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Andrew ClarksonDr Clarkson's work focuses on promoting neuroprotection, regeneration and repair mechanisms to improve recovery of function following a stroke.

Even though acute stroke deaths have declined in recent years, as the population ages, the incidence of stroke is increasing resulting in a larger population of disabled stroke patients. The ability of the adult brain to regenerate or recover from acute injury is limited and stroke is now one of the leading causes of long-term disability.

The mechanisms of recovery after stroke have not been well defined. Recent studies show a limited capacity for neural repair after stroke, including re-mapping of cognitive functions and sprouting new connections in tissue adjacent to the stroke. Neurorehabilitation from using repetitive and patterned use of affected limbs linked to the affected brain regions has been shown to promote partial recovery via activity-based re-programming. An understanding of these neural repair mechanisms within the peri-infarct cortex may lead to therapies that promote recovery. Neurorehabiliation uses similar cognitive rules to learning and memory and Dr Clarkson postulates that cellular mechanisms of learning and memory are involved in the underlying processes of recovery following a focal brain injury.

The overall goal of his research program is to identify mechanisms of neural repair after stroke by modulating cortical excitability. Dr Clarkson's recent studies indicate that just like learning and memory processes, cortical excitability can influence neural repair after stroke. Using novel functional and cortical motor mapping techniques, he will systematically assess the molecular mechanisms associated with learning and memory and how they may support or regulate neural repair and plasticity following focal brain injury. Intensive rehabilitation, drug therapy and, more recently, stem cells are combined to enhance brain repair processes. Post-stroke recovery is assessed through optical imaging and behavioural, electrophysiological, and anatomical measures. His research may produce novel pharmacological tools to help improve neurorehabilitation and recovery.

Read more about Dr Clarkson's research


McCallum-Loudeac, J., Moody, E., Williams, J., Johnstone, G., Sircombe, K. J., Clarkson, A. N., & Wilson, M. J. (2024). Deletion of a conserved genomic region associated with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis leads to vertebral rotation in mice. Human Molecular Genetics. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddae011

Hayward, K. S., Dalton, E. J., Barth, J., Brady, M., Cherney, L. R., Churilov, L., Clarkson, A. N., … Lang, C. E. (2023). Control intervention design for preclinical and clinical trials: Consensus-based core recommendations from the third Stroke Recovery and Rehabilitation Roundtable. Neurorehabilitation & Neural Repair. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/15459683231209162

Liu, J., van Beusekom, H., Bu, X.-L., Chen, G., Rosado de Castro, P. H., Chen, X., … Clarkson, A. N., … Wang, Y.-J. (2023). Preserving cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer's disease: The Alzheimer's disease neuroprotection research initiative (ADNRI). Neuroprotection. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/nep3.23

Hoque, A., Clarkson, A. N., Sobey, C. G., Williamson, N. A., Ang, C.-S., Cheng, H.-C., & Oakhill, J. S. (2023). Testing a new strategy to treat acute ischaemic stroke. Journal of Neurochemistry, 166(Suppl. 1), (pp. 106-107). doi: 10.1111/jnc.15897

Griem-Krey, N., Klein, A. B., Clausen, B. H., Namini, M. R. J., Nielsen, P. V., Bhuiyan, M., … Clarkson, A. N., & Wellendorph, P. (2023). The GHB analogue HOCPCA improves deficits in cognition and sensorimotor function after MCAO via CaMKIIα. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0271678x231167920

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