of clinical expertise/research interests
Dr. Alain Ptito investigates the mechanisms involved in cerebral reorganization and plasticity in specific patient populations---hemispherectomy, callosotomy, Parkinsonís Disease, stroke and head injury. His clinical work includes the neuropsychological assessment of these patients. He is Director of the Department of Psychology at the MUHC. One of his principal research focus has been the effect on a patientís vision following a hemispherectomy, the surgical removal or disconnection of a cerebral hemisphere. In recent years, Dr. Ptito has explored new methods of using fMRI and MRI (Diffusion Tensor Imaging, voxel-based morphometry) for examining brain trauma, particularly among athletes. He has carried out baseline fMRI and neuropsychological testing of varsity hockey and football athletes and repeated the tests immediately after concussion and later until symptom resolution. His results show that fMRI is sensitive enough to detect abnormal activation patterns in individuals who have suffered a concussion. Functional MRI could provide an objective way to measure the severity of a concussion and subsequent recovery. Dr. Ptito is using his findings to examine victims of other forms of traumatic brain injury such as motor vehicle accidents, falls, closed head injury and blasts in soldiers returning from combat.