Mark Tarnopolsky


Professor, Division of Neurology, Department Pediatrics and Medicine

Head, Neuromuscular and Neurometabolic Disease





Clinical Interests

Dr. Tarnopolsky's main clinical interest is the assessment and treatment of patients with neuromuscular and neurometabolic disorders. He follows a large number of patients with myopathies, neuropathies and neuromuscular junction defects. His other major area of focus is neurometabolic disorders, particularly those involving the mitochondria as well as other metabolic disorders, such as: glycogen storage disease, fatty acid oxidation defects, etc.

In the Neuromuscular Disease Clinic, Dr. Tarnopolsky's team performs:

In addition, Dr. Tarnopolsky's team can co-ordinate sample acquisition and preparation for genetic and metabolic testing.

Some examples of the conditions which Dr. Tarnopolsky sees are provided below:

  1. Neuromuscular Disorders: neuropathies, neuromuscular transmission defects (myasthenia gravis, Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome), hereditary motor sensory neuropathy (Charcot Marie Tooth disease), suspected ALS - if diagnosis is established I refer to my colleague Dr. John Turnbull in the ALS clinic, inflammatory myopathies (polymyositis, dermatomyositis, inclusion body myositis), muscular dystrophies (myotonic,dystrophinopathy, limb-girdle, fascio-scapulo-humeral,etc), congenital myopathies (nemaline rod, congenital fiber-type disproportion), endocrine myopathies (thyroid, cortisol), channelopaties (myotonia congenita, periodic paralyses, other myotonic disorders), paramyotonia congenita and autoimmune associated neurological syndromes.
  2. Neurometabolic Disorders: fatty acid oxidation defect, glycogen storage disease, mitochondrial cytopathies, ryanodine receptor defects (malignant hyperthermia, central core disease) and any other defect of suspected intermediary metabolism.
  3. Neurogenic Disorders: Friedrich's ataxia, spinocerebellar ataxia, glycogen or lysosomal storage disease and leukodystrophies.

Research Interests

From a research standpoint, Dr. Tarnopolsky's main interest is the assessment of pharmacologic, nutritional and exercise interventions as treatments for patients with neuromuscular and neurometabolic disorders. Dr. Tarnopolsky's team has a testing facility with:

Dr. Tarnopolsky also coordinates a wet laboratory with complete biochemical and molecular biological techniques.

We have a major focus on the understanding of aging using murine and human models. A major focus has been on the role of exercise as a countermeasure to some of the aging associated outcomes such as sarcopenia.

Selected Publications

  1. Tarnopolsky, MA, Martin, J. Creatine monohydrate increases strength in patients with neuromuscular disease. Neurology, 52(4), 854-857, 1999.
  2. Tarnopolsky, MA, Parise, G. Direct measurement of high energy phosphate compounds in patients with neuromuscular disease. Muscle & Nerve, 22(9), 1228-1233, 1999.
  3. McEachern, G, Kassovska-Bratinova, S, Raha, S, Tarnopolsky, MA, Turnbull, J, Bourgeois, J, Robinson, B. Manganese superoxide dismutase levels are elevated in a proportion of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patient cell lines. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 273(1): 359-363, 2000.
  4. Mihic, S, MacDonald, JR, McKenzie, S, Tarnopolsky, MA. Acute creatine loading increases fat-free mass, but does not affect blood pressure, plasma creatinine or CK activity in men and women. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 32(2), 291-296, 2000.
  5. Tarnopolsky, MA. Potential benefits of creatine monohydrate supplementation in the elderly. Curr. Opin. Clin. Nutr. Metab. Care, 3(6): 497-502, 2000.
  6. Tarnopolsky, MA, Cupido, C. Caffeine potentiates low frequency skeletal muscle force in habitual and non-habitual caffeine consumers. J. Appl. Physiol. 89(5): 1719-1724, 2000.
  7. Woulfe, J, Hoogerdorn, H, Tarnopolsky, MA, Munoz, DG. Monoclonal antibodies against Epstein-Barr virus cross-react with Alpha-Synuclein in Human Brain. Neurology, 55(9): 1398-1401, 2000.
  8. Baker, SK, Tarnopolsky, MA, Bonen, A. The expression of MCT1 and MCT4 in a patient with mitochondrial myopathy. Muscle & Nerve, 24:394-398, 2001.
  9. Carter, S, McKenzie, S, Mourtzakis, M, Tarnopolsky, MA. Short-term 17-b-estradiol decreases glucose Ra but not whole-body metabolism during endurance exercise. J. Appl. Physiol., 90(1):139-146, 2001.
  10. Carter, SL, Rennie, C, Tarnopolsky MA. Substrate Utilization During Endurance Exercise in Men and Women After Endurance Training. Am J. Physiol. Endocrinol Metab, June, 2001, 280(6):E898-907.
  11. Doherty, TJ, Lougheed, K, Markez, J, Tarnopolsky, MA. Creatine Monohydrate Does Not Increase Strength in Patients With Hereditary Neuropathy. Neurology, Aug 14 2001, 57(3):559-60.
  12. McNeil, SM, Woulfe, J, Ross, C, Tarnopolsky, MA. Congenital Inflammatory Myopathy: A Demonstrative Case and Proposed Diagnostic Classification. Muscle & Nerve, Feb, 2002.
  13. Parise, G, Bosman, MJ, Boecker, DR, Barry, MJD, Tarnopolsky, MA. The effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI's) on high intensity exercise performance. Arch. Phys. Med. Rehab., 82(7):867-71, 2001.
  14. Parise, G, Mihic, S, MacLennan, D, Yarasheski, KE, Tarnopolsky, MA. Effects of Acute Creatine Monohydrate Supplementation on Leucine Kinetics and Mixed-Muscle Protein Synthesis. J. Appl. Physiol. 91(3):1041-7, Sep. 2001.
  15. Simon, DK, Tarnopolsky, MA, Greenamyre, JT, Johns, DR. A frame shift mitochondrial complex I gene mutation in a patient with dystonia and cataracts: Is the mutation pathogenic? J. Med. Genet. 38:58-61, 2001.
  16. Tarnopolsky, MA, Beal, MF. Potential for creatine and other therapies targeting cellular energy dysfunction in neurological disorders. Ann. Neurol., 49:561-574, 2001.
  17. Tarnopolsky, MA, Parise, G, Gibala, MJ, Graham, TE, Rush, JEW. Myoadenylate deaminase deficiency does not affect muscle anapleurosis during exhaustive exercise. J. Physiol., 533(3):881-889, 2001.
  18. Tarnopolsky, MA, Parshad, A, Walzel, B, Schlattner, U, Wallimann, T. Creatine transporter (CreaT) and mitochondrial creatine kinase protein content in myopathies: Significant reduction of CreaT in myopathies. Muscle & Nerve, 24(5):682-688, 2001.
  19. Tarnopolsky, MA, Richmond, L, Shearer, J, Graham, T, Zawada, C, Phillip, S. Gender differences in carbohydrate loading are related to energy intake. J. Appl. Physiol., 91(1):225-300, 2001.
  20. Baker, SK, Tarnopolsky, MA. Statin Myopathies: Pathophysiologic and Clinical Perspectives. Clinical and Investigative Medicine, Oct. 2001, 24(5):258-72.