Dr. Alain Ptito is Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University. He has worked as a Neuropsychologist at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital since 1983 and he is now Director of the Psychology Department at the MUHC.
Dr. Ptito’s research program involves the investigation of the mechanisms involved in cerebral reorganization and plasticity in patient populations (Hemispherectomy, Callosotomy, Parkinson’s Disease, stroke and head injury) and his clinical work includes the neuropsychological assessment of these patients.
Dr. Ptito studied Clinical Psychology at McGill University (1975) and obtained Post-Graduate Degrees in Experimental Psychology (1979) and Neuropsychology (1986) from the Université de Montréal. His Doctoral Thesis examined residual vision in the blind field of patients who underwent a hemispherectomy.
He is a Member of the Order of Psychologists of the Province of Québec and of the Société des Experts en Évaluation Médico-légale du Québec. His research has been funded by CIHR, NSERC, FRSQ, ONF-REPAR, CASM/NHL and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
For the past several years, he has been using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to investigate motor recovery in stroke and the neural substrates of residual vision in the blind visual field following hemispherectomy. He has also demonstrated that this technique, along with Diffusion Tensor Imaging and evoked potentials, can be used to explore the neural mechanisms underlying traumatic brain injury, particularly in athletes. With his research team, he has reported that there are abnormal activation patterns following traumatic brain injury and that fMRI can serve as an objective method to assess the severity of the injury and subsequent recovery.
Aside from his work with athletes, he is now using the results of his research for the traumatic brain injury population at large, including soldiers, athletes, motor vehicle accident victims and children.
In recent years, Dr. Ptito has explored new methods of treatment namely High Frequency Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on abnormal patterns of functional brain activity, while simultaneously estimating its ability to reduce post concussive symptoms, including depression and cognitive impairment following mild traumatic brain injury.
He will also begin to investigate a new Neuromodulation treatment approach (stimulation of the tongue) in combination with intensive physical therapy for improvement of gait and balance following mild to moderate traumatic brain injury.