Dr. Salas currently uses transcranial magnetic stimulation to study the neurophysiology of sleep and disrupted sleep. In particular, she has focused on insomnia, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), and has recently migrated out to other neurological disorders such as migraine that have a strong relationship with sleep. This study provides the first evidence that chronic insomnia patients have an increased plasticity response to physical exercise, possibly due to larger activation of glutamatergic mechanisms. This suggests a heightened state of neuroplasticity, which may reflect a form of maladaptive plasticity, similar to what has been described in dystonia patients and chronic phantom pain after amputation. These results could lead to development of novel treatments for chronic insomnia.
Dr. Rachel Salas' primary area of research interest involves exploring the underlying mechanisms of sleep and chronic sleep disorders such as insomnia and RLS. More specifically, her long-term goal is to better understand changes in cortical activity associated with insomnia and RLS, in order to improve treatment for these conditions.
In addition to her clinical research, Dr. Salas is involved in medical student, resident, and fellow education and currently serves as the Johns Hopkins Co-Director of the Neurology Core Clerkship, Advanced Clerkships, and electives for Medical Students. She is particularly interested in enhancing sleep education at all levels. Additionally, she founded and co-directs the JHU PreDoctoral (PreDoc) and JHSOM Osler Apprenticeship.
Learn more about Dr. Salas
To make an appointment with Dr. Salas please contact the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep at 1-800-We-Sleep (9375337)
Learn more about the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep
located at Howard County General Hospital
Learn more about the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center
located at Johns Hopkins Hospital