Brian Callaghan

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University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Short bio: 

I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan in 1999 and graduated with high honors in Cellular and Molecular Biology. I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 2004.  After an internship in Internal Medicine, I entered the Neurology residency program at the University of Pennsylvania. I then joined the University of Michigan as a clinical neuromuscular fellow in July of 2008, and completed a two-year research fellowship on a NIH T32 training grant. In July 2011, I became an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan.  I am the director of the ALS clinic.

Research summary: 

My research focus is on the impact of environmental exposures on the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and the potential interaction with epigenetic changes.  Currently, we have only a limited understanding of the pathogenesis of ALS.  Much of the research to date has focused on genetic causes of this disease but only 5-10% of patients have familial ALS. For the much more common sporadic ALS, I am interested in investigating which environmental triggers interact with the genome to lead to the development of this devastating condition.  Epigenetic changes are those changes in the DNA that are not related to sequence changes but still affect transcription of surrounding genes.  We believe that this type of alteration may be the missing link to understanding the mechanisms of ALS onset and progression, and therefore, may eventually lead to the first significant therapeutics in this field.

Recent publications: 
  1. Callaghan BC, McCammon R, Kerber K, Xu X, Langa KM, Feldman EL. Tests and expenditures in the initial evaluation of peripheral neuropathy. Archives of Internal Medicine, 172(2), 127-132, 2012.


  1. Callaghan BC, Kerber K, Smith A, Fendrick AM, Feldman EL. The evaluation of distal symmetric polyneuropathy: A physician survey of clinical practice. Archives of Neurology, 69(3), 339-345, 2012.


  1. Foerster BR, Callaghan BC, Petrou M, Edden RA, Chenevert TL, Feldman EL.  Decreased motor cortex gamma-aminobutyric acid in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Neurology, Epub.


  1. Petrou M, Pop-Busui R, Foerster BR, Edden RA, Callaghan BC, Harte SE, Harris RE, Claw DJ, Feldman EL. Altered excitation-inhibition balance in the brain of patients with diabetic neuropathy Acad Radiol 19(5), 607-612, 2012.


  1. Foerster BR, Dwamena BA, Petrou M, Carlos R, Callaghan BC, Pomper MG Diagnostic Accuracy Using Diffusion Tensor Imaging in the Diagnosis of ALS: A Meta-analysis Acad Radiol Epub.


  1. Callaghan BC, Little AA, Feldman EL, Hughes RA Enhanced glucose control for preventing and treating diabetic neuropathy Cochrane Database Syst Rev June 13;6 2012, CD007543.


  1. Callaghan BC, Cheng HT, Stables CL, Smith AL, Feldman EL Diabetic neuropathy: clinical manifestations and current treatments Lancet Neurol 11(6), 521-34 Epub 2012.


  1. Callaghan BC, Kerber K, Longoria R, Feldman EL, Lisabeth, L Capturing Cases of Distal Symmetric Polyneuropathy (DSP) in a Community Muscle Nerve  In press.


  1. Kerber KA, Burke JF, Skolarus LE, Callaghan BC, Fife TD, Baloh RW, Fendrick AM A prescription for the Epley Maneuver: 79(4): 376-80, 2012.


  1. Callaghan BC, Hur J, Feldman EL Diabetic neuropathy: one disease or two?  Curr Opin Neurol Epub 2012.
neurodegeneration; diabetic neuropathy; stem cells; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; neuroprotection