Rehabilitation Sciences Institute

Sandra Black O.C., O.Ont., MD, FRCP(C), FRSC
Department of Medicine (DEPMD)
Contact Info
T: (416) 480-4551
F: (416) 480-4552
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Ave., Room A4 21
Toronto, M4N 3M5
Contact Faculty Member for more information
Research Interests
Social and Cognitive Rehabilitation Sciences, Stroke Recovery, Exercise, Brain Imaging Biomarkers and Determinants of Recovery, Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease, Vascular Cognitive Impairment and Cerebral Small Vessel Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Lewy Body Spectrum Disorder and Frontotemporal Dementia (Behavioural Variant, Primary Progressive Aphasia), Apraxia and Aphasia, Clinical Trials in Dementia and its Prevention, Neuroimaging Biomarkers and Brain-Behaviour Relationships

Dr. Black has had continual peer-reviewed funding since 1986. Her research focuses on the cognitive sequelae of stroke and stroke recovery, the differential diagnosis of dementia, the use of neuroimaging techniques to elucidate brain-behaviour relationships in stroke and dementia, and more recently, imaging-genetics correlations.

Her funding sources include the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, Brain Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, National Institutes of Aging and Weston Brain Institute.

She is conducting prospective studies on the utility of quantitative structural and functional imaging in diagnosis and monitoring of mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and Parkinson’s-Lewy body disease, and on the interactions of Alzheimer's disease and cerebrovascular disease. She is also an active clinical trialist with experience in more than 60 clinical and pharmaceutical trials.

She is leading multicentre Canadian trials using amyloid imaging in patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease with moderate to severe white matter disease. In these trials, she is using ocular biomarkers, genetics, multimodal magnetic resonance imaging and neuropsychological testing. She is also concluding a repurposing trial of angiotensin receptor blockers versus angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors in hypertensive patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

As of June 2016, Dr. Black has over 470 publications (403 peer-reviewed), a Scopus H-index of 72, Google Scholar H-index of 89 and 28,726 citations. Over the last 25 years, she has led multidisciplinary research teams in studies of stroke and dementia. She has mentored many young faculty and trainees, including 36 postdoctoral fellows, 18 PhD students and 15 master’s students, earning outstanding mentorship awards from U of T’s Institute of Medical Sciences and department of medicine.

Her CIHR-funded multidisciplinary, multimodality longitudinal study of 1,279 patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias has investigated brain-behaviour relationships, particularly the role of small vessel disease, and the utility of neuroimaging for diagnosis and monitoring treatment response (including 170 patients followed to autopsy). This invaluable archive has generated and contributed to 191 peer-reviewed publications in high-quality journals with trainees as first authors on more than 70 of those. These include reports of novel gene mutations in frontotemporal dementia and Lewy body disease.

Publications and Awards

View PubMed search of this faculty member's recent publications.

Recent Publications

  1. Spatiotemporal analysis for detection of pre-symptomatic shape changes in neurodegenerative diseases: Initial application to the GENFI cohort.
    Cury C, Durrleman S, Cash DM, Lorenzi M, Nicholas JM, Bocchetta M, van Swieten JC, Borroni B, Galimberti D, Masellis M, Tartaglia MC, Rowe JB, Graff C, Tagliavini F, Frisoni GB, Laforce R Jr, Finger E, de Mendonça A, Sorbi S, Ourselin S, Rohrer JD, Modat M; Genetic FTD Initiative, GENFI.
    Neuroimage. 2018 Dec 6. pii: S1053-8119(18)32144-X. 
  2. Correction to: The Toronto cognitive assessment (TorCA): normative data and validation to detect amnestic mild cognitive impairment.
    Freedman M, Leach L, Carmela Tartaglia M, Stokes KA, Goldberg Y, Spring R, Nourhaghighi N, Gee T, Strother SC, Alhaj MO, Borrie M, Darvesh S, Fernandez A, Fischer CE, Fogarty J, Greenberg BD, Gyenes M, Herrmann N, Keren R, Kirstein J, Kumar S, Lam B, Lena S, McAndrews MP, Naglie G, Partridge R, Rajji TK, Reichmann W, Uri Wolf M, Verhoeff NPLG, Waserman JL, Black SE, Tang-Wai DF.
    Alzheimers Res Ther. 2018 Dec 7;10(1):120.
  3. Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase-Derived Linoleic Acid Oxylipins in Serum Are Associated with Periventricular White Matter Hyperintensities and Vascular Cognitive Impairment.
    Yu D, Hennebelle M, Sahlas DJ, Ramirez J, Gao F, Masellis M, Cogo-Moreira H, Swartz RH, Herrmann N, Chan PC, Pettersen JA, Stuss DT, Black SE, Taha AY, Swardfager W.
    Transl Stroke Res. 2018 Nov 15. 
  4. Regional Amyloid-β Load and White Matter Abnormalities Contribute to Hypometabolism in Alzheimer's Dementia.
    Schilling LP, Pascoal TA, Zimmer ER, Mathotaarachchi S, Shin M, de Mello Rieder CR, Gauthier S, Palmini A, Rosa-Neto P; Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative.
    Mol Neurobiol. 2018 Nov 9. 
  5. The Impact of Covert Lacunar Infarcts and White Matter Hyperintensities on Cognitive and Motor Outcomes After Stroke.
    Auriat AM, Ferris JK, Peters S, Ramirez J, Black SE, Jacova C, Boyd LA.
    J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2018 Nov 5. pii: S1052-3057(18)30588-3.