In the Media

August 10, 2020

Dr. Vladimir Hachinski, Distinguished University Professor in Clinical Neurological Sciences and Epidemiology & Biostatstics was awarded the Canadian Medical Association’s F.N.G Starr Award for his pioneering work in stroke treatment and recovery. This award is considered the highest distinction that can be earned by a member of the Canadian Medical Association, awarded in recognition of lifetime achievement and outstanding contribution to science and medical service over the course of the recipient’s career.


Four new Canada Research Chairs for Western, two renewed

July 23, 2020

Penny MacDonald, Tier 2 CRC (renewal) of Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging in the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry (funded by CIHR): MacDonald works to understand how a brain region, the striatum, is involved in thinking, attention, and memory (processes collectively known as cognition) in various brain disorders. In Parkinson’s disease, the striatum is the brain region that is most deprived of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Her research includes determining functions of the striatum and understanding how disease or medication can alter brain dopamine levels to affect cognition, behaviour and psychiatric symptoms in people with Parkinson’s disease, obsessive-compulsive disorder or addiction.


Alzheimer’s researcher goes back in time to move forward in diagnosis

July 22, 2020

Hypertension, diabetes and obesity significantly increase risks for cognitive impairment, he added, so if these individuals can be targeted much earlier in life – say, in someone’s 40s and 50s – preventive therapies could begin decades before cognitive impairments would begin. Whitehead, who heads up the Vulnerable Brain Lab at Western, is working with PhD student Austyn Roseborough and Schulich Medicine & Dentistry professor Steve Pasternak, who has developed the microparticle detection system.


Study hints at early sign of Alzheimer’s degeneration

June 29, 2020

“It’s been known for a long time that the cholinergic neurons are particularly devastated in Alzheimer’s disease,” said Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry professor Taylor Schmitz, senior author. “This study confirmed that cholinergic denervation is an early stage of Alzheimer’s that precedes and predicts cortical degeneration.”


Even mild hits in contact sports changing the brain

June 17, 2020

“These white matter tracts connect all the areas of the brain. They are the highways along which information travels. When you damage them, you have difficulty moving information around,” Menon said. “Your brain finds ways to reroute the information along a different route, which is why you won’t be able to find any difference behaviourally.”


Research becomes medium for grad’s creativity

June 11, 2020

After completing the Summer Research Training Program in Whitehead’s lab, Levit transitioned into the MD/PhD program co-supervised by Dr. Vladimir Hachinski. His main research project focused on using preclinical animal models to investigate what role vascular complications like high blood pressure and small strokes have in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. By using a transgenic rat model, they were able to show that there was a correlation between this cerebral vascular stress and changes that are consistent with Alzheimer’s disease. They also showed that white matter inflammation accelerated by these vascular events might be a culprit in some of the cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer’s.


New institute pushes neuroscience excellence forward

June 8, 2020

At Western, neuroscience is a core research strength that engages more than 100 investigators – including 14 Canada Research Chairs plus Canada Excellence Research Chair (Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging) Emeritus Adrian Owen. Successes have included the emergence of several new centres like the Centre for Functional and Metabolic Mapping; rapid expansion of the Brain & Mind Institute; and a successful $66-million Canada First Research Excellence Fund grant, leading to the creation of BrainsCAN – a research initiative that transforms the way brain diseases and disorders are understood, diagnosed and treated.


Announcement: Researchers receive more than $4 million in NSERC funding

May 8, 2020

Researchers at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry have received more than $4 million in funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Twenty research projects were supported through the Discovery Grants program, ranging from imaging the development of the auditory network to evaluating virtual reality in clinical training.


Research News: Team first in world to treat COVID-19 with specialized dialysis

May 7, 2020

As part of a randomized controlled trial, a London-based team is the first in the world to treat a patient with COVID-19 using a modified dialysis device. The device gently removes a patient's blood, modifies white blood cells and returns them to fight hyperinflammation. It is being led by Lawson Health Research Institute and tested with critically ill patients at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).


Announcement: Celebrating the 2020 Awards of Excellence recipients

April 15, 2020

As educators, researchers, innovators and leaders, the 2020 Awards of Excellence recipients are making a difference at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. This year, we celebrate 42 award recipients. It is with great pride that we recognize and honour their achievements. “We are proud to continue the tradition of honouring and celebrating our faculty and staff,” said Dr. Davy Cheng, Acting Dean.


Award: Dr. J. David Spence receives American Heart Association's William Feinberg Award

March 2, 2020

Congratulations to Dr. J. David Spence, recipient of the William M. Feinberg Award for Excellence in Clinical Stroke from the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association. Dr. Spence is a Professor of Neurology and Clinical Pharmacology at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry and the Director of the Stroke Prevention & Atherosclerosis Research Centre at Robarts Research Institute.


Research shows new drug helps to preserve brain cells for a time after stroke

February 20, 2020

Neuroprotection benefits select patients with acute ischemic stroke undergoing thrombectomy, who did not receive tPA. Under the direction of site- co PIs Dr. Jennifer Mandzia and Michael Mayich London Health Sciences, Western University Stroke Program, participates in innovative multi-center study. Results published in the Lancet.


Funding: CIHR Project Grant recipients announced

January 23, 2020

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) announced more than $11.9 million in research funding through their project grants competition for 17 projects across Western University. At the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, 15 projects received funding, including four projects at Robarts Research Institute.


Study: Stroke ups risks of heart complications

January 15, 2020

Led by Dr. Luciano Sposato, the Kathleen and Henry Barnett Chair in Stroke at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, a Western-led study showed that women and men with no underlying heart disease are more than 20 times more likely to have their first heart attack, chest pain, or even cardiac death following a stroke.


Epilepsy Survey Gives Voice to Patients in Setting Their Research Priorities

October 16, 2019

“There are still many aspects of epilepsy and seizures that we don’t fully understand, which can pull research in many different directions,” said Dr. Jorge Burneo, Chair of the Epilepsy PSP Steering Committee and Epileptologist at Western University. “By collecting the questions of people in the epilepsy community, we can focus our work on answering the questions that are the most meaningful to the people who benefit from our research, which as a result will serve to help clinicians provide better care, and improve the lives of patients and their caregivers.“


Stroke rates continue decline in U.S.

October 9, 2019

“This is good news for a major ongoing problem,” said Dr. Vladimir Hachinski of the London Health Sciences Centre in Ontario, Canada, who edited the medical journal Stroke from 2000 to 2010. “The most surprising aspect is that the findings are similar in different locations,” Hachinski, who wasn’t involved in the current study, told Reuters Health by phone. “It would be interesting to see what’s driving down these rates.”


Healthy Plant-based diet tied to lowered heart risk

August 7, 2019

“It is not a good idea to just suddenly stop eating animals without some knowledge of how to make a vegetarian diet healthy,” said Dr. J. David Spence, director of the Stroke Prevention & Atherosclerosis Research Centre at Western University in London, Canada. "To get enough protein, vegetarians should eat tofu and quinoa and also combine whole grains with legumes like beans and lentils."


LHSC marks Ontario-first robot brain surgery on teen with epilepsy

August 1, 2019

“It is a game-changer and it has allowed us to bring in patients that, in the old days we thought were not candidates for surgery, and evaluate them and potentially give them the opportunity to be free of seizures,” said Andrea Andrade, pediatric neurologist and medical director of the pediatric epilepsy program at Children’s Hospital.


Preventing stroke could also help cut dementia cases

July 18, 2019

Dr. Vladimir Hachinski from the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry says, “If we controlled everything we know about stroke we could prevent 90 per cent of them and we know stroke doubles the chances of dementia.”


Group calls on international community to prevent dementia by preventing stroke

July 18, 2019

“Our group showed that even if a person had the warning signs of stroke, and went to a stroke prevention clinic, the chances of dying that year decreased by 26 per cent,” said Dr. Vladimir Hachinski. “We started to look at what was happening to the incidence of dementia as the rates of stroke decreased.”


Sudden Death Can Occur Even in Well-Controlled Epilepsy

June 19, 2019

"Those who are fairly well-controlled can die from a seizure. Epilepsy doesn't need to be bad for you to be at risk of SUDEP," Dr. Jorge Burneo said. He's a professor of neurology, biostatistics and epidemiology at Western University in London, Canada. He said families need to be aware that SUDEP is a possibility and people with epilepsy need to be "very faithful about taking their medications."


London Neurologist helps pen international dementia prevention guidelines

May 16, 2019

“Without brain health there is no health,” said Dr. Vladimir Hachinski, a professor of neurology and epidemiology at Western behind decades of internationally recognized stroke and dementia research.


First Brain Tumour Registry for Canada Real-World Patient Evidence

May 14, 2019

Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada identified a gap in available information on Canadian brain tumour patients and prioritized the development of a pan-Canadian surveillance report. A collaboration to explore the feasibility of this goal was developed between Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada and Dr. Faith Davis at the University of Alberta. The registry was conceived by a committee chaired by Dr. Joseph Megyesi then Chairman of the Board of Directors at Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.


Parkinson's patients making strides with electrical stimulation in the spine

April 23, 2019

“[We have] patients coming back saying ‘You’ve changed my life, I’m not falling, I’m not afraid of being able to be who I am,’” Dr. Mandar Jog said. “This is what we live for – to make sure that we have discoveries that directly go from our bench to our bedside. That couldn’t be more gratifying.”


How to treat and prevent migraines naturally 

March 5, 2019

“In patients that… aren’t big users of caffeine, caffeine does have some anti-migraine effects,” he said. “The typical thing to do is to take a cola drink — which has a bit of sugar in it — so you get some sugar into you if you missed a meal, and caffeine.” syas Dr. Paul Cooper.


Pioglitazine may prevent cardiovascular events in stroke patients with prediabetes

February 13, 2019

"Pioglitazone should be used a lot more, particularly for secondary stroke prevention, in people with prediabetes. It should also be used more in people with diabetes," said Dr. David Spence.


Health-care system not equipped for rising number of vascular problems, report says

February 7, 2019

“If you control the risk factors of one, you control the risk factors for [others],” Dr. Vladamir Hachinski says, adding that experts who specialize in stroke, dementia or heart disease are now recognizing each relates to the other.


Chronic illness can make reaching out for mental health help harder

January 30, 2019

“From…the time you are diagnosed with MS until the end of your life there is a point prevalence of depression of 50 per cent, so one in five people will suffer with depression in their life,” says Dr. Sarah Morrow.


 How to prevent a migraine from setting in

June 7, 2018

“You always want to make sure you have your migraine medication in hand, so you can take it immediately, should you need it,” says Dr. Paul Cooper.


Working Towards Better Epilepsy Treatment 

June 6, 2018

New study shows that women are disproportionately affected by stroke and face various challenges across the health system.


Gut bacteria linked to risk of heart attack and stroke

May 10, 2018

A novel relationship between our gut microbiome and atherosclerosis means the bacteria in our gut could be linked to risk of heart attack and stroke, say researchers.


Western’s Vladimir Hachinski wins 2018 Killam Prize

May 10, 2018

Western University’s Vladimir Hachinski – past president of the World Federation of Neurology and a world-renowned stroke expert – is a 2018 Killam Prize winner for health sciences.


Awards round-up: winners of 2018 Killam and NSERC prizes revealed

May 9, 2018

Vladimir Hachinski, Western University (health sciences), is professor of neurology and distinguished university professor at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. As a clinician and researcher, he co-founded the first successful acute stroke unit and has pioneered new approaches to diagnosing, treating and preventing strokes and dementia which have become standard practice.


Western neuroscientist rewarded for pioneering research

May 8, 2018

Vladimir Hachinski won the 2018 Killam Prize for health sciences, an award that recognizes enterprising researchers who have made significant contributions to their field.


Folic Acid Cut Strokes in Hypertensive Patients on Enalapril

May 7, 2018

In an accompanying editorial, J. David Spence, MD, and Vladimir Hachinski, MD, both of Western University in London, Ontario, noted that in addition, "patients with lower platelet counts and higher homocysteine levels are more likely to have been at higher risk because they had vitamin B12 deficiency.


Destroying gut bacteria could help develop novel treatment to combat heart attacks

May 3, 2018

The gut microbiome plays an important role in an individual's risk for atherosclerosis, one of the major causes of heart attack and stroke, says a study.


Gut microbiome plays an important role in atherosclerosis

May 2, 2018

Researchers have shown a novel relationship between the intestinal microbiome and atherosclerosis, one of the major causes of heart attack and stroke. This was measured as the burden of plaque in the carotid arteries.


Why Living Near a Highway May Increase the Risk of Ischemic Stroke

April 17, 2018

Vladimir Hachinski, MD, FAAN, professor of neurology and epidemiology at Western Ontario University, said there is mounting evidence that air pollution is a significant risk factor for both stroke and dementia. Pollution generated by auto emissions has been going down, he said, but emissions involving volatile organic compounds found in items such as pesticides, cleaning agents, coatings, ink and personal products, are on the rise.


Six Health Care Pioneers Inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

April 12, 2018

Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) Inductees are individuals whose contributions have led to extraordinary improvements in human health. Their work may be a single outstanding contribution or a career of notable achievements. As trailblazers in their respective fields, these experts underpin Canada's role as a world-class leader in medicine and health sciences.


Research Moves Closer to a Treatment for CTE Brain Damage

January 22, 2018

Now, two different research groups have published work implicating a protein known as Tau in the development of CTE. Tangled masses of erroneously modified Tau proteins are associated with a number of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and ALS (Lou Gerig’s Disease). One of the new studies found that the version of Tau found in the brains of CTE patients is the same as the one involved in ALS.


Research uncovers new link between head trauma, CTE, and ALS

January 16, 2018

Researchers at Western University believe they have found a common link between the degenerative brain condition CTE, and a variant of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.


Research uncovers new link between head trauma, CTE, and ALS

January 15, 2018

Researchers at Western University believe they have found a common link between the degenerative brain condition CTE, and a variant of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.


Health Co-op director to receive Order of Canada (CNS Alumni Honored)

January 4, 2018

Dr. Tom Feasby, the medical director of the Airdrie and Area Health Benefits Co-operative (AAHBC) has been chosen to receive one of Canada’s greatest honours – he will be made a Member of the Order of Canada at a ceremony to be held in Ottawa later this year.


Della Reese, once saved by London’s Dr. Charles Drake, has died

November 21, 2017

Drake had pioneered life-saving brain aneurysm surgery and operated on her for five hours, using what became known as the Drake Clip on the aneurysm.


Canadian Medical Hall of Fame announces 2018 inductees

October 4, 2017

Dr. Vladimir Hachinski: The world-renowned neurologist has changed how the medical field understands, diagnoses, treats and prevents stroke and dementia.


The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Honours Excellence in Health in Canada: Announcing the 2018 Inductees

October 3, 2017

Dr. Vladimir Hachinski, a world-renowned neurologist, has transformed the understanding, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the two greatest threats to the brain, stroke and dementia.


Announcing the 2018 Inductees

October 3, 2017

Dr. Bryce Taylor, Chair of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) announced today that Dr. Philip Berger, Dr. B. Brett Finlay, Dr. Vladimir Hachinski, Dr. Balfour Mount, Dr. Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg and the late Dr. Emily Stowe, have been selected for induction into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.


Google searches for ‘solar eclipse headache’ spiked on Monday afternoon

August 22, 2017

The good news is, an eclipse headache is not a thing, says Dr. Paul Cooper, a neurology professor at Western University.


Spinal Cord Stimulation May Improve Gait in Patients With Advanced Parkinson’s Disease

August 16, 2017

Spinal cord stimulation improves gait in patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease, according to a pilot study described at the 21st International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders.


Researchers close in on drugs for severe head injury, ALS

August 14th, 2017

New research from Western University links the symptoms of repeated head injuries and a degenerative neurological disorder.


LHSC receives $500,000 donation for new surgical robot

July 25, 2017

London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) has added a cutting-edge surgical robot to its Clinical Neurological Sciences Program (CNS) following a $500,000 donation from philanthropists Michael and Lilibeth Schlater.


Experience with epilepsy inspires Schlaters' latest $500K donation

July 21, 2017
Schlater and his wife Lilibeth, a Leamington couple who’ve given millions of dollars to charities in recent years, provided $500,000 for a new brain-surgery robot for the London Health Sciences Centre.

Dominos CEO donates robot

July 19, 2017

Dominos Pizza of Canada chief executive Mike Schlater and his wife, Lilibeth. picked up the tab for the London Health Sciences Centre’s new brain-surgery robot, forking over a $500,000 donation Tuesday.


LHSC achieves surgery first thanks to $500,000 gift

July 18, 2017

The donation from Domino’s Pizza of Canada Ltd. CEO Michael Schlater and his wife Lilibeth has enabled LHSC to acquire leading-edge technology for the hospital’s Clinical Neurological Sciences (CNS) Program.


$500k donation to LHSC results in provincial-first in brain surgery

July 18, 2017

The funding, from the CEO of Domino’s Pizza of Canada Ltd. Michael Schlater and his wife Lilibeth, allowed for LHSC to acquire the Renishaw Neuromate, a surgical robot.


Renishaw robot helping neurosurgeons in Canada for the first time

June 21, 2017

“It is already noticeably faster and more accurate than the previous system. In addition, it allows us to plan trajectories previously impossible with a standard frame, making surgery safer and more accurate.”


LHSC’s new, robot-aided epilepsy diagnosis procedure offers early patient vital answers

June 14, 2017

““It’s really revolutionized the way we put the electrodes in,” said David Steven, a neurosurgeon and co-director of LHSC’s epilepsy program.”


London epilepsy patients first in Ontario to benefit from robot-assisted neurosurgery

June 14, 2017

“We’re now using two medical robots to assist in a single neurosurgery procedure,” said Steven. “For patients, this eliminates the need to have imaging done outside of the operating room and creates a more seamless surgical experience. As the country’s largest epilepsy program, we pride ourselves on looking for opportunities to improve the patient experience as we build on our rich history of firsts.”


Small Open-Label Study Finds Benefits of Spinal Cord Stimulation in Advanced PD

June 12, 2017
"These patients had Parkinson's for 15 to 20 years," said the senior author of the abstract, Mandar S. Jog, MD, professor of neurology at the University of Western Ontario and director of the National Parkinson Foundation Centre of Excellence at London Health Sciences Centre in London, Ontario. "One of the patients was wheelchair-bound, and another was dependent on a scooter. They were getting up and walking around [after the SCS]."

Black and Hispanic patients less likely to see neurologists

June 9, 2017

Black and Hispanic patients with neurologic disorders are less likely to see brain specialists than white people with these conditions, a recent U.S. study suggests.


Science Briefs: The best way to hit the target when throwing

May 5, 2017

"That's a pretty powerful one-two punch," said the study's co-supervisor, Dr Vladimir Hachinski. He added that more research is needed to better understand the link between stroke and dementia, but this work already suggests health policies relating to stroke and dementia can be coordinated.


Stroke prevention lifestyle may reduce dementia risk in golden years

May 2, 2017

Canadian researchers have found that adopting stroke prevention lifestyle may help in reducing incidence of dementia in older adults.


Peru, Canada Collaborate on Epilepsy Project

January 2017

In 2008, a collaborative effort between Peru and Canada was born. The purpose of this collaboration was to establish epilepsy surgery centers in Peru.


Stroke prevention may also reduce dementia

November 7, 2016

A new paper by researchers at Western University, Lawson Health Research Institute and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) shows there's been a decade-long drop in new diagnoses of both stroke and dementia in the most at-risk group -- those who are 80 or older.


Western dean leads fight against brain disease

January 21, 2016

Dr. Michael Strong of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry is the point person for neurologists Ontario-wide who are building a toolkit of sorts they believe will help them predict who will be afflicted and how to detect disease sooner for more effective treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, frontotemporal lobar degeneration and vascular cognitive impairment.