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Karen M Barlow


Associate Professor, Paediatrics and Clinical Neurosciences

(403) 955-7816

C2-283, Alberta Children's Hospital
2888 Shaganappi Trail NW
Calgary, AB  T3B 6A8


I am an academic paediatric neurologist, clinical trialist and specialist in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in children and adolescence. I am the Director of the Complex Concussion Program at the Alberta Children’s Hospital (ACH). This program is part of the University of Calgary’s Integrated Concussion Research Program initiative. I have completed formal training in conducting clinical trials through the University of London (MSc in Clinical Trials) in order to improve the care for children with TBI. Understanding why some children don't recover quickly may have important treatment implications. My research focuses i) the outcome of pediatric traumatic brain injury and factors influencing this outcome, and ii) the treatment of its sequelae including a CIHR-funded randomized controlled trial.

Research Activities: 

 Neurobiology of Post-Concussion Syndrome

Using imaging techniques to elucidate the neurobiological contributions to outcome of mild TBI and concussion
MRI studies include:
- use of fMRI to help understand cognition and fatigue
- exploration of changes in the neurovascular unit using perfusion techniques and DTI
- investigation of the biology of pain and headache after a concussion
fNIRS as a tool to monitor recovery in PCS
TMS is used to explore cortical excitability over recovery from traumatic brain injury

How to treat post concussion syndrome

A randomized placebo controlled trial of melatonin to treat post concussion syndrome in youth (

Occipital nerve blockade in post traumatic headaches

An open label trial of rTMS for persistent symptoms following mTBI

Additional websites for further information:

Research Areas: 
Neurobiology and treatment of post-concussion symdrome following mild traumatic brain injury and concussion


Associations & Fellowships: 
  • MRCP (UK)