Dr. Clarke's Website
Who Is Dr. Clarke?
I am an M.D. with a subspecialty board certification in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
My office is located in Webster Texas near Johnson Space Center at NASA.
PM&R physicians treat patients with the worst of medical problems. These include:
2. Spinal Cord
3. Chronic Pain
5. Chronic Wounds
Diseases such as
Diseases such as
9. Joint Replacements
We try to improve these patients both medically and by working with a team of professionals such as physical, occupational and speech therapists as well as specially trained rehab nurses. We also prescribe assistive devices that can compensate for the disabilities and impairments of these patients thereby improving the quality of their lives and helping them live as independently as possible at home.
WHAT I DO
After working as a PM&R doctor for several years, I became disenfranchised with the current medical treatment of diseases of the nervous system and stroke. I found that the treatment regimens for stroke had not appreciably changed in the last century. Of course, now we can identify the exact location of the brain injury with MRI, but we still have no protocol for treatment of the stroke patient to improve their outcome. We still just send them to rehab and start therapies. There had to be more we could do to minimize the extent of the stroke and the functional deficits of the patients.
During a continuing medical education seminar I ran into an old friend from medical school, Roby Mitchell. We spent the rest of the day together with him explaining how his interest in preventive biochemistry had redirected him off the beaten track of the dogma of medicine with amazing results in his patients. This encounter refueled my interest in the biochemistry and neurochemistry that might be involved in stroke and degenerative neurologic diseases. As a result of this chance meeting, I have spent the last decade getting current with the research in the areas of cell biology and neuropharmacology and neuroendocrinology from literally thousands of papers and hundreds of books. I have implemented much of this in the care of my patients.
The results continue to surprise me today. I am equally surprised that despite the preponderance of research that demonstrates that the size of a stroke can be controlled and a phenomenon of neurogenesis can be promoted in injured brain tissue, none of this has found its way into the day to day treatment of a stroke patient that comes into the E.R. with sudden onset paralysis. It is lamentable that with all the data that exists in the neuroscience literature, none of these potential treatments have been implemented in patients with Parkinson’s disease or brain injury or spinal cord injury. Simple restoration of the body’s own biochemical and neuroendocrine systems following an injury can favorably affect the recovery and outcome in many of these patients.
Not only does this restoring of the body’s own processes assist in brain injury recovery, but, and this is important, ALL CELLS IN THE BODY WORK THE SAME, and make their cellular energy with the same biochemical pathways, with the sole exception of the red blood cell. That means that with these same principles, we should be able to improve the healing rate of chronic ischemic wounds, increase the density of old, osteoporotic bones, and heal fractures, even in aged patients. And indeed we can.
This is what I do.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING
I graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor's degree in psychology and French. I majored in French because I had been an exchange student to France and needed to maintain my language fluency and learn more of the French literature.
I then attended University of Texas at Dallas and earned a Master’s degree in Human Development with a “subinterest” in statistics and experimental design. After graduation I was accepted to the Ph.D. program at University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Dallas, Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in the Department of Cell Biology with a major interest in neurobiology and neuropharmacology.
During my Ph.D. program I worked with Jere Mitchell and Richard Galosy in the Adolph and Pauline Weinberger Cardiology group primarily focusing on the central nervous system control of cardiovascular function. After my acceptance at Texas Tech School of Medicine in the M.D. program, I continued my research with Charles Barnes who became a co-advisor on my dissertation committee and mentored me in neurophysiology and neuroanatomy. I completed my dissertation research and the defense of my dissertation while attending medical school and was awarded my Ph.D.
After graduation from Texas Tech School of Medicine with my M.D. degree, I was accepted at Emory School of Medicine in Atlanta for a transitional internship. This was interrupted by the death of my parents and I was allowed to transfer to Baylor College of Medicine to complete my transitional year in Houston where I could oversee the care of my grandparents. I had already been accepted in the residency program at Baylor in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation to begin the following year.
At Baylor College of Medicine, I worked as a resident for the next 4 years with extensive experience treating spinal cord injury and brain injury patients at TIRR and the V.A. spinal cord unit in Houston. Upon graduation, with the help of Continental Medical Systems, I started a free standing rehabilitation hospital and moved into private practice.