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Current Projects at the Deane Institute

White Matter Injury: How Astrocytes Modules Oligodendrocyte Survival in Embolic Stroke

Principal Investigator Ken Arai
Co-investigator Eng Lo
Duration 3 years

To explore how astrocyte-mediated growth factors support oligodendrocyte survival and function.

Rho-Kinase inhibition in Microembolic Stroke Therapy

Principal Investigator Cenk Ayata
Duration 3 years

To determine the effects of rhokinase inhibition on CBF, oxygenation, CMR02 and collateral flow and recovery.

Novel Methods for Detecting Atrial Fibrillation in Cryptogenic Stroke (in collaboration with Cardiology)

Principal Investigator Karen Furie
Co-investigators Patrick Ellinor
Jonathan Rosand
Hakan Ay
Duration 2 years

To identify biomarker, genetic, and EKG predictors of atrial fibrillation in patients with suspected embolic stroke.

To develop novel methods of identification of AF in individuals with cryptogenic stroke – common genetic risk factors, -whether implantation of REVEAL XT will detect previously undetected AF, - whether non-invasive diagnostic studies or molecular biomarkers can be used

A Possible Neuranatomic Substrate of Atrial Fibrillation after Acute Ischemic Stroke (in collaboration with Cardiology)

Principal Investigator Hakan Ay
Co-investigators Jeremy Ruskin
Greg Sorensen
Thomas Benner
Mursat Arsava
Duration 9 months

To retrospectively map the neuroanatomic substrate for potentially stroke related atrial fibrillation.

Deane Institute Informatics Platform for Cerebrovascular Disease Genetics and Imaging

Principal Investigator Jonathan Rosand
Co-investigators Paul deBakker
Karen Furie
Greg Sorensen
Marcia Nizzari
Natalia Rost
Duration 2 years

To assemble genetic material and imaging on 40,000 stroke patients to build the Deane Inst. Informatics Platform for the Genetics of Cerebrovascular Disease.

Whole Genome Scan for White Matter Disease in CADASIL

Principal Investigator Jonathan Rosand
Co-investigators Paul deBakker
Natalia Rost
Greg Sorensen
Anand Viswanathan
Duration 2 years

To use WGA to study white matter hypertensity in CADASIL.

Brain-Computer Interfaces for Immediate Restoration of Motor Function after Stroke

Principal Investigator Leigh Hochberg
Duration 3 years

Using real-time cortical neuronal activity to restore motor function in patients with stroke via BrainGate Neural Interface System. Read more on the BrainGate project.

An Animal Model of Hypertrophy associated Atrial Fibrillaton

Principal Investigator Saumya Das
Duration 1 year

To test the hypothesis that myostatin and its downstream regulators p38 kinase may be critical regulators of atrial hypertrophy associated arrhythmias by altering expression and function of ion channels.

Mouse Models of Atrial Fibrillation: Examination of the Role of KCNQ1 & Pitx2*

Principal Investigator Patrick Ellinor
Duration 2 years

Develop a mouse knockin model of the S209P mutation for AF in an attempt to recapitulate this arrhythmia. A second model will be set up as a follow up the recent description of variants for AF on Chromosome 4.

Electrical Silencing of the Pulmonary Veins: A Novel Approach to Atrial Fibrillation

Principal Investigator David Milan
Duration 1 year

Conduct experiment to shed light on pathogenesis of AF and lead to better understanding of the mechanisms by which the pulmonary vein isolation and other therapies can reduce AF.

Using In Vivo MRI to Determine the Continuity of PV Isolations After Catheter Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation

Principal Investigator Stephan Danik
Co-investigators Ehud Schmidt
Andre D’Avila
Godtfred Holmvang
Duration 1 year

To determine whether DE-MRI can detect areas of anatomic breakthrough which correlate to reconnection of conduction from the pulmonary vein to the left atrium in tissue that has previously undergone pulmonary vein isolation from AF.

Use of MRI to detect Anatomical & Functional Characteristics of the Left Atrial Appendage that confer a Higher Stroke Risk in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation

Principal Investigators Moussa Mansour & Jeremy Ruskin
Co-investigators Kevin Heist
Godtfred Holmvang
Duration 1 year

To use magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) to detect anatomical and functional characteristics of the LAA that confer a higher stroke risk in patients with AF


  1. To analyze the LAA anatomy by MRA in 100 patients with AF and no prior stroke.
  2. To analyze the LAA anatomy by MRA in 150 patients with AF and prior stroke.
  3. #3. to use the MRI/MRA to obtain functional data on the LAA.

Utility of P-Wave Alternans to Assess Atrial Electrical Stability

Principal Investigator Antonis A. Armoundas, Ph.D.
Duration 1.5 years

The aim of this proposal is to develop methods for diagnosing potentially severe heart rhythm disturbances, -namely atrial fibrillation (AF) - by recording cardiac electrical activity, from within the heart, measuring beat-to-beat variability in the morphology of electrocardiographic waveforms, namely electrical alternans, and using the measured beat-to-beat variability to determine the effectiveness of radiofrequency catheter ablation (RCA) procedures to treat AF.

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In the News

The MGH Neurology Department placed 4th in US News Neurology / NeuroSurgery rankings for 2013-14.

Educational Video

Still from the Stroke Evaluation simulation

This video simulation of an Emergency stroke evaluation illustrates the care of patients with acute stroke by the MGH Acute Stroke team.