we eat, and how we eat. The mission of ISN is to advance Neurogastronomy as a craft, science, and health profession, to enhance quality of human life, and to generate and disseminate knowledge of brain-behavior relationships in the context of gastronomy.

Between Clinic and Kitchen, New Hope for Patients With Taste Loss (National Geographic)

The study of the loss of taste is part of the emerging field called neurogastronomy, which addresses brain and behavior in the context of food. It’s a movement that is prompting scientists and chefs to bridge the gap between kitchen and clinic in unexpected ways. It is being led, in part, by neuropsychologist Dan Han and physiologist Tim McClintock at the University of Kentucky. Han and McClintock launched the inaugural International Society of Neurogastronomy symposium.