Prize to Aphasia Scientist

Neurologist is recognized for his research on reversing stroke-induced brain damage

Peter Turkeltaub, MD,<br />
PhD (M’05)A clinician-scientist, Turkeltaub has also found that noninvasive transcranial brain stimulation may help stroke survivors.

Peter Turkeltaub, MD, PhD (M’05), assistant professor of neurology and rehabilitation medicine, and director of the Cognitive Recovery Lab, has been chosen by the American Academy of Neurology to receive its annual award for excellence in behavioral neurology research, the Norman Geschwind Prize. 

Turkeltaub is studying the brain’s organization for language, why damage in particular parts of the brain causes specific language problems, and what can be done to minimize or reverse the disability. As medical director of the Center for Aphasia Research and Rehabilitation, and director of the Aphasia Clinic at MedStar National Rehabilitation Network, Turkeltaub focuses on stroke induced aphasia. An impairment of language that affects the ability to read, write, and understand or express speech, the condition is experienced by about one-third of stroke patients. Aphasia occurs when a stroke on the left side of the brain impacts language areas.

In awarding the Norman Geschwind Prize, the AAN also cited Turkeltaub’s substantial contributions to cognitive and behavioral neurology, including his invention and continuing development of a method that eliminates “false positives” that have recently distorted neuroimaging studies. This neuroimaging meta-analysis technique, known as Activation Likelihood Estimation (ALE), is now commonly used in neuroimaging research. Turkeltaub’s original study outlining this free method has been cited more than 1,000 times in research studies.