Dr. Sandra E. Black
Adjunct Scientist, Rotman Research Institute
Site Director Heart and Stroke Foundation Centre for Stroke Recovery
Director Cognitive Neurology Unit, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Senior scientist (Director) Evaluative Clinical Sciences, Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute
Adjunct Scientist Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Health Sciences
Executive Director Toronto Dementia Research Alliance
As a clinician scientist, I study neurological degeneration and regenerative processes at the integrative level. Specifically, my clinical research has focussed on the cognitive sequelae of stroke and stroke recovery, and the differential diagnosis and monitoring of dementia utilizing concurrent clinical, neuropsychological and neuroimaging measures. I have led multidisciplinary teams in conducting large-group prospective studies with a longitudinal design and labour-intensive acquisition of complex, multidimensional databases. Correlative quantitative neuroimaging provides insight into the biological constraints which are operative in disease progression or recovery. Such information is becoming increasingly important as new treatments come on line for stroke and for dementia, especially given rapid therapeutic advances in neurology in the last decade. It is becoming increasingly evident that Alzheimer’s and Cerebrovascular Disease frequently co-occur in older individuals and have synergistic effects on the clinical expression of dementia. This has beomce a major focus of our research efforts.
An active investigator in clinical trials for dementia and stroke for over 20 years, I have recently been a lead investigator for trials in Vascular Dementia, Severe Alzheimer's Disease and a disease modifying trial for Alzheimer's Disease.
In addition to these clinical studies I also have used experimental approaches aimed primarily at understanding mechanisms which underlie deficits in praxis, visual-spatial function, language, and attention in stroke and in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Using both single-case and group-study designs, I collaborate with leading cognitive neuropsychologists to address theoretical issues in brain-behaviour relationships. In these researches, selective vulnerability of degenerative processes and focal injury from stroke provide naturalistic models of ablation and adaptation in the human brain.
Profile Link: http://research.baycrest.org/sblack