Aug 22, 2022

Welcoming a New Brain Medicine Research Fellow

About the TDRA, Announcements, Research, TDRA Investigators
Dr. Adrian Espiritu

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Adrian I. Espiritu has been awarded a Temerty-Tanz-TDRA Brain Medicine Research Fellowship. This competency-based fellowship is focused on exploring the interactions between depression and dementia.

Dr. Espiritu is a clinician-scientist trained in neurology and clinical epidemiology. He completed an Adult Neurology Residency Program at the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital. He is also in the process of completing his Master of Science in Epidemiology through the University of Philippines Manila, College of Medicine. Dr. Espiritu has published more than 75 articles in peer-reviewed journals in various fields of neurology and clinical epidemiology, and was recently recognized by the American Academy of Neurology with the prestigious Bruce S. Schoenberg International Award in Neuroepidemiology.

For the past year, Dr. Espiritu has worked as a clinical fellow in the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Fellowship Program at the BARLO MS Centre in St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto. As a fellow in this program, Dr. Espiritu witnessed a high frequency of cognitive dysfunction and depression among people living with MS, and noticed how these symptoms impacted people’s day-to-day activities. He began to wonder if neurotechnological treatment modalities (e.g., brain stimulation) could mitigate these symptoms in people living with MS and other neurodegenerative conditions.

During his Brain Medicine Research Fellowship, Dr. Espiritu will conduct multi-site research under the co-supervision of Dr. Amer Burhan at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, and Dr. Daphne Voineskos at the University Health Network. Their pilot study involves using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), a form of non-invasive brain stimulation, as a novel intervention for people living with treatment-resistant late-life depression (TR-LLD) and motor-cognitive risk syndrome. Through measuring participants’ gait speed and other cognitive functions, the study aims to determine how rTMS will modify the expression of motor-cognitive risk syndrome in people living with TR-LLD. This pilot study will also establish the feasibility of the design, and estimate the effect size to facilitate a larger, multi-site trial in the future.

Welcome to the TDRA community Dr. Espiritu! 

Learn more about the Temerty-Tanz-TDRA Initiative