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Over the last several years, there have been enormous strides made in the treatment of neurological illnesses. At the Neurology Clinical Trials Network (NCTN), we intend to build upon these recent breakthroughs in drugs as well as treatments and continue the startling advancement of neurological therapies. Our rare Brain Scans combination of academic physicians and practicing neurologists in diverse communities offers to pharmaceutical companies, the NIH, or independent investigators a group of sites for clinical trials with large and divergent patient pools. It is this patient base that constitutes one of the most valuable components of the NCTN and allows the investigator to study prototypical as well as uncommon neurological disorders.

The Co-Directors of the NCTN are Cynthia L. Harden, M.D. and Ralph L. Sacco, M.D. The Directors and their council of advisors will oversee the study of a broad range of neurological diseases including: stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, ALS, tremor, headache, neuromuscular, neuroncology, multiple sclerosis, and pediatric neurology. Dr. Sacco and Dr. Harden have chosen team leaders and associate team leaders to provide guidance in the various neurological illnesses. Each team leader is a well respected physician, an accomplished medical researcher and widely published in the field. This remarkable group of advisors can assist a sponsor or investigator in the early stages of protocol development and can ensure that each therapy is rigorously evaluated. And for the local community doctor who is participating in our network, the New York Presbyterian Healthcare System is an unsurpassed medical and academic resource.


Cerebrovascular disorders
Degenerative diseases
General neurology
Movement disorders
Multiple sclerosis
Pediatric neurology

Neurological treatment is growing dramatically. The clinical tests of the near future will require access to large numbers of patients at multiple centers. As new therapies are developed, we must prove, clinically, which treatments are the most effective. The surest, safest method to make a difference in patient care is through an extensive clinical trial network. At the NCTN, we are dedicated to our patients, sponsors and investigators and promise to respond with rapid and comprehensive research.

Ralph L. Sacco, M.S., M.D. Ralph L. Sacco, M.S., M.D. (left) Co-Director of NCTN, Associate Professor of Neurology and of Public Health in the Sergievsky Center, Associate Chairman for Clinical Research and Training and Associate Director of the Stroke Center, Department of Neurology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Sacco is also an Associate Attending Neurologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He has served both as a principal investigator and co-investigator for numerous national and international studies pertaining to stroke. His extensive professional affiliations include the American Heart Association, where he currently serves on the board of directors in New York City, the American Academy of Neurology, the National Stroke Association, and the International Stroke Society.

Cynthia L. Harden, M.D. (not pictured) Co-Director of NCTN, Associate Professor and Assistant Attending Neurologist, Department of Neurology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Dr. Harden is an integral member of the Cornell/New York Presbyterian Hospital Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. Widely acclaimed for pioneering achievements in research and clinical innovations, the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center provides a multidisciplinary approach to the complex medical and social needs of patients with seizures. The program serves adults and children with intractable seizures, as well as those with other epilepsy-related diagnostic and management problems. Dr. Harden’s clinical research focuses on the effects of epilepsy on women, and she has published widely on the subject.

Woman Using MicroscopeAdvisory Council

M. Flint Beal, M.D. Anne Parish Titzell Professor and Chair-man of Neurology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University. His research focus is on the neurodegenerative diseases: Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Dr. Beal is widely published with over three hundred articles and book chapters covering a broad spectrum of neurological disorders.

Jeffrey N. Bruce, M.D. Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is the Program Director for Neuroncology in the Herbert Irving Cancer Center and serves on the editorial boards of Neurosurgery and the Journal of Radiosurgery. Dr. Bruce is the Director of the Bartoli Brain Tumor Research Laboratory at the Columbia Presbyterian Center.

Stanley Fahn, M.D. H. Houston Merritt Professor of Neurology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Division Head of Movement Disorders at the Neurological Institute of New York. Dr. Fahn has an international reputation in clinical and basic research involving movement disorders and has pioneered new trials for Parkinson’s disease. He has been instrumental in advancing the diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to patients with movement disorders.

Kenneth Levin, M.D. Attending Neurologist at the Valley Hospital, Ridgewood, New Jersey and Clinical Research Director at the Neurology Group of Bergen County. Dr. Levin is the Community Practice Liason for NCTN and was chosen for his expertise and extensive experience in conducting clinical trials.

Richard Mayeux, M.S.E., M.D. Gertrude H. Sergievsky Professor of Neurology and of Public Health, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Director of the Sergievsky Center. He has been honored with the Dean’s Award, Columbia University, and the Distinguished Clinical Scientist and Decade of the Brain Plenary Presentation, American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Mayeux specializes in epidemiology, the genetics of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Physical Therapy J.P. Mohr, M.D. Sciarra Professor of Neurology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Division Head of Stroke for the Neurological Institute of New York. Dr. Mohr’s research focuses on clinical, radiologic and pathologic correlations of clinical stroke syndromes and he is the principal investigator of the NIH Warfarin Aspirin Recurrent Stroke Study.

Martha Morrell, M.D. Professor of Clinical Neurology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Division Head of Epilepsy for the Neurological Institute of New York. Dr. Morrell’s clinical research includes neuroendocrine and reproductive aspects of epilepsy as well as human sexuality and women’s issues related to epilepsy. She has been a co-investigator in a number of epilepsy clinical trials and a leader in national epilepsy societies.

Lewis P. Rowland, M.D. Professor of Neurology and former Chairman, Department of Neurology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Co-Director of the H. Houston Merritt Clinical Research Center for Muscular Dystrophy and Related Diseases at the Columbia Presbyterian Center, and Co-Director of the Eleanor and Lou Gehrig MDA/ALS Center. Dr. Rowland has an international reputation in ALS and neuromuscular disorders.

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