The neurosciences research efforts we undertake at the Research Institute encompass a broad range of debilitating neurological diseases and disorders. At NorthShore, we offer a multispecialty system of care through the NorthShore Neurological Institute (NNI) for conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy to multiple sclerosis and concussion/brain injury. With the same integrated approach, the NNI’s multidisciplinary research staff of neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, neuropsychologists, neuropathologists and dedicated research personnel work toward breakthroughs in the understanding, treatment and prevention of brain and central nervous system problems.

Our investigators are involved in a wide array of studies and major research initiatives, often national and international in scope. These include:

  • An extensive list of currently enrolling clinical trials, including testing of new and innovative treatments for brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, stroke and spine surgery
  • Developing DNA-based prognostic tests and therapies to predict, prevent and halt neurological disorders through the DodoNA project. This initiative harnesses the power of NorthShore’s award-winning Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system as well as gene sequencing of blood and plasma from 11,000 patients to identify DNA fingerprints for a variety of neurological conditions.
  • Advancing quality improvement and standardizing neurology office-based care via the Neurology Practice-Based Research Network (NPBRN) by creating EMR tools to hardwire quality and outcomes research in neurology. NorthShore is sharing these tools with multiple institutions nationwide to create the NPBRN. Within this initiative network participants will, for the first time, conduct pragmatic clinical trials to test the efficacy of several available therapies for 11 neurological disorders. Funding is provided by a $1.2 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
  • Innovating new strategies for treating and preventing the impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on brain function. The NNI conducts multiple translational projects in its Traumatic Brain Injury Laboratory including the development of a novel strategy to mitigate “brain slosh” effect—and subsequent concussion—using a collar that compresses the jugular vein. The laboratory is equipped with a number of state-of-the-art technologies for testing the efficacy of compounds in reducing brain injury including high-throughput screening of potential drug candidates. The NNI’s laboratory is one of a few places in the country with the resources and expertise to advance new solutions to the TBI problem.