As part of the Division of Neuro-Rehabilitation at the University of Maryland, I care for patients with weakness, spasticity, cognitive impairment, and other complications of nervous system disease, especially stroke. I see patients at the Kernan Hospital Outpatient Clinic, and attend on the inpatient stroke, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury units of Kernan Hospital. I also attend on the Neurology Consult Service and Clinics of the VA Maryland Health Care System.
My first exposure to the field of neural repair, neuroplasticity, and rehabilitation was as a volunteer research assistant recording regenerating optic nerves in the laboratory of Ronald L. Meyer, PhD at the University of California, Irvine. I then completed an undergraduate honors thesis with Dr. Norman Weinberger, PhD, studying auditory cortex plasticity. During medical school at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, I spent a year in the NIH Clinical Research Training Program. In the laboratory of Mark Hallett, MD, I contributed to brain imaging studies of healthy humans. I completed my postgraduate training at the Harvard Neurology Residency Program at Partners Healthcare - Massachusetts General Hospital & Brigham and Women's Hospital. I then took a clinical-research fellowship with the Human Cortical Physiology and Stroke Neurorehabilitation Section of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health. Under the direction of Leonardo Cohen, MD, I studied human cortical neurophysiology, motor learning, and impairment after stroke.
The loss of control over an arm or leg that can occur after acquired nervous system injury is devastating. Today, multidisciplinary teams of clinicians, therapists, nurses, and assistants help advise and teach people with nervous system disorders how to compensate for and regain lost function. My research interests are in the further translation of neuroscience knowledge to clinical neurorehabilitation. As we reveal how nervous system networks interact to produce movement, and how they are impaired and changed by injury, interventions can be developed to specifically target these impairments and improve neurorehabilitation. Specifically, I have begun to investigate inhibitory interhemispheric interactions via non-invasive brain stimulation and neuroimaging. I intend to characterize these interactions under different unimanual and bimanual tasks, and to describe how they are altered in post-stroke hemiparesis. The goal is to design interventions to correct the observed abnormalities, thereby improving the rehabilitation of motor control.
Lab Techniques and Equipment
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
- Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
- Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- Anatomical Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- Arm Function Testing
- Upper Extremity Robotic Training and Testing
Dimyan MA, Cohen LG. Neuroplasticity in the context of motor rehabilitation after stroke. Nat Rev Neurol. 2011 Feb;7(2):76-85. Epub 2011 Jan 18. Review. PubMed PMID: 21243015.
Censor N, Dimyan MA, Cohen LG. Modification of existing human motor memories is enabled by primary cortical processing during memory reactivation. Curr Biol. 2010 Sep 14;20(17):1545-9. PubMed PMID: 20817532; PubMed Central PMCID:PMC2957647.
Dimyan MA, Cohen LG. Contribution of transcranial magnetic stimulation to the understanding of functional recovery mechanisms after stroke. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2010 Feb;24(2):125-35. Epub 2009 Sep 18. Review. PubMed PMID: 19767591;PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2945387.
Celnik P, Paik NJ, Vandermeeren Y, Dimyan M, Cohen LG. Effects of combined peripheral nerve stimulation and brain sequence task after chronic stroke. Stroke. 2009 May;40(5):1764-71. Epub 2009 Mar 12. PubMed PMID: 19286579; PubMed PMC2692264.
Dimyan MA, Dobkin BH, Cohen LG. Emerging subspecialties: neurorehabilitation: training neurologists to retrain the brain. Neurology. 2008 Apr 15;70(16):e52-4. Review. PubMed PMID: 18413581.
Links of InterestAmerican Society of Neurorehabilitation
NIH Clinical Center News - Role Reversal for NINDS Fellow, CRTP alum