• Bjornson, Bruce

    Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
    Scientific Director, Imaging (3T MRI) Facility
    Director, Brain Mapping & Neurotechnology Laboratory 
    Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Neurology, Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia
    Degrees / Designations
    BSc, MD, FRCPC (Pediatrics & Neurology)
    Primary Area of Research
    Brain, Behaviour & Development
    Secondary Area(s) of Research
    Lab Phone
    Mailing Address
    BC Children's Hospital

    4480 Oak Street, Room K3-143
    Vancouver, BC V6H 3V4

    Affiliate Websites
    Research Areas
    • Brain Mapping
    • Functional Neuroimaging
    • 3T MRI
    • Pediatric Stroke
    • Sports Concussions
    • Language Networks in Epilepsy

    My research focuses on the application of multi-modality functional neuroimaging methods, which link abnormalities of neurological function to demonstrable alterations of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, and thereby enhance understanding of neurological disorders in infants, children and young adults with stroke and other brain injuries (e.g., sports concussions), epilepsy and neurodevelopmental disorders.   I collaborate with regional, national and international collaborators who seek to evaluate outcomes and enhance neurological care using advanced non-invasive functional neuroimaging methodologies for children.

    Current Projects

    fMRI Study - Multi-Site Pediatric Network for fMRI Mapping in Childhood Epilepsy
    We aim to establish the utility of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) in identifying atypical language in childhood localization related epilepsy, by using a variety of language paradigms that have already been tested in normal children and patients with epilepsy.

    The study objectives include:

    • To establish the network infrastructure for multi-site collection and management of functional imaging data linked to a database of common assessments and measures 

    • To establish the feasibility of conducting multi-site fMRI by identifying patients with atypical language, and to provide pilot data necessary to conduct a large scale study to compare fMRI findings to invasive methods (IAT, ECS, surgical outcome)

    To achieve this goals, an imaging consortium with web based access and central data storage will be established.  A multi-centre, cross sectional prospective study will use fMRI to study patients undergoing epilepsy surgery. Clinical data will be collected as part of routine evaluation for chronic epilepsy in children considered for epilepsy surgery. 

    IPSS Study - International Paediatric Stroke Study
    We aim to obtain preliminary data from large multi-center studies assessing sub-types, outcomes and current treatments for newborns and children with stroke.  Due to the relative rarity of childhood stoke, sufficient numbers of patients to provide the necessary power can only be achieved with multi-center and multi-national approaches.  The overall objective is to develop and conduct clinical trials in childhood stroke.

    The specific aims are:

    • Ascertain in a prospective cohort study, the numbers of newborns and children with ischemic stroke, their stroke sub-types and risk factors, their current treatments and outcomes within the participating centers. These data will provide the rationale and feasibility data for the study group to design and implement the initial RCT’s in paediatric stroke as well as other fundable grant proposals.

    • Develop and institute standardized protocols for (1) diagnosis, (2) investigation of risk factors, (3) antithrombotic therapies and (4) outcome assessment of neonates and children with arterial ischemic stroke and sinovenous thrombosis 

    • Develop standardized data forms and an appropriate database with web-based data entry from multiple study sites. 

    • Submit successful grant applications for additional funding of IPSS multi-centre studies.

    This prospective study enrolls newborns and children with ischemic stroke born at or referred to BC Children’s Hospital. These newborns are then followed at 3 and 12 months post stroke. 

    Selected Publications

    Wintermark M, Hills NK, deVeber GA, Barkovich AJ, Elkind MS, et al. Arteriopathy diagnosis in childhood arterial ischemic stroke: results of the vascular effects of infection in pediatric stroke study. Stroke. 2014 Dec;45(12):3597-605. PubMed PMID: 25388419; NIHMSID: NIHMS635582; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4260818. 

    Eddin AS, Wang J, Wu W, Sargolzaei S, Bjornson B, et al. The effects of pediatric epilepsy on a language connectome. Hum Brain Mapp. 2014 Dec;35(12):5996-6010. PubMed PMID: 25082062.

    Boelman C, Shroff M, Yau I, Bjornson B, Richrdson S, et al. Antithrombotic therapy for secondary stroke prevention in bacterial meningitis in children. J Pediatr. 2014 Oct;165(4):799-806. PubMed PMID: 25063717.

    Gelinas JN, Fitzpatrick KP, Kim HC, Bjornson BH. Cerebellar language mapping and cerebral language dominance in pediatric epilepsy surgery patients. Neuroimage Clin. 2014;6:296-306. PubMed PMID: 25379442; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4215475. 

    Wang J, You X, Wu W, Guillen MR, Cabrerizo M, et al. Classification of fMRI patterns--a study of the language network segregation in pediatric localization related epilepsy. Hum Brain Mapp. 2014 Apr;35(4):1446-60. PubMed PMID: 23450847; NIHMSID: NIHMS455053; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3748221.

    Vinall J, Miller SP, Bjornson BH, Fitzpatrick KP, Poskitt KJ, et al. Invasive procedures in preterm children: brain and cognitive development at school age. Pediatrics. 2014 Mar;133(3):412-21. PubMed PMID: 24534406; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3934331. 

    Ranger M, Chau CM, Garg A, Woodward TS, Beg MF, et al. Neonatal pain-related stress predicts cortical thickness at age 7 years in children born very preterm. PLoS One. 2013;8(10):e76702. PubMed PMID: 24204657; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3800011. 

    You X, Adjouadi M, Wang J, Guillen MR, Bernal B, et al. A decisional space for fMRI pattern separation using the principal component analysis--a comparative study of language networks in pediatric epilepsy. Hum Brain Mapp. 2013 Sep;34(9):2330-42. PubMed PMID: 22461299; NIHMSID: NIHMS357613; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3398237. 

    Len TK, Neary JP, Asmundson GJ, Candow DG, Goodman DG, et al. Serial monitoring of CO2 reactivity following sport concussion using hypocapnia and hypercapnia. Brain Inj. 2013;27(3):346-53. PubMed PMID: 23438354. 

    Partanen M, Fitzpatrick K, Mädler B, Edgell D, Bjornson B, et al. Cortical basis for dichotic pitch perception in developmental dyslexia. Brain Lang. 2012 Nov;123(2):104-12. PubMed PMID: 23043968. 

    Kirton A, Armstrong-Wells J, Chang T, Deveber G, Rivkin MJ, et al. Symptomatic neonatal arterial ischemic stroke: the International Pediatric Stroke Study. Pediatrics. 2011 Dec;128(6):e1402-10. PubMed PMID: 22123886. 

    Len TK, Neary JP, Asmundson GJ, Goodman DG, Bjornson B, et al. Cerebrovascular reactivity impairment after sport-induced concussion. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 Dec;43(12):2241-8. PubMed PMID: 21606867. 

    You X, Adjouadi M, Guillen MR, Ayala M, Barreto A, et al. Sub-patterns of language network reorganization in pediatric localization related epilepsy: a multisite study. Hum Brain Mapp. 2011 May;32(5):784-99. PubMed PMID: 21484949; NIHMSID: NIHMS455276; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3640868. 

    Jordan LC, Rafay MF, Smith SE, Askalan R, Zamel KM, et al. Antithrombotic treatment in neonatal cerebral sinovenous thrombosis: results of the International Pediatric Stroke Study. J Pediatr. 2010 May;156(5):704-10, 710.e1-710.e2. PubMed PMID: 20149389; NIHMSID: NIHMS174544; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2854210.

    Honours & Awards

    Farley Fellowship (Children's Hospital, Boston), 1992

    Von Meyer Travelling Award (Children's Hospital, Boston), 1991

    Adella Patridge Award for Cardiology (University of Alberta), 1981

    University of Alberta Alumni Association Award , 1977

    Research Group Members

    Jing Zhang, PhD, MRI Scientist (GE Healthcare)
    Lynne Williams, PhD, Technology Integration Manager
    Kevin Fitzpatrick, MSc, Technology Development Manager
    Danny Kim, BEng, Neuroinformatics Engineer