Syed O. Ahmad, OTD, PhD

Saint Louis University (SLU)

As a stereologer, and occupational therapist there is a unique perspective on dysfunction in the basal ganglia, cortex and hippocampus. Research has focused on two areas in particular: The aging, development and structure/function of the substantia nigra (an area responsible for movement) the ventral tegmental area (an area that integrates motor and behavioral responses) and hippocampus. As evidence, there are published morphometric studies in the cortico-striatal projections of the rat caudo-putamen (multiple unit activity), and electrophysiological and neurochemical papers on the caudo-putamen of rats treated with D-ampetamine. These papers help to illuminate the motor and extra-motor connections from a primary subcortical motor nucleus to the cortex. Additionally, he has published a study with the PI (Dr. Levant) on stereology on the n-3 PUFA docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) replete and deficient models. What it did was opened the door to questions about the anatomical contributions of the sub-cortical areas to motor output and, ultimately, additional complications of disorders thought of as primarily motor in nature, but can profoundly affect behavior. Currently, the lab is working with and developing models of stereological research in the study of Parkinson’s disease, normal aging (with different dietary situations), Alcoholism, Cerebro-vascular Accident, and enriched laboratory environments.