Stephen W. Scheff, Ph.D.

Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology

Dr. Scheff and his lab

Dr. Scheff and his lab

Research Interests

Synaptic Plasticity and Recovery of Function Following Head Trauma and Spinal Cord Injury; Synaptic Plasticity in Aging and Alzheimer's Disease
Dr. Scheff's laboratory is involved in numerous projects which relate to the capacity of the brain and spinal cord to respond to injury. By employing animal models of cortical contusion and spinal cord injury, it is possible to assess specific cellular and molecular events which can be manipulated to improve functional outcome. Many different avenues for enhancing the brain and spinal cord's self-repair process are explored. These experiments are multidisciplinary in their approach and utilize numerous morphologic, neurochemical, cellular and molecular techniques to probe some of the mechanisms behind the compensatory process.

Clinically, Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by progressive deterioration of an individual's cognitive functions, most clearly demonstrated by a loss of memory. Exactly what histopathologies are necessary or sufficient to produce these changes is still unknown. In AD there is significant loss of neurons which leads to a loss of synaptic contacts. It is important to determine what type of Central nervous system (CNS) compensatory response occurs in these individuals. These studies have determined that AD patients have a significant deficit in replacing lost synaptic contacts throughout many areas of the cortex, yet clearly their CNS attempts to compensate. In addition, the loss of synaptic connections closely correlates with a decline in cognitive function.

Representative Publications

Scheff, S.W., Saucier, D.A., and Cain, M.E. A statistical method for analyzing rating scale data: The BBB locomotor score. Journal of Neurotrauma 2002, 19:1251-1260.

Scheff, S.W., Rabchevsky, A.G., Fugaccia, I., Main, J. and Lumpp, J. Experimental modeling of spinal cord injury: Characterization of a force-defined injury device. Journal of Neurotrauma 2003, 20:179-193.

Rabchevsky, A.G., Sullivan, P.G., Fugaccia, I. and Scheff, S.W. Creatine diet supplement for spinal cord injury in rats: influences on functional recovery and tissue sparing. Journal of Neurotrauma 2003, 20:659-669.

Anderson, K.J., Fugaccia, I., and Scheff, S.W. Fluoro-jade B stains quiescent and reactive astrocytes in the rodent spinal cord. Journal of Neurotrauma 2003, 20:1223-1231.

Scheff, S.W. and Dhillon, H.S. Creatine-enhanced diet alters levels of lactate and free fatty acids after experimental brain injury. Neurochemical Research 2004, 29: 469-479.

Sullivan, P.G., Rabchevsky, A.G., Keller, J.N., Lovell, M., Sodhi, A., Hardt, R.P. and Scheff, S.W. Intrinsic differences in isolated brain and spinal cord mitochondria: implications for therapeutic interventions following injury. Journal of Comparative Neurology 2004, 474:524-534.

Sullivan, P.G., Springer, J.E., Hall, E.D. and Scheff, S.W. Mitochondrial uncoupling as a therapeutic target following neuronal injury. Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes 2004 36: 353-356.

Gabbita, S.P., Scheff, S.W., Menard, R.M., Roberts, K., Fugaccia, I. and Zemlan, F.P. Cleaved-tau: a biomarker of neuroprotectant efficacy in traumatic brain injury. Journal of Neurotrauma 2005 22:83-94.

Hall, E.D., Sullivan, P.G., Gibson, T.R., Pavel, K.M., Thompson, B.M. and Scheff, S.W. Spatial and temporal characteristics of neurodegeneration after controlled cortical impact in mice: more than a focal brain injury. Journal of Neurotrauma 2005 22:252-265.

Anderson, K.J., Fugaccia, I., and Scheff, S.W. Regional distribution of Fluoro-Jade B staining in the hippocampus following traumatic brain injury. Experimental Neurology 2005 193:125-130.

Scheff, S.W., Price, D.A., Hicks, R.R., Baldwin, S.A., Robinson, S., and Brackney, C. Synaptogenesis in the hippocampal CA1 field following traumatic brain injury. Journal of Neurotrauma 2005 22:719-732.

Stephen W. Scheff

Contact Information

University of Kentucky
101 Sanders-Brown
800 South Limestone
Lexington, KY 40536-0230

Tel: (859) 257-1412 ext. 270
Fax: (859) 323-2866