Meet the Researchers


Faculty Biographies


James Bisley, Ph.D.

Website
Dr. Bisley’s lab studies the neuronal mechanisms underlying cognitive and behavioral functions using a combination of single neuron electrophysiology, psychophysics and microstimulation. Recent work has focused on attention, spatial encoding of the visual world, decision making and memory processes (both short and long term). The goal of many of these studies is to create hypotheses about the neuronal functioning within the brain and to then test these hypotheses using neural stimulation. These foundations can then be used to identify potential clinical benefits of stimulation.
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Yvette Bordelon, M.D., Ph.D.

Website 1, Website 2
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Dr. Yvette Bordelon received her MD and PhD degrees from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia. Her thesis work was performed with Dr. Marie-Francoise Chesselet and involved investigating mechanisms of cell death in an animal model of Huntington disease. She completed residency training in Neurology at Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals and then a Movement Disorders Fellowship at Columbia University. Dr. Bordelon is Assistant Professor in Residence in the Neurology department at UCLA. Her clinical work involves the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s disease, Huntington disease and other movement disorders. Her clinical research interests include the development of biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases, epidemiologic studies of Parkinson disease and conduct of clinical trials in movement disorders.

O’Duffy, A. E. Bordelon, Y. M. McLaughlin, B. Killer proteases and little strokes–how the things that do not kill you make you stronger J Cereb Blood Flow Metab, 2007; 27(4): 655-68. Bartzokis, G Lu, PH Tishler, TA Fong, SM Oluwadara, B Finn, JP Huang, D Bordelon, Y Mintz, J Perlman, S Myelin Breakdown and Iron Changes in Huntington’s Disease: Pathogenesis and Treatment Implications Neurochem Res, 2007; . Frucht, SJ Houghton, WC Bordelon, Y Greene, PE Louis, ED A single-blind, open-label trial of sodium oxybate for myoclonus and essential tremor Neurology, 2005; 65(12): 1967-9. Frucht, SJ Bordelon, Y Houghton, WH Reardan, D A pilot tolerability and efficacy trial of sodium oxybate in ethanol-responsive movement disorders Movement disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society, 2005; 20(10): 1330-7. Frucht, SJ Bordelon, Y Houghton, WH Marked amelioration of alcohol-responsive posthypoxic myoclonus by gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (Xyrem) Movement disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society, 2005; 20(6): 745-51. Bordelon, YM Mackenzie, L Chesselet, MF Morphology and compartmental location of cells exhibiting DNA damage after quinolinic acid injections into rat striatum The Journal of comparative neurology, 1999; 412(1): 38-50. Bordelon, YM Chesselet, MF Early effects of intrastriatal injections of quinolinic acid on microtubule-associated protein-2 and neuropeptides in rat basal ganglia Neuroscience, 1999; 93(3): 843-53. Bordelon, YM Chesselet, MF Ereci????ska, M Silver, IA Effects of intrastriatal injection of quinolinic acid on electrical activity and extracellular ion concentrations in rat striatum in vivo Neuroscience, 1998; 83(2): 459-69. Bordelon, YM Chesselet, MF Nelson, D Welsh, F Erecinska, M Energetic dysfunction in quinolinic acid-lesioned rat striatum Journal of neurochemistry, 1997; 69(4): 1629-39. Gurevich, EV Bordelon, Y Shapiro, RM Arnold, SE Gur, RE Joyce, JN Mesolimbic dopamine D3 receptors and use of antipsychotics in patients with schizophrenia. A postmortem study Archives of general psychiatry, 1997; 54(3): 225-32.
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Alexander Bystritsky, M.D.

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The Deep Brain Stimulation Program (DBS) and the Brain Stimulation Laboratory of the Anxiety Disorders Program and Clinic providing the FDA-approved* Humanitarian Use Device Reclaim DBS Therapy for OCD. This team demonstrates expertise in patient selection, DBS implementation, programming, and long-term management of severely ill psychiatric patients. Dr. Bystritsky is part of the DBS Screening Committee and a leader in the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He has been specializing in the treatment of severe and treatment resistant anxiety disorders for the last 25 years.
Professor Alexander Bystritsky, MD, PhD graduated from Pavlov Medical Institute (currently Pavlov Medical University) in St. Petersburg, Russia (former Soviet Union) with M.D. degree in 1977 and then rapidly completed his Ph.D. in Pharmacology in 1979. As a student he worked in the famous former Pavlov’s laboratory of the Institute of Experimental Medicine. In 1976 his paper won the Gold Medal for the Best Student Scientific Paper in the USSR among all sciences.
He emigrated to the US in 1979 to New York where he completed NYU-Belleview residency program in Psychiatry in 1985 and moved to UCLA as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar. He completed RWJ Clinical Scholars program in 1987.
Dr. Bystritsky has been on the UCLA Faculty since 1987. He is currently a Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences in Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior Lynda and Stewart Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles where he directs the Anxiety Disorders Program and a Brain Stimulation Laboratory. Dr. Bystritsky published over 200 research papers and has served as the PI and Co-PI on many NIH, foundations and industry sponsored grants. Over the years he earned several honors and awards including OCD Foundation Research Award (2006) and NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Award (2009). He is also listed in the Best Doctors in America for the last 17 years. For several years he was a Visiting Professor at a Full Professor level in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Harvard University School of Medicine Boston, Massachusetts working with Professor Ferenc Jolesz and Professor Seung-Schik Yoo investigating Focused Ultrasound Pulsation effects on brain using fMRI. Dr. Bystritsky authored several patents on image-guided neuromodulation of brain neurons using Low Intensity Focused Ultrasound Pulsation (LIFUP). His current area of interest is neuroimaging and guided brain stimulation. He a leadr of collaborative research/treatment program on image-guided DBS for OCD with the department of Neurosurgery at UCLA. He is also a leader of the UCLA LIFUP Group that studies the use of this new technology in brainmapping and treatment of epilepsy and other brain disorders with Drs Engel, Stern, Cohen, Grundfest and Monti. This collaborative group spans over departments Psychiatry, Neurology, Psychology and Biomedical Engineering. This collaborative group together with Brainsonix Corp. (a start-up company founded by Dr. Bystritsky) recently commenced the first Human Trials of LIFUP technology. Dr. Bystritsky is also collaborates with several prominent neuroscientists, physicists and mathematicians around the world in an attempt of creating models helping to understand how the brain works and forms consciousness.Dr. Bystritsky also recognized expert and clinical researcher in rTMS. He is recently was one of the lead investigators on the study that resulted in the FDA approval of the Deep rTMS device engineered by Brainsway.  Dr. Bystritsky’s paper on image-guided rTMS in anxiety disorders was one of the first such papers in the scientific literature.  Dr. Bystirtsky is currently a PI on several image guided rTMS and DrTMS studies.

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Ian A. Cook, M.D.

Website 1, Website 2
Cook
The Depression Research & Clinic Program provides neuromodulation treatments for mood disorders with primary emphasis on noninvasive modalities, either therapeutics (trigeminal nerve stimulation [TNS], rTMS, sTMS) or biomarkers/monitoring (qEEG, MRI, PET) in the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).
Dr. Cook currently is on leave from UCLA to serve as Senior Vice-President and Chief Medical Officer of NeuroSigma, a company focused on non-invasive technologies including external trigeminal nerve stimulation (TNS) and implanted TNS for treatment of CNS disorders. Research and development of the various technologies aim to effectively treat disorders ranging from epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and ADHD, to orphan disorders like Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.
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Randall Espinoza

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Randall Espinoza, MD, MPH is currently Clinical Professor in the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. From 2007 to 2009 he served as Chief of Staff of the Stuart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA. In 2009 he was selected as Director of the UCLA Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Training Program. Since 2000 he has been Medical Director of the Electroconvulsive Therapy Program at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital, and he also serves on the Medical IRB of the UCLA School of Medicine. He received his BS degree in bioengineering from Columbia University in New York, MD from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, and Executive MPH from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health. He completed psychiatry residency training at UT Southwestern / Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, NC, and at the Sepulveda VAMC and Olive View-UCLA Hospitals. He completed a geriatric psychiatry fellowship at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital and holds certification in ECT and TMS from the Association for Convulsive Therapy. He is a Master Educator with certification from the Association for Academic Psychiatry and completed the UCLA Medical Faculty Fellowship program. In 2002 he received the Outstanding Housestaff Teaching Award from the UCLA Department of Psychiatry, and in 2003 he received a Geriatric Academic Career Development Award (K01) from the Human Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, one of only 5 geriatric psychiatrists nationwide. He is actively involved in American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, Association for Academic Psychiatry and American Psychiatric Association. He is a Co-Director for the Annual UCLA Geriatric Medicine Intensive Course and Board Review. He is on the Editorial Board of Academic Psychiatry and a reviewer for several journals in geriatric psychiatry and geriatric medicine and regularly contributes to UCLA Healthy Years, a quarterly newsletter of the Division of Geriatric Medicine at UCLA. He has published several articles, reviews, and monographs in the field of geriatric psychiatry.
Hauptman Jason S, DeSalles Antonio A F, Espinoza Randall, Sedrak Mark, Ishida Warren Potential surgical targets for deep brain stimulation in treatment-resistant depression Neurosurgical focus, 2008; 25(1): E3.
Weaver Jonathan D, Espinoza Randall, Weintraub Nancy T The utility of PET brain imaging in the initial evaluation of dementia Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 2007; 8(3): 150-7.
Espinoza Randall T Improving the recognition and management of dementia in long-term care: obstacles and opportunities Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 2006; 7(2): 128-30.
Gnanadesigan Nallini, Espinoza Randall T, Smith Rick, Israel Michelle, Reuben David B Interaction of serotonergic antidepressants and opioid analgesics: Is serotonin syndrome going undetected? Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 2005; 6(4): 265-9.
Asghar Ali Ali A, Espinoza Randall, Kavirajan Harish, Read Stephen The effect of risperidone on nursing burden associated with caring for patients with dementia Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2005; 53(7): 1261-2; author reply 1262-3.
Espinoza Randall Assessing antipsychotic effectiveness in dementia: a factor analysis approach Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 2005; 4(2): 113-4.
Espinoza Randall T Electroconvulsive therapy in the long-term care setting: an overview of controversies in practice Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 2005; 4(1): 40-4.
Espinoza Randall T Electroconvulsive therapy in the long-term care setting: an overview of controversies in practice Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 2005; 5(2 Suppl): S53-8.
Gnanadesigan Nallini, Espinoza Randall T, Smith Rick L The serotonin syndrome The New England journal of medicine, 2005; 352(23): 2454-6; author reply 2454-6.
Khang Peter, Weintraub Nancy, Espinoza Randall T The use, benefits, and costs of cholinesterase inhibitors for Alzheimer’s dementia in long-term care: are the data relevant and available? Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 2005; 5(4): 249-55.

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Itzhak Fried, M.D., Ph.D.

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Fried
The Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory performs both clinical and research work, respectively, dedicated to the treatment of intractable seizure disorders and epilepsy and to the study of human memory from single neuron level to clinical intervention. Techniques include the use of depth electrodes, which are implanted in the brains of patients for clinical diagnostic purposes, as a means to investigate deep brain stimulation’s methods for memory enhancement and the behavior of individual neurons during cognition. The laboratory is the seat of the Restoration of Active Memory (RAM) Program funded by DARPA as part of the President/s Brain Initiative.
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Marc Aaron Heiser, M.D., Ph.D.

Website
MarcHeiser

Dr. Heiser’s primary research interest is clinical systems neuroscience that aims to identify treatment intervention targets. He is currently working with Dr. Marco Iacoboni and Dr. Carrie Bearden using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and fMRI to examine the mirror neuron system and its relation to social cognition in patients at high risk for psychosis (supported by the AACAP Pilot Research Award). To further explore his interest in the neurobiology of social cognition in psychiatric illness, he is developing a project with Dr. James McCracken to use TMS as an intervention to enhance imitation and social cognition in patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Combining neuroimaging with TMS will allow us to understand the neural pathways that are disrupted in neurodevelopmental disorders such as ASD and to alter those pathways in order to remediate core deficits. Ultimately, his plan is to develop an integrated clinical research pediatric neuromodulation program to treat a wide range of psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents.

Marc Heiser is currently a fellow physician in the division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Behavior.  He obtained a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from UCSF, studying single neuron electrophysiology and cortical plasticity with Dr. Christoph Schreiner and Dr. Michael Merzenich.  Dr. Heiser then completed his MD at UCSF and residency in psychiatry at UCLA.

Dr. Heiser’s current research combines transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with functional neuroimaging to study the neurophysiology of psychiatric symptoms in youth and to develop treatments using neuromodulation.  Currently, he is collaborating with Dr. Marco Iacoboni and Dr. Carrie Bearden using these methods to examine the mirror neuron system and its relation to social competence in patients at high risk for psychosis.  Dr. Heiser is also working with Dr. James McCracken to develop a TMS intervention to enhance social behavior in patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Dr. Heiser believes that combining neuroimaging with TMS will allow us to understand the neural pathways that are disrupted in neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia and autism and to alter those pathways in order to remediate core deficits.  Ultimately, his plan is to develop an integrated clinical research pediatric neuromodulation program to treat a wide range of psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents.

Dr. Heiser’s work has been published in scientific journals including Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences, Neuron, and the Journal of Neuroscience.  He has received the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Pilot Award for Young Investigators and the UCLA Gertrude Ruth Greenblatt Award for Humane Commitment to Children Requiring Psychiatric Care.

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Aimee M. Hunter, Ph.D.

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Aimee Hunter has worked primarily on two main lines of research: 1) developing electroencephalogram (EEG) biomarkers of treatment response in depression, and 2) examining psychological and treatment history factors that contribute to the placebo response and drug-placebo separation in clinical trials for depression. The aim of the biomarkers research is to develop clinically meaningful predictors of response, early in the course of treatment, that could be used for personalizing treatment strategies (e.g. modality, dose, stimulation parameters) to optimize outcomes. Regarding placebo research, her aims are twofold: first, to identity non-specific or psychological factors that act synergistically with specific treatments (e.g. medication, neuromodulation) to enhance clinical outcomes; and second, to understand the influence of patient variables and other study design factors in assessing the efficacy of antidepressant treatments.

Dr. Hunter will be bridging her research to examine factors that influence and/or predict neuromodulation (and sham) treatment outcomes. Whereas most of her previous work has examined data from placebo-controlled antidepressant medication trials, she is working to help launch several neuromodulation projects in collaboration with Dr. Andrew Leuchter. One of these involves finalizing equipment and establishing a procedure to obtain EEG data during treatment with repetitive transcranial stimulation (rTMS) (Neuronetics Neurostar system) in order to develop qEEG biomarkers of response to rTMS generally, and specifically to variations of treatment parameters therein. They are currently in the process of obtaining a customized Quasar Dry Sensor Interface (DSI) 10/20 to facilitate EEG collection in the rTMS clinical treatment setting. She is also currently writing a protocol for a small sham-controlled study of intermittent theta burst stimulation (TBS) of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (LDPFC) for treatment resistant depression using the Neuronetics EXPLOR system. This study will include measures of treatment refractoriness to examine as covariates in assessing treatment effects of TBS and sham. Concurrent with these projects, she is pursuing background literature on transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to consider this modality for further study. Finally, she is co-investigator on a grant submission to the DoD to study rTMS as a treatment for veterans who have mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI).

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Marco Iacoboni, M.D., Ph.D.

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Dr. Marco Iacoboni, MD PhD, is Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, as well as the Director of the Neuromodulation Lab of the Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center. He is trained in neurology and neuroscience, and joined the UCLA faculty in 1999.

Dr. Iacoboni’s work combines magnetic resonance imaging with neuromodulation with the goals of: 1) better understanding the effects of neuromodulation on the brain and of 2) making neuromodulation more effective by adapting to the individual features of the brain of healthy subjects and neurological and psychiatric patients. He investigates human brain functions in health and disease, and the neural basis of sensory-motor integration, imitation and social cognition in humans. His lab uses non-invasive techniques including functional magnetic resonance imaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). In particular, his group investigates the human mirror neuron system and its role in social behavior and its disorders. The lab comprises people with a wide range of backgrounds and with diverse expertise. Research areas include: motor control in health and disease, social cognition in health and disease, neuromodulation, and interdisciplinary projects.

Dr. Iacoboni pioneered the research on mirror neurons, the “smart cells” in our brain that allow us to understand others. His research has been covered by the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, The Economist, and major TV networks. Marco Iacoboni’s book on mirror neurons is entitled “Mirroring People: The Science of Empathy and How We Connect with Others.”

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David Krantz, M.D., Ph.D.

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Dr. Krantz’s laboratory studies molecular mechanisms that regulate synaptic transmission, and the relationship between changes in neurotransmitter release and both the pathophysiology of depression and the neurological deficits of Parkinson’s disease (PD). This research group focuses on the function and regulation of neurotransmitter transporters, the proteins responsible for transporting neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin across biological membranes. Using a variety of molecular and genetic techniques, they have determined how changes in transporter function may influence synaptic function, behavior and neurodegenerative processes relevant to both depression and PD.
As a psychiatrist, David Krantz’s primary clinical interest is depression, and he has been an attending physician in the Mood Disorders Clinic at UCLA for the past thirteen years. He also holds the Miller Family Endowed Chair in Depression Research at the UCLA Brain Research Institute. His scientific focus has been the molecular mechanisms that regulate synaptic transmission, and the relationship between changes in neurotransmitter release and both the pathophysiology of depression and the neurological deficits of Parkinson’s disease (PD). In his basic science laboratory, his group studies the function and regulation of neurotransmitter transporters, the proteins responsible for transporting neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin across biological membranes.  Using a variety of molecular and genetic techniques, they have determined how changes in transporter function may influence synaptic function, behavior and neurodegenerative processes relevant to both depression and PD. More recently, a fellowship from the Friends of the Semel Institute has allowed him to broaden his focus and include additional human studies as part of his research program. He is interested in understanding the underlying mechanisms by which rTMS exerts its therapeutic effects and in improving their ability to provide treatment for patients suffering from depression.
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Jean-Philippe Langevin, M.D.

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Dr. Langevin’s laboratory focuses on the application of neuromodulation technology, invasive and non-invasive, to the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Potential targets are initially studied in animal models of the disorder and promising results are translated into clinical trials. He is currently conducting a clinical trial using deep brain stimulation of the amygdala to treat severe treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, he is studying the effect of non-invasive external trigeminal nerve stimulation in the treatment of chronic mild traumatic brain injury.

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Andrew Leuchter, M.D.

Website 1, Website 2

The Neuromodulation Clinical and Research Service performs approximately 2,500 transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) clinical treatment sessions per year, primarily for patients with unremitting symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Treatment is delivered utilizing the Neuronetics Neurostar system, which is FDA-approved for treatment-resistant MDD. This program also provides treatments for conditions that frequently are comorbid with MDD, including chronic pain and anxiety. All patients receive comprehensive evaluation of symptoms over the course of treatment.

The TMS Program integrates comprehensive longitudinal symptom assessment, cognitive performance tasks, and brain neurophysiologic monitoring to allow for the collection of research-level data from patients undergoing clinical treatment who elect to participate as research subjects. Treatment parameters including brain site and pulse parameters will be evaluated alongside clinical and neurophysiologic measures to investigate potential evidence for refining treatment protocols based upon specific patient characteristics. The clinical program currently utilizes a standard form of repetitive TMS (rTMS) delivered via an FDA-approved system. The program soon will launch use of investigational pulse sequences such as “theta burst stimulation” (TBS) using the Neuronetics’ XPLOR system, which will allow a variety of different research treatment paradigms including sham-controlled studies. The XPLOR is system is currently being configured to undertake a double-blind sham-controlled study of TBS for the treatment of MDD. A different neuromodulation technology, Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (TNS), is currently under study at the Greater Los Angeles Veteran’s Administration as a novel treatment in veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This aim of this project, funded by the Department of Defense, is to determine whether adjunctive treatment with active TNS is more effective than sham TNS for reducing symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression among veterans with PTSD.

Andrew F. Leuchter, MD, is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA.  He also is Director of the Neuromodulation Division and a Senior Research Scientist at the Semel Institute.  Dr. Leuchter is a graduate of Stanford University and the Baylor College of Medicine who joined the UCLA faculty in 1986.

An internationally recognized expert on the treatment of mood disorders, Dr. Leuchter directs the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Service in the Division, which performs more than 2,500 treatments each year for patients with depression, pain, and other neuropsychiatric illness.  He is leading clinical trials to develop novel neuromodulation technologies for treatment of depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), including synchronized Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (sTMS) and Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (TNS).  He also has unique expertise in development of biomarkers to inform diagnostic and treatment decisions.  A Board certified electroencephalographer, Dr. Leuchter has shown that patterns of brain oscillations before and during treatment for depression can be used to select a treatment that is most likely to benefit an individual patient.

Dr. Leuchter has authored over 150 scientific articles on topics including neuromodulation for the treatment of depression, biomarkers to guide treatment of neuropsychiatric illness, and theories of antidepressant action.  He also maintains an active clinical practice, specializing in consultation for and care of patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression.

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Michael Levine, Ph.D.

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Dr. Levine’s lab directs research toward understanding the mechanisms underlying neuronal dysfunction in the basal ganglia and cortex in neurodegenerative disorders and how this affects neuromodulation. The goal is to assess neuromodulation in the striatum and cortex as in pertains to models of Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The research consists of a multidisciplinary approach combining neurophysiological, morphological and molecular techniques and involves using mutant murine models of Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases to understand how these neurological disorders physiologically affect cellular function. These studies on neuromodulation have concentrated on examining interactions among receptor subtypes in the striatum and other nuclei of the basal ganglia. One of the goals of these studies is to learn the rules that guide modulation, to identify their mechanisms and to examine how this modulation is altered in the disease models to help design rational therapies for these disorders.
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Sandra K. Loo, Ph.D.

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 The Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) program conducts neuromodulation research seeks to develop a better understanding of childhood emotional and behavioral disorders, as well as to develop new treatment approaches. Their current research project is a three-year clinical trial of Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (TNS) for ADHD in youth ages 8-12 years that is intended to help design future studies that could lead to FDA approval as an ADHD treatment. The project is a four-week, double blind, randomized trial of active vs. sham (inactive) TNS followed by one week of follow-up after treatment is stopped. Participants who are randomized to the sham treatment will be eligible for four weeks of open treatment with active TNS following the blinded trial. All participants who demonstrate significant improvement on active TNS, either during the randomized trial or with open therapy, will be eligible for one year of active TNS to help manage their ADHD.

Although medications are generally safe and effective for treatment of ADHD, considerable concerns remain over side effects and many parents are ambivalent about their use. While there is great demand for non-medication approaches to ADHD, the most popular alternatives are not based on any scientific understanding of how the brain works and have no scientific evidence to support their use. Brain imaging studies on adults with medication-resistant epilepsy and depression revealed brain activation in areas involved in attention and executive functioning, regions implicated in ADHD. Based on these findings, their group conducted a preliminary investigation of TNS in children and found that treatment was safe and associated with significant improvements in behavioral and laboratory measures of ADHD.

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Dejan Marković, Ph.D.

Website
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D ejan Marković is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is also affiliated with UCLA Bioengineering Department as a co-chair of the Neuroengineering field. He completed the Ph.D. degree in 2006 at the University of California, Berkeley, for which he was awarded 2007 David J. Sakrison Memorial Prize. His current research is focused on implantable neuromodulation systems, domain-specific architectures, embedded systems, energy harvesting, and design methodologies. Dr. Marković co-founded Flex Logix Technologies, a semiconductor IP startup, in 2014. He received an NSF CAREER Award in 2009. In 2010, he was a co-recipient of ISSCC Jack Raper Award for Outstanding Technology Directions. Most recently, he received 2014 ISSCC Lewis Winner Award for Outstanding Paper.
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James J. McGough, M.D., M.S.

Website 1, Website 2
mcgough
 The Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) program conducts neuromodulation research seeks to develop a better understanding of childhood emotional and behavioral disorders, as well as to develop new treatment approaches. Their current research project is a three-year clinical trial of Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (TNS) for ADHD in youth ages 8-12 years that is intended to help design future studies that could lead to FDA approval as an ADHD treatment. The project is a four-week, double blind, randomized trial of active vs. sham (inactive) TNS followed by one week of follow-up after treatment is stopped. Participants who are randomized to the sham treatment will be eligible for four weeks of open treatment with active TNS following the blinded trial. All participants who demonstrate significant improvement on active TNS, either during the randomized trial or with open therapy, will be eligible for one year of active TNS to help manage their ADHD.

Although medications are generally safe and effective for treatment of ADHD, considerable concerns remain over side effects and many parents are ambivalent about their use. While there is great demand for non-medication approaches to ADHD, the most popular alternatives are not based on any scientific understanding of how the brain works and have no scientific evidence to support their use. Brain imaging studies on adults with medication-resistant epilepsy and depression revealed brain activation in areas involved in attention and executive functioning, regions implicated in ADHD. Based on these findings, their group conducted a preliminary investigation of TNS in children and found that treatment was safe and associated with significant improvements in behavioral and laboratory measures of ADHD.

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Nader Pouratian, M.D.

Website
DrNader

Dr. Pouratian’s lab focuses on using advanced neuroimaging and invasive measures of neurophysiology to develop patient-specific connectivity-based methods of targeting neuromodulation, understanding the mechanisms of neuromodulation, and developing novel therapeutic interventions for neurological and psychiatric conditions. A special interest is cortical-subcortical network relationships as they pertain to disease and neuromodulatory treatments. The lab focuses on invasive treatments including cortical and deep brain stimulation as well as neuroprosthetics in humans with a particular interest in movement disorders, chronic pain, and depression.

Neurosurgical interests focus on surgeries that preserve and restore function to patients, including movement disorder surgeries, surgeries for psychiatric conditions, and surgeries for peripheral nerve injuries and tumors. These surgeries use advanced neuroimaging and brain and nerve mapping techniques, including functional MRI, cortical stimulation mapping, electrocorticographic (ECoG) mapping, optical imaging of intrinsic signals, and intraoperative EMG and nerve conduction studies.
Additional research focuses specifically on further development of these mapping tools to expand the surgical indications and to develop new therapies for functional preservation and restoration. Emphasis is on studying brain mapping signals to develop brain-computer interfaces to help patients with severe motor and language disabilities.
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Nanthia Suthana, Ph.D.

Website
Suthana
The Laboratory of Neuromodulation and Neuroimaging (Nanthia Suthana, Ph.D., Director) focuses on development of invasive and non-invasive methodologies to restore cognitive functions such as learning, memory and spatial navigation. This research program utilizes methods of deep brain stimulation combined with intracranial recordings of single-unit and local field potentials in epilepsy patients to characterize and develop neuromodulatory methods of memory restoration in individuals with debilitating memory impairments. The lab also investigates neural changes underlying successful learning, memory, and spatial navigation and seeks to develop non-invasive methods for improving cognitive function using TMS, EEG and high-resolution functional MRI.

Nanthia Suthana, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Science and Neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Director of the Laboratory of Neuromodulation and Neuroimaging. Dr. Suthana has a unique multi-modality background with expertise in Cognitive Neuroscience methodologies including functional magnetic resonance imaging, single neuron and local field potential electrophysiology, electroencephalography, and deep brain stimulation. She completed her graduate training in the UCLA Neuroscience interdepartmental Ph.D. program and postdoctoral training in the Department of Neurosurgery prior to joining faculty.

Dr. Suthana’s research focuses on development of invasive and non-invasive methodologies that can restore cognitive functions such as learning and memory. The program aims to develop therapeutic cognitive treatments and tools through the characterization of neuronal mechanisms underlying successful human learning and memory. Invasive methods such as deep brain stimulation combined with intracranial recordings of single-unit and local field potentials in epilepsy patients is utilized to characterize and develop neuromodulatory methods of memory restoration in individuals with debilitating memory impairments. The lab investigates neural changes underlying successful learning and memory and develops non-invasive methods for improving cognitive function using transcranial magnetic stimulation guided by high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging. The lab includes members with diverse backgrounds in neuroscience, bioengineering, psychology, computer science, and physics and has ongoing collaborations with the department of engineering to develop a novel wireless neuroprosthetic device for treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders.

Dr. Suthana’s research published in the New England Journal of Medicine on deep brain stimulation and memory enhancement has been covered in various media outlets including the Wallstreet Journal, New York Times, Science magazine, Bloomberg News, Reuters, Los Angeles Times, Time magazine, CNN, US News and others. She has received a Society for Neuroscience Travel award and a nomination for the UCLA Chancellor’s Award for Postdoctoral Research.

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Allan Wu, M.D.

Website
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The Neuromodulation Laboratory at the UCLA Brain Mapping Center (Allan Wu, Associate Director) uses transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) as non-invasive methods to assess and induce plasticity in neurologically normal subjects and patient populations. Current projects include the use of TMS protocols to assess individual plasticity as a functional predictor or biomarker in stroke patients, patients with depression, or patients with movement disorders. Prior studies in Parkinson’s disease include a pilot study of rTMS as a treatment in atypical parkinsonism, as well as a multicenter clinical trial of rTMS in Parkinson’s disease. Additional ongoing collaborative projects investigate imaging tDCS current flow using fMRI, testing effects of tDCS effects on sequence learning, on action-related evoked potentials and on neurologic symptoms in patients with tardive dyskinesia.
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