Clinical Research in the Department of Neurology is designed to identify important patterns of brain function by studying patients with clinical disease and also studying healthy volunteers. The primary distinction between Clinical Research compared to Clinical Trials is that in Clinical Research, no treatment intervention is being formally investigated. Thus, rather than seeking to determine what is the best approach to managing and treat various neurologic diseases, Clinical Research addresses how neurologic diseases affect factors such as language, memory, or mood, characterizes the effects of treatment that is being received as part of the normal standard of clinical care, or may simply study disease progression over time-based. Many Clinical Research studies in the Department of Neurology involve imaging techniques such as MRI or PET. In addition, most patients being seen by Neurology faculty consent to allow their treatment records to be studied anonymously to uncover new patterns to improve clinical care.
Emory University has one of the most active neuroscience research communities in the US, with over 400 neuroscientists from different Emory departments contributing to a translational neuroscience continuum. Many neuroscience researchers are from the Department of Neurology, who not only are principal investigators on basic neuroscience research projects but who also play a critical role in the graduate training of future researchers through their active membership in the Emory Neuroscience program. There is great diversity in the basic research that is conducted in the Neurology Department, reflected in the Department’s primary research locations in the Woodruff Memorial Research Building, Center for Neurodegenerative Disease/Whitehead Research Building, and Yerkes National Primate Research Center. Regardless of the specific types of research, they all share a common goal of advancing our understanding of disease mechanisms with the ultimate goal of translating research findings to clinical applications to significantly improve patient care.