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James W. Russell

James W. Russell M.B.,Ch.B., M.S.

Academic Title: Professor
Primary Appointment: Neurology
Secondary Appointments: Anatomy and Neurobiology
Additional Title(s): Director Peripheral Neuropathy Center, Director Autonomic Nervous System Disorders Laboratory, Co-Director Maryland ALS Clinic
Location: Paca Pratt Building, 110 S Paca Street, 3S-129
Phone: (410) 328-3100
Fax: (410) 328-8981
Lab: (410) 706-3947

Personal History:

Dr. James Russell is Head of the Neuromuscular Division in the Department of Neurology. He completed his neurology residency at the University of Iowa and completed training in neuromuscular/peripheral nerve disease at the Mayo Clinic Rochester. After further research training at the Mayo Clinic and the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Russell then joined the faculty at the University of Michigan where he was Associate Professor with tenure, Director of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) Autonomic and Clinical Electrophysiology Laboratory and Associate Chief of Neurology at the VAMC. Dr. Russell joined the University of Maryland Medical Center in 2006 where he is Professor of Neurology, Anatomy and Neurobiology. He is board certified in Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology, and holds a masters degree in Clinical Research and Trial Design from the University of Michigan. Dr. Russell is a member of the American Neurological Association, the American Academy of Neurology, the American Diabetes Association, and a Fellow of the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, the Royal College of Physicians, the Americal College of Physicians, and the American Academy of Neurology. He is Director of the Maryland Peripheral Neuropathy Center and Co-Director of the Maryland ALS Clinic. He has an active neuromuscular practice as well as research program in peripheral neuropathy.

Research Interests:

Dr. Russell's laboratory has as its research focus the understanding of the mechanism/s and treatment of diabetic neuropathy. His laboratory is interested in developing strategies to decrease oxidative and excitotoxic stress in neurons and Schwann cells. The laboratory is currently examining pathways of oxidative and mitochondrial injury in the peripheral nervous system, and mechanisms to prevent or reverse cellular injury. Understanding these basic mechanisms of glucose-induced injury in the peripheral nerve will allow a more a rational design of therapies aimed at ameliorating diabetic neuropathy. Other research in the laboratory includes examining mechanisms of axonal growth and myelination in peripheral neuropathy. This translational research is aimed at developing improved diagnosis and treatment for peripheral neuropathies.

His group is currently recruiting patients for the "Improving Neuropathy and Mobility in Early Diabetes" (INMED) study. This blinded study aims to determine if a personally tailored diet and physical exercise program will improve neuropathy in patients with early diabetes. 

Clinical Speciality:

Dr. Russell has clinical research interests in neuromuscular diseases, specifically in the study of peripheral neuropathies. He has active clinical research interests in the pathogenesis and treatment of neuropathy in diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance, and in inflammatory neuropathies. He also has clinical and research interests in disorders of the autonomic nervous system, including autonomic neuropathies. He directs the Autonomic Nervous System Disorders Laboratory at the University of Maryland.

Lab Techniques and Equipment:

* Mitochondrial genetics and proteomics, anatomy and function.
* Electrophysiology in a peripheral nerve.
* Nerve morphometry. Intraepidermal nerve fiber density.
* Autonomic function testing.

Grants and Contracts:

NIH, Department of Veterans Affairs, ADA, JDRF


Russell JW. Duloxetine in painful diabetic neuropathy. Nature Clinical Practice Neurology, 2:18-19, 2006.

Peltier AC, Russell JW. Advances in understanding drug-induced neuropathies. Drug Safety, 29(1):23-30, 2006.

Smith AG, Russell J, Feldman EL, Goldstein J, Peltier A, Smith S, Hamwi J, Pollari D, Bixby B, Howard J, Singleton JR. Lifestyle intervention for prediabetic neuropathy. Diabetes Care, 29:1294-99, 2006.

Russell JW, Smith AG, Singleton JR. Impaired glucose regulation and neuropathy. In: Neurobiology of Disease, Gilman S, ed., Russell JW section editor, Elsevier, San Diego, CA, Chapter 78, pp 849-69, December 2006.

Russell JW, Cowell RM, Feldman EL. Neuronal and Schwann cell death in diabetic neuropathy. In: The Clinical Management of Diabetic Neuropathy, 2nd Edition, Veves A, Malik R, eds., Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ, 2007.

Cowell RM, Blake KR, Russell JW. Localization of the transcriptional coactivator PGC-1alpha to GABAergic neurons during maturation of the rat brain. J Comp Neurol, 2007 Mar 1:502(1):1-18.

Peltier AC, Consens FB, Sheikh K, Wang L, Song Y, Russell JW. Autonomic dysfunction in obstructive sleep apnea is associated with impaired glucose regulation. Sleep Medicine, 2007 8(2):149-55.

Berent-Spillson A, Russell JW. Metabotropic glutamate receptor 3 protects neurons from glucose-induced oxidative injury by increasing intracellular glutathione concentration. J Neurochem, 101(2):342-54, 2007.

Vincent AM, Russell JW, Sullivan KA, Backus C, Hayes JM, McLean LL, Feldman EL. SOD2 protects neurons from injury in cell culture and animal models of diabetic neuropathy. Exp Neurol. 208(2):216-27, 2007.

Muragundla A, Berent-Spillson A, and Russell JW. Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors (mGluRs) and diabetic neuropathy. Current Drug Targets, 9(1):85-93, 2008.

Russell JW, Berent-Spillson A, Vincent AM, Freimann CL, Sullivan KA and Feldman EL. Oxidative injury and neuropathy in diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance. Neurobiology of Disease 30(3):420-9, 2008.

Muragundla A, Choi J, Berent-Spillson A, Inoue T, Cherian K and Russell JW. Transforming growth factor-beta induces cellular injury in experimental diabetic neuropathy. Exp Neurol. 211(2):469-79, 2008.

Goldberg A, Russell JW, Alexander NB. Standing balance and trunk position sense in impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)-related peripheral neuropathy. J Neurol Sci.15: 270(1-2):165-71, 2008.

Chaudhry V, Russell JW, Belzberg A. Decompressive surgery of lower limbs for symmetrical diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Jul 16;(3):CD006152.

Cowell RM, Blake KR, Inoue T, and Russell JW. Regulation of PGC-1alpha and PGC-1alpha-responsive genes with forskolin-induced Schwann cell differentiation. Neuroscience Letters,18;439(3):269-74, 2008.

Singleton JR, Bixby B, Russell JW, Feldman EL, Peltier A, Goldstein J, Howard J, Smith AG. The Utah Early Neuropathy Scale: a sensitive clinical scale for early sensory predominant neuropathy. Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System. 13(3):218-27, 2008.

Peltier A, Smith AG, Russell JW, Sheikh K, Bixby B, Howard J, Goldstein J, Song Y, Wang L, Feldman EL, Singleton JR. Reliability of quantitative sudmotor axon reflex testing and quantitative sensory testing in neuropathy of impaired glucose regulation. Muscle Nerve 39(4):529-35, 2009.

Cowell RM, Talati P, Blake KR, Meador-Woodruff JH, and Russell JW. Identification of novel targets for PGC-1alpha and histone deacetylase inhibitors in neuroblastoma cells. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 6;379(2):578-82, 2009.

Russell JW. Alpha-lipoic acid and frataxin: a new indication for an old antioxidant? Exp Neurol 218(1):9-10, 2009.

Cl vs. NPhys Trial Investigators: Dyck PJ, Overland CJ, Low PA, Litchy WJ, Davies JL, Dyck PJ, O'Brien PC; Cl vs. NPhys Trial Investigators, Albers JW, Andersen H, Bolton CF, England JD, Klein CJ, Llewelyn JG, Mauermann ML, Russell JW, Singer W, Smith AG, Tesfaye S, Vella A. Signs and symptoms versus nerve conduction studies to diagnose diabetic sensorimotor polyneuropathy: Cl vs. NPhys trial. Muscle and Nerve 42(2):157-64,2010.

Zilliox L and Russell JW. Maintaining Efficacy in the Treatment of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathic Pain: Role of Duloxetine. Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, and Obesity: Targets and Therapy 3:7-17, 2010.

Toronto Diabetic Neuropathy Expert Group (authors listed in pubmed). Diabetic Neuropathies: Update on Definitions, Diagnostic Criteria and Estimation of Severity. Diabetes Care 33(10):2285-93, 2010.

Zilliox L, Peltier AC,Wren PA, Anderson A, Smith AG, Singleton JR, Feldman EL, Alexander NB, Russell JW. Assessing autonomic dysfunction in diabetic neuropathy: the survey of autonomic symptoms (SAS). Neurology 76(12):1099-10105, 2011.

Bril V, England J, Franklin GM, Backonja M, Cohen J, Del Toro D, Feldman E, Iverson DJ, Perkins B, Russell JW, Zochodne D. Evidence-based guideline: Treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy: Report of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Neurology Apr 11. [Epub ahead of print], 2011.

Bril V, England J, Franklin GM, Backonja M, Cohen J, Del Toro D, Feldman E, Iverson DJ, Perkins B, Russell JW, Zochodne D. Evidence-based guideline: Treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy-report of the american association of neuromuscular and electrodiagnostic medicine, the american academy of neurology, and the american academy of physical medicine & rehabilitation. Muscle Nerve. Mar 9. doi: 10.1002/mus.22092, 2011

Bril V, England J, Franklin GM, Backonja M, Cohen J, Del Toro D, Feldman E, Iverson DJ, Perkins B, Russell JW, Zochodne D. Evidence-based Guideline: Treatment of Painful Diabetic Neuropathy. Report of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. PM R. Apr;3(4):345-352.e21, 2011.

Zilliox L, Russell JW. Treatment of Diabetic Sensory Polyneuropathy. Curr Treat Options Neurol. 13(2):143-159, 2011.