Overview of the Division
The Division of Neurology has 50 members and includes all practicing neurologists in the Calgary Zone of Alberta Health Services. There are, in addition, a number of members who are cross appointees from other departments at the University of Calgary and several emeriti members from within and outside the Calgary Zone. The Division of Neurology is responsible for providing care to a population that spans southern Alberta, southwestern Saskatchewan and south-eastern British Columbia. The depth and richness of the division is reflected in its program-based approach to clinical care, which is provided by the following 15 clinical programs: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cognitive disorders, epilepsy, headache, movement disorders, multiple sclerosis, neuromuscular disorders, neuro-oncology, neuro-ophthalmology, stroke, tourette’s syndrome, urgent neurology, neuro-immunology, vestibular disorders, and general neurology. These programs span the spectrum of clinical care, sub specialty training, and research.
The clinical services provided by the Division of Neurology comprise in-patient units at the Rockyview General Hospital (RGH) and the Foothills Medical Centre (FMC). Within the next few months, the inpatient unit at the RGH will close and relocate to the South Health Campus (SHC). Neurology consultation services are offered at all four sites FMC, RGH, Peter Lougheed Centre (PLC) and the new SHC. Over 4000 neurology consultations are undertaken annually at the Foothills Medical Centre. Over 2,300 patients are admitted annually to the neurology clinical teaching units within the city of Calgary. The largest numbers correspond to stroke, general neurology, and epilepsy. The five most common discharge diagnoses are stroke, convulsions, migraine, vertigo, multiple Sclerosis and cognitive impairment. The Division of Neurology provides clinical neurophysiology services to the entire referral base. The services consist of electroencephalography (over 4,800 studies per year), electromyography and nerve conduction studies (over 4,700 studies per year), as
well as intra-operative electrophysiological studies. The stroke service at the FMC is the busiest single centre in Canada, providing care for all strokes and most strokes in southern Alberta, south-eastern British Columbia and south-western Saskatchewan, with approximately 1440 patients seen in emergency annually.
The following fellowship specialty programs are offered by the Division: epilepsy and electroencephalography (EEG), functional imaging, movement disorders, multiple sclerosis and demyelinating disorders, headache, stroke, neuromuscular disorders and electromyography (EMG), neurooncology, and neuro-ophthamology. Presently, there are 18 clinical and research fellows participating in the various programs offered by the Division of Neurology. Research The Division of Neurology is highly productive and continues to demonstrate excellence in standards of practice reflected in the award of external peer reviewed funding, publications, and in demand local,
regional and international collaborations.
Division members continue to excel in education this year, receiving numerous awards. Within the Faculty of Medicine these include GoldStars, and Associate Dean’s Letters of Excellence Awards. The Division members have been recipients of the American Academy of Neurology Leadership Awards, and the Joseph Mikhael Award by the Canadian Association of Interns and Residents.The Division provides important service to the community and to our clinical and academic institutions. This has been recognized through
distinct service awards and includes at least 20 of our members during the current academic year. Division members have led the way in obtaining various substantial external grants. Notably, Dr. Gregory Cairncross led a brain cancer research team that was awarded $8.2 million dollars to carry out research in Malignant Brain Tumors. Other notable grantees include Dr. Doug Zochodne’s lab which received the American Neurological Association’s Wolf Research Prize in recognition for outstanding research in Peripheral Neuropathy. The stroke program researchers were awarded the prestigious 2011 CIHR-CMAJ Top Achievements in Health Research Awards for Exceptional Research that has changed the course of health care delivery.
New Division Members
Dr. Yahya Agha-Khani, trained in complex epilepsies and EEG at the Montreal Neurological Institute. Most recently, from the University of Manitoba, Dr. Agha-Khani has joined the Epilepsy and EEG program as a major clinical appointee with interest in clinical phenomenology and outcomes research. He will be based at the SHC where he will develop the First Seizure Clinic. Dr. Bijoy Menon, is a Calgary-trained stroke specialist and previously a Clinical Scholar in the Stroke Division. His clinical research will focus on the role of collateral circulation in stroke and in the interface between vascular and degenerative dementia. Dr. Sameer Chhibber, is a Calgary-trained neurologist, after completing his fellowship in Neuromuscular disorders and EMG at the Brigham & Women’s hospital in Boston, Dr. Chhibber joined
the neuromuscular program as a major clinical physician. He is based at the SHC and will responsible for clinical care and education in neuromuscular disorders.