Specialty Areas of the Department

Transforming care in multiple neurologic specialty areas

  • The Alzheimer Disease Research Center at the University of Southern California (USC-ADRC) was among the first centers established in 1984 by the National Institute on Aging specifically to further our understanding of Alzheimer disease and related disorders. The USC-ADRC is closely affiliated with the Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center, the USC Keck School of Medicine, and the Alzheimer Research Centers of California at USC and Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center. For more information about Alzheimer research at USC please visit the website, http://adrc.usc.edu/.

  • Research leads the way in finding a cure for epilepsy. People with epilepsy have the option of taking part in clinical trials being conducted at Keck Medicine of USC and elsewhere. While clinical trial participation does not ensure that an effective treatment will be received, participation does help provide invaluable information for future treatments. Keck School of Medicine of USC faculty members lead and participate in many of the nation’s largest multi-center clinical trials, as well as in many unique smaller trials. Although participating in a clinical trial is not the right choice for everyone, many patients receiving care in one of USC’s affiliated medical facilities have chosen to become involved in clinical trials.

  • Patients have the option of taking part in clinical trials being conducted at Keck Medical Center of USC. Our current studies include, “Placebo-controlled Safety and Efficacy Study of Pregabalin (Lyrica) in Subjects With Post-traumatic Peripheral Neuropathic Pain.” This study is designed to investigate if pregabalin is effective in treating neuropathic (nerve) pain resulting from peripheral nerve trauma due to a traumatic or surgical event.

  • Dr. Petzinger clinical research focuses on investigating the neural substrates underlying cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease and in understanding the role of different types of exercise on cortical – basal ganglia circuitry and cognitive function. Her studies include utilizing a comprehensive neuropsychology battery, motor learning finger sequence task and fMRI to understand the impact of exercise on executive function such as working memory, attention and behavioral flexibility and the role of lifestyle factors such as cardiovascular fitness, BMI and motor agility on cognitive health in Parkinson’s Disease.

  • The clinical research program at the USC MS Center comprises of multi-center clinical trials, investigator initiated clinical investigational projects, and translational bench driven research projects. These projects aim to give patients with MS an opportunity to help advance our understanding of MS and other neuro-immunological disorders. Our team of MS Specialist, nurses, and research coordinators have successful conducted over 40 research projects in the last 10 years, some of which have gone to become approved MS therapies.


  • The USC Neuromuscular Division at the Leslie P. Weiner Neurological Care and Research Center at Keck Medicine of USC provides an integrated approach to clinical diagnosis, evaluation, neurophysiologic and other diagnostic studies, as well as various treatment options. Second opinions are available for patients with various neuromuscular disorders including various immune-mediated neuropathies such as CIDP & Multifocal Motor Neuropathy, hereditary neuropathies, myasthenia gravis, motor neuron disease such as ALS, myopathies, diabetic neuropathies and neuropathic pain. Close collaboration with neuropathology specialists is provided for specialized evaluation of muscle and nerve biopsies.

  • The Neuro-Oncology Program at Keck Medical Center of USC in Los Angeles and the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center has an internationally recognized team of expert clinicians and renowned researchers who are focused on fighting cancer with the latest applications of bench to bedside research. We are one of the few academic medical centers to have interventional neuro-radiologists as part of the neuro-oncology team. These physicians specialize in the embolization of tumors. The lesions are treated and are then more amenable to surgical and radiation-based therapies. For more detailed information about USC Neuro Oncology, please visit our program on the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.

  • The Neuropsychology Program at Keck Medical Center of USC in Los Angeles addresses cognitive and behavioral changes.

  • The Inpatient Acute Rehabilitation Unit (IRU) at Keck Medicine of USC has established itself as one of the most successful programs of its kind in the nation.

  • The TIA Program and Roxanna Todd Hodges Comprehensive Stroke Clinic of USC also provides leadership in research. To read more about current interests and projects https://keck.usc.edu/neurocritical-care-and-stroke.