Brain Resilience and Repair

Harnessing the power of brain plasticity to enhance brain resilience and develop novel approaches for brain repair

Brain disorders pose a daunting personal, societal and financial burden for people and their families around the globe. Current research approaches have focused on identifying and studying pharmacological targets and therapies. Yet, critical opportunities exist for innovative exploration of the potential impact that could be achieved with a blend of behavioral, electrical, surgical, and pharmacological strategies.

Ultimately, effective multi-modal and therapeutic approaches to brain disorders must fundamentally enhance neuroplasticity and brain resilience. The goal is to detect and forestall underlying disease processes prior to the onset of symptoms in diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative disorders and boost repair of disrupted brain circuits once symptoms appear. 

Duke's clinical research efforts will focus on the discovery of new early biomarkers for brain disease that will enable intervention between the onset of disease and before the appearance of symptoms. 


  • The need to forestall brain disease processes before symptoms appear and boost repair of disrupted circuits after onset of symptoms. 


  • Understand the basic biology of the brain to identify early biomarkers.
  • Discover interventions that forestall underlying diseases prior to the onset of symptoms.
  • Deploy new approaches to repair brain circuits once symptoms appear.


  • Develop new, effective methods for early detection.
  • Create new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.
  • Harness the brain’s own resilience and repair abilities.
  • Develop breakthrough therapies for a range of conditions.
  • Refine the understanding of disease mechanisms for further preclinical and basic research.