The Hotchkiss Brain Institute
Healthy Brains for Better Lives
Associate Professor, Pediatrics and Clinical Neurosciences
Cumming School of Medicine
Division of Neurology, Room C4-334 Alberta Children's Hospital2888 Shaganappi Trail NW, Calgary, AB T3B 6A8
Website: Click here
Dr. Kirton founded and directs the Calgary Pediatric Stroke Program, Alberta Perinatal Stroke Project, and ACH Pediatric Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Laboratory. Collectively, these programs constitute a comprehensive clinical research operation spanning translational, applied technologies research to the delivery of best care to children and families affected by stroke early in life. His research focuses on perinatal stroke with two major aims. One is to understand why such strokes occur and develop means to prevent them. The other uses advanced technologies including neuroimaging and non-invasive brain stimulation to measure the response of the developing brain to early injury and generate new therapies.
In 2009, Dr. Kirton established the ACH Pediatric Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Laboratory, the first facility of its kind in Canada. Brain stimulation technologies such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) bring a remarkable capacity to measure and "map" how a child's brain recovers from injuries like stroke. They also possess exciting therapeutic potential whereby repetitive TMS and other stimulation approaches may help guide a child's brain development toward better function. Dr. Kirton now leads the Non-invasive Neurostimulation Network (N3) at the University of Calgary. In 2010, he established the ACH Pediatric Stroke Neuroimaging Analysis Laboratory where the ACH 3T Research MRI and advanced brain imaging technologies improving the understanding of how young brains recover from early injuries like perinatal stroke. These advanced technologies have combined to generate the first therapeutic trails of brain stimulation in children with cerebral palsy, two of which are now completed and suggest that non-invasive brain stimulation can enhance function in affected children.
Dr. Kirton is also a co-investigator on many international research studies in childhood stroke. He chairs the Perinatal Stroke Working Group for the International Pediatric Stroke Study (IPSS), a global research initiative in childhood stroke now spanning >100 centres in >50 countries. The CPSP team also conducts quality improvement and psychology research to better understand the educational and support needs of pediatric stroke families.