Amy R. Viehoever, MD, PhD
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Washington University in St. Louis (WU)
I am a Pediatric Neurologist currently in fellowship training for further specialization in Pediatric Movement Disorders. My clinical interests include treating children with movement disorders such as Tourette’s Syndrome, dystonia, cerebral palsy, and ataxia with a special interest in developing Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) as a treatment for dystonia and cerebral palsy. I have a long-standing research interest in clinical and translational research aimed at developing biomedical devices and imaging technologies for improving diagnosis and treatment of disease. This interest motivated my initial undergraduate and graduate studies in biomedical engineering. In addition to this bench-to-bedside research interest, I also have developed an interest in using these technologies to broaden our understanding of pathophysiology, bringing the research full circle from bedside-to-bench. With regard to movement disorders, I am most interested in using imaging technologies to help understand normal and dysfunctional motor control. Also, central to my research is studying the mechanisms by which devices such as DBS modulate the underlying pathophysiology of movement disorders, as well as influence the developing brain. Most recently, I have helped start a new collaboration between the laboratories of Joseph Culver and Tamara Hershey. We are using optical imaging techniques developed by Dr. Culver’s lab to understand the impact of DBS on cortical function. The application of cutting edge optical imaging to this population opens up new avenues of research, allowing us to study the downstream functional impact of DBS stimulation with higher temporal and spatial resolution than PET and without the risks and artifacts presented by using MRI.