Amy K. Wagner, MD

  • Professor, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation




Education & Training

MD, Northwestern University Medical School (1996)

Campus Address

3471 Fifth Avenue, Suite 202

One-Line Research Description

The impact of gender and changes in neurochemistry on rehabilitation and treatment outcomes after traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Dr. Wagner is involved in both basic and clinical research concerning recovery outcomes after TBI. She is investigating the possible impact gender, neurotransmitters, and neurochemistry have on recovery outcomes after TBI. Currently, Dr. Wagner is utilizing fast scan cyclic voltammetry to assess, in vivo and in real time, striatal dopamine neurotransmission in an experimental model of TBI. Recently, she has begun to apply this technique to awake animals after TBI. Additionally, she is using MRI and PET technology to assess cortical-striatal integrity after TBI, Striatal receptor binding after TBI and the role that genetic variability may play with these to endpoints. Dr. Wagner is also evaluating the role that progesterone may play in ameliorating post traumatic seizures in experimental TBI. Additionally, she assessing the role that neuroendocrine hormones play in the evolution of secondary injury and recovery in a clinical population with TBI.

Representative Publications

Harun, R., Grassi, C. M., Munoz, M. J., Wagner, A. K. Modeling Fast-scan Cyclic Voltammetry Data from Electrically Stimulated Dopamine Neurotransmission Data Using QNsim1.0. J. Vis. Exp. (124), e55595, doi:10.3791/55595 (2017).


Nora, G.J., Harun, R., Fine, D.F., Hutchison, D., Grobart, A.C., Stezoski, J.P., Munoz, M.J., Kochanek, P.M., Leak, R.K., Drabek, T. and Wagner, A.K. (2017), Ventricular fibrillation cardiac arrest produces a chronic striatal hyperdopaminergic state that is worsened by methylphenidate treatment. J. Neurochem., 142: 305-322. doi:10.1111/jnc.14058


Munoz MJ, Kumar RG, Oh BM, Conley YP, Wang Z, Failla MD, Wagner AK. (2017), Cerebrospinal Fluid Cortisol Mediates Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Relationships to Mortality after Severe TBI: A Prospective Cohort Study. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience. 10: 44. PMID 28337122 DOI: 10.3389/fnmol.2017.00044 


Wagner, A.K., Ren, D., Conley, Y., Ma, X., Kerr, M.E., Zafonte, R.D., Puccio, A.M., Marion, D.W. and Dixon, C.E. Gender and Genetic Associations with CSF Dopamine and Metabolite Production after Severe TBI. J Neurosurg. 106: 537-547, 2007.


Wagner, A.K., Chen, X., Kline, A.E., Zafonte, R.D. and Dixon, C.E. Gender and Environmental Enrichment Impact Dopamine Transporter Expression after Experimental Traumatic Brain Injury. Exp Neurol. 195(2): 475-483, 2005.


Wagner, A.K., Sokoloski, J.E., Ren, D., Chen, X., Khan, A.S., Zafonte, R.D., Michael, A.C. and Dixon, C.E. Controlled Cortical Impact Injury Affects Dopaminergic Transmission in the Rat Striatum. J Neurochem. 95(2): 457-465, 2005.


Wagner, A.K., Fabio, A., Puccio, A., Hirchberg, R., Li, W., Zafonte, R.D. and Marion, D.W. Gender Associations with Cerbrospinal Fluid Glutamate and Lactate/Pyruvate Levels after Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. Crit Care Med. 33(2): 407-413, 2005.


Wagner, A.K., Kline, A.E., Sokoloski, J., Zafonte, R.D., Williams, M., Capulong, E. and Dixon, C.E. Intervention with Environmental Enrichment after Experimental Brain Trauma Enhances Cognitive Recovery in Male but not Female Rats. Neurosci Lett. 334: 165-168, 2002.