Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Program

Our mission is to provide excellence in the treatment and care of children with TBI and their families through education, prevention, clinical care, treatment and advocacy.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious public health concern. It occurs most commonly in children, youth and young adults. More than one in ten children will have had a concussion (mild TBI) before they are ten years old. Based on US data, 2% of the population has a TBI-related long-term need for help to perform activities of daily living.

Our mission is to provide excellence in the treatment and care of children with TBI and their families through education, prevention, clinical care, treatment and advocacy. We provide specialized investigation and quality rehabilitation services for children and families with concussions, and mild, moderate and severe TBI from the Emergency Department, through the hospital admission, and out into the community.

The global aim of our research program is to provide evidence-based management and treatment strategies to enable the maximal function of children with brain injury in their community.

Clinical Team

  • Dr. Michael Esser is a Pediatric Neurologist and Basic Science Researcher at the Alberta Children's Hospital and Alberta Children's Hospital Resarch Institute. He is exploring the cellular mechanisms involved in symptom persistence following mild traumatic brain injury.
  • Dr. Adam Kirton is a Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Clinical Neurosciences and a Pediatric Neurologist at the Alberta Children's Hospital. He runs the ACH Pediatric Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Laboratory, the first facility of its kind in Canada. TMS technology has the remarkable capacity to measure and "map" how a child's brain recovers from stroke and also possesses therapeutic potential whereby repetitive TMS may help guide a child's brain development toward better function.
  • Dr. Clare Gallagher is a Pediatric Neurosurgeon and Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary. Her research focuses on cerebral metabolism after injury. Using techniques of multimodality monitoring including microdialysis and determination of cerebral autoregulation, she hopes to better understand the changes which lead to progression of injury. Ultimately the development of therapies to halt or reverse this progressive injury to the brain is the goal. By using metabolic substrates that are delivered to the brain via microdialysis catheters and recovering metabolites, which have been labeled, the glycolytic pathway and ultimately both TCA cycle and mitochondrial function can be monitored. Combining this information with other brain monitoring currently in use in the ICU setting, a more complete picture of each brain injury can be compiled. This information obtained from individual patients can be used to make a unique treatment protocol for each patient.

Research Team

  • Dr. Keith Yeates is a Professor of Neuropsychology at the University of Calgary. His research aims to better understand the outcomes of childhood brain injury and influences on recovery, and thereby foster more effective treatment and management. The research has three major themes: (1) the family’s role in shaping the outcomes of traumatic brain injury (TBI); (2) the sequelae of mild TBI; and (3) the impact of TBI on social development.
  • Dr. Deborah Dewey is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology. She is a member of the Child & Family Health Research Unit in the Department of Pediatrics, and the Brain and Behaviour Theme leader in the Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute. Her research interests include the neuropsychological outcomes of children exposed to adverse events and the psychosocial outcomes of children with chronic conditions including Traumatic Brain Injury and Developmental Motor Disorders.
  • Dr. Frank MacMaster is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, and the Cuthbertson & Fischer Chair in Pediatric Mental Health. His research interest focuses on the neurobiology of mental health in children and adolescents, with a core focus on mood disorders. Previously, he's found changes in brain structure and function, particularly in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, in adolescents with major depression as compared to healthy controls.
  • Dr. Brian Brooks is a neuropsychologist at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, and an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Calgary. His research interests involve the neuropsychological outcome from medical and neurological disorders, including concussion and traumatic brain injury. His research on the neuropsychological outcome from concussions is funded by the 2009 McCarthy Tetrault Award. Dr. Brooks was a co-recipient of the 2010 Nelson Butters Award for the best research paper published in the journal, Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology.
  • Dr. Jeff Dunn is a Professor at the University of Calgary and Hotchkiss Brain Institute. He runs the Dunn Laboratory. He examines how tissues respond to low oxygen through a range of mechanisms - from genetic to behavioural. He is developing and applying a range of technologies to study oxygen levels in tissues and how these relate to disease processes. He is also using MR microscopy and quantified MRI to study white matter degeneration, vascular adaptation and molecular imaging in animal models.

 

Referral Form for Brain Injury (Mild, Moderate, Severe): CLICK HERE