Dr. Leslie Baxter, PhD
Program Manager, Human Brain Imaging Laboratory, Keller Center for Imaging Innovation
Dr. Baxter’s work focuses on the relationship between the brain and behavior. She uses neuroimaging combined with behavioral assessment and measurement to help better understand and treat neurological disease. As director of the Human Brain Imaging Lab, she works closely with Barrow neurosurgeons, neurologists, and neuroradiologists to develop new diagnostic and treatment approaches for Alzheimer’s disease, depression, brain tumors, and other disorders.
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Dr. Baxter can map the location of language and motor functioning in patients with brain tumors for whom surgery may interfere with these functions. She also teams with neurosurgeons to perform language mapping during surgery, providing the surgeon with precise information on the patient’s language centers in the brain. As part of the Barrow Center for Neuromodulation, Dr. Baxter is expanding the applications of functional MRI to include mapping the brain circuitry of depression. It is hoped that this will enhance deep brain stimulation as a viable treatment for depression.
Dr. Baxter and her colleagues work closely with the Barrow Alzheimer’s and Cognitive Disorders Center to study Alzheimer’s disease and normal aging. Using Barrow’s extensive neuroimaging resources, she is studying new imaging techniques to develop better ways of detecting early changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Most recently, Dr. Baxter is collaborating with researchers at several other institutions in Arizona to create a registry of well-characterized older adults. By following disease progression and normal aging in a large number of patients over time, the study aims to identify potential markers of disease and develop ways to change the course of some illnesses.
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