Neurologist (brain, nervous system)
35 years of experience
Video profile
Accepting new patients
Medical Center
Harper Physicians Group
4201 Saint Antoine St
Detroit, MI 48201
Locations and availability (3)

Education ?

Medical School Score
Thomas Jefferson University (1975)
  • Currently 2 of 4 apples

Awards & Distinctions ?

Voted Best Doctors 2011-2012
Castle Connolly America's Top Doctors® (2010 - 2014)
Castle Connolly America's Top Doctors® for Cancer (2006 - 2007, 2009 - 2012, 2014)
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

Affiliations ?

Dr. Barger is affiliated with 14 hospitals.

Hospital Affilations



  • Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan
    261 Mack Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
    • Currently 4 of 4 crosses
    Top 25%
  • DMC - Sinai-Grace Hospital
    6071 W Outer Dr, Detroit, MI 48235
    • Currently 4 of 4 crosses
    Top 25%
  • Detroit Receiving Hospital & University Health Center
    4201 Saint Antoine St, Detroit, MI 48201
    • Currently 3 of 4 crosses
    Top 50%
  • Sinai-Grace Hospital
    6071 W Outer Dr, Detroit, MI 48235
  • Children's Hospital of Michigan
  • Hutzel Hospital
  • Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute *
  • Hutzel Women's Hospital
  • Harper University Hospital *
  • Harper Hospital
  • Detroit Receiving
  • Rehabilitation
  • Karmanos Cancer Center
    4100 John R St, Detroit, MI 48201
  • Sinai-Grace
  • * This information was reported to Vitals by the doctor or doctor's office.

    Publications & Research

    Dr. Barger has contributed to 7 publications.
    Title Recurrence Following Neurosurgeon-determined Gross-total Resection of Adult Supratentorial Low-grade Glioma: Results of a Prospective Clinical Trial.
    Date December 2008
    Journal Journal of Neurosurgery

    OBJECT: In 1998, the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group initiated a Phase II study of observation for adults < 40 years old with cerebral low-grade glioma who underwent a neurosurgeon-determined gross-total resection (GTR). METHODS: Patient eligibility criteria included the presence of a World Health Organization Grade II astrocytoma, oligodendroglioma, or mixed oligoastrocytoma confirmed histologically; age 18-39 years; Karnofsky Performance Scale score > or = 60; Neurologic Function Scale score < or = 3; supratentorial tumor location; neurosurgeon-determined GTR; and pre- and postoperative MR imaging with contrast enhancement available for central review by the principal investigator. Patients were observed following GTR and underwent MR imaging every 6 months. Prognostic factors analyzed for their contribution to patient overall survival, progression-free survival (PFS), and tumor recurrence included age, sex, Karnofsky Performance Scale score, Neurologic Function Scale score, histological type, contrast enhancement on preoperative MR imaging, preoperative tumor diameter, residual disease based on postoperative MR imaging, and baseline Mini-Mental State Examination score. RESULTS: Between 1998 and 2002, 111 eligible patients were entered into the study. In these 111 patients, the overall survival rates at 2 and 5 years were 99 and 93%, respectively. The PFS rates in these 111 patients at 2 and 5 years were 82 and 48%, respectively. Three prognostic factors predicted significantly poorer PFS in univariate and multivariate analyses: 1) preoperative tumor diameter > or = 4 cm; 2) astrocytoma/oligoastrocytoma histological type; and 3) residual tumor > or = 1 cm according to MR imaging. Review of the postoperative MR imaging results revealed that 59% of patients had < 1 cm residual disease (with a subsequent 26% recurrence rate), 32% had 1-2 cm residual disease (with a subsequent 68% recurrence rate), and 9% had > 2 cm residual disease (with a subsequent 89% recurrence rate). CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that young adult patients with low-grade glioma who undergo a neurosurgeon-determined GTR have a > 50% risk of tumor progression 5-years postoperatively, warranting close follow-up and consideration for adjuvant treatment.

    Title Gliosarcoma with Multiple Extracranial Metastases: Case Report and Review of the Literature.
    Date June 2007
    Journal Journal of Neuro-oncology

    Gliosarcoma is a rare malignant neoplasm of the central nervous system with a propensity for metastasis. There are fewer than 20 reported cases of extracranial metastases of gliosarcoma with the majority of cases reflecting a tendency for hematogenous dissemination. Here we describe the case of a 47-year-old man who developed pervasive extracranial metastases from a temporal gliosarcoma following radio- and chemotherapy for a primary glioblastoma. The patient initially presented with progressively worsening headaches, left-sided weakness and numbness associated with right temporo-parietal mass for which he underwent craniotomy with stereotactic gross-total excision. Two months postoperatively, interstitial brachytherapy and external beam radiotherapy were initiated. The patient initially declined chemotherapy. The tumor recurred twice and the patient underwent re-operation and multiple courses of chemotherapy; histopathological diagnosis remained glioblastoma multiforme. Nineteen months following initial resection the patient's clinical status deteriorated and CT scan demonstrated multiple intrathoracic, hepatic and splenic lesions. Postmortem examination revealed widespread, infiltrating gliosarcoma with intravascular gliomatosis and extensive visceral metastases. This is the first report of pervasive extracranial metastases to numerous sites, several of which have not been previously reported. The histogenesis and the potential role of therapeutic irradiation in the development of gliosarcoma are briefly reviewed.

    Title Familial Factors Associated with Malignant Gliomas.
    Date December 1990
    Journal Genetic Epidemiology

    Family histories of male patients with histologically confirmed malignant gliomas were compared to family histories of controls (wives). Included were 77 case families with 892 relatives and 77 control families with 719 relatives. Cases had significantly more siblings than controls (P = 0.02), although cases were not preferentially the oldest or the youngest sibs. Odds ratios of two or more were found for mental retardation, Parkinson's disease, and meningitis for the relatives of cases versus controls, but none were statistically significant. The excesses of Parkinson's disease and meningitis were explained by the family of one particularly interesting case containing three relatives with meningitis and two relatives with Parkinson's disease. Noteworthy age-adjusted odds ratios for cancer among relatives of cases compared to relatives of controls were 1.6 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.0-2.3) for cancer of any site, 2.4 (95% CI = 0.8-6.1) for breast cancer, and 4.0 (95% CI = 0.6-10.7) for lung cancer. Only the odds ratio for cancer of any site was statistically significant. Overall, 6 of 77 (8%) of cases came from families that included two or more relatives with breast or lung cancer in addition to the proband with malignant glioma. These three cancer sites may form familial clusters worthy of further evaluation in future studies by pedigree and genetic linkage analyses.

    Title Stem Cell Studies of Human Malignant Brain Tumors. Part 1: Development of the Stem Cell Assay and Its Potential.
    Date February 1983
    Journal Journal of Neurosurgery

    A stem cell assay for human malignant gliomas has been developed. Cells obtained from tumor biopsies grew into colonies composed of malignant glial cells, as documented by histochemical, immunohistochemical, and immunobiological techniques. Studies suggest that the disaggregated cells are representative of the cells within the solid tumor. Clonogenic cells were obtained from 48 tumors and analyzed for their in vitro sensitivity to graded doses of 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU). The in vitro anti-tumor activity of BCNU at clinically achievable doses was compared to clinical response to the agent based on changes in computerized tomographic scan, radionuclide brain scan, and neurological examinations. Twenty-two patients received nitrosoureas before or after tumor specimen analysis, and were eligible for in vitro-in situ correlations. Clinical tumor sensitivity to nitrosoureas was predicted by culture results in 42% of all evaluable patients, and clinical resistance was predicted in 100%. The capability of the assay can be appreciated best for the 13 patients not treated with BCNU prior to culture; the in vitro prediction of clinical sensitivity and resistance was 71% and 100%, respectively. Preliminary findings show that clinical tumor resistance to BCNU may result from "intrinsic" cell resistance in some patients and from inadequate delivery of drug to tumor cells in other cases. The potential utility of this method to study the reason(s) for tumor cell resistance to drugs, to screen new chemotherapeutic agents, to individualize patient treatment, and to investigate tumor biology is discussed.

    Title Age-related Chemosensitivity of Stem Cells from Human Malignant Brain Tumours.
    Date June 1982
    Journal Lancet

    After radiation therapy and chemotherapy for malignant glioma, patients aged 50 or under survive longer than patients over 50. Data from Brain Tumor Study Group trials show that, without treatment, these age groups have similar survival; therefore unperturbed tumour growth does not account for the difference. Sixteen consecutive patients with malignant glioma were studied, half of whom were less than or equal to 50 years of age; none had been treated before initial surgery, and all were subsequently treated with radiation and chemotherapeutic agents (in all but two patients, with nitrosoureas). Median survival of those aged greater than 50 was less than or equal to 50 years was 54 + weeks whereas that of those aged greater than 50 was 37 weeks. The longer survival for younger patients could not be attributed to tumour type, size, or location, pretreatment Karnofsky status, or mode of treatment. In-vitro sensitivity testing of clonogenic cells obtained from biopsy specimens showed that tumour cells from seven of eight patients aged less than or equal to 50 years were sensitive to 1,3-bis (2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (greater than 40% cell kill at clinically achievable concentrations) compared with only one patient with sensitive cells out of eight older patients. Patient age was inversely correlated with in-vitro cell kill, and patients with sensitive cells were significantly younger than those with resistant cells. Therefore influence of age on survival after treatment of malignant gliomas is probably due to inherent differences in the sensitivity of clonogenic cells to radiation and/or chemotherapeutic agents.

    Title Low-grade Gliomas in Adults.
    Journal Current Treatment Options in Neurology

    Making treatment decisions for patients with infiltrating low-grade gliomas (LGGs) is challenging. Patients frequently present with seizures and usually have little or no neurologic deficit. In this younger and relatively well patient population, despite the potential for significant morbidity, we believe that surgical resection, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy each play an important role in the optimal management of these tumors. Randomized clinical trials have begun to address some of the many questions about prognosis, natural history, and treatment, but most questions have yet to be answered. We believe that, when possible, a maximal surgical resection consistent with preservation of neurologic function should be performed, even though it is likely that no randomized clinical trial will ever be done to demonstrate a survival advantage for this approach. External beam radiation therapy is most often given to a total dose of 50.4 or 54 Gy in 1.8-Gy fractions. The role of chemotherapy is less certain, but a growing body of evidence suggests that temozolomide, a generally well-tolerated drug, is active in the treatment of LGGs. In recent years, loss of heterozygosity of chromosome 1p and 19q, as well as silencing of the MGMT gene, have been identified as promising predictors of response to adjuvant therapy in gliomas. Although randomized trials have not yet shown a survival benefit for early radiation therapy or chemotherapy, one study by the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer did show an improvement in time to tumor progression with the earlier use of radiation therapy. In addition, a trial by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (soon to be analyzed and reported) is comparing radiation alone with radiation followed by a year (six cycles) of standard-dose PCV chemotherapy (procarbazine, CCNU, and vincristine); this trial may shed light on the use of chemotherapy in conjunction with radiation therapy for the initial treatment of LGGs. Because patients remain at risk for tumor progression for the remainder of their lives, we recommend lifelong follow-up with MRI scans, even for patients without documented tumor regrowth over long intervals. To give clinicians a more solid basis for guiding therapy recommendations, we encourage participation in large cooperative group clinical trials.

    Title Differential Kinetics of Alpha-[(11)c]methyl-l: -tryptophan on Pet in Low-grade Brain Tumors.
    Journal Journal of Neuro-oncology

    Increased tryptophan metabolism via the kynurenine pathway is a major mechanism of tumor immuno-resistance. alpha-[(11)C]Methyl-L: -tryptophan (AMT) is a positron emission tomography (PET) tracer for tryptophan catabolism, and increased AMT uptake has been demonstrated in brain tumors. In this study we evaluated the use of AMT PET for detection of low-grade gliomas and glioneuronal tumors, and determined if kinetic parameters of AMT uptake can differentiate among tumor types. AMT PET images were obtained in 23 patients with newly diagnosed low-grade brain tumors (WHO grade II gliomas and WHO grade I dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumors [DNETs]). Kinetic variables, including the unidirectional uptake rate (K-complex) and volume of distribution (VD; which characterizes tracer transport), were measured using a graphical approach from tumor dynamic PET and blood-input data, and metabolic rates ([Formula: see text]) were also calculated. These values as well as tumor/cortex ratios were compared across tumor types. AMT PET showed increased tumor/cortex K-complex (n = 16) and/or VD ratios (n = 15) in 21/23 patients (91%), including 11/13 tumors with no gadolinium enhancement on MRI. No increases in AMT were seen in an oligodendroglioma and a DNET. Astrocytomas and oligoastrocytomas showed higher [Formula: see text] tumor/cortex ratios (1.66 +/- 0.46) than oligodendrogliomas (0.96 +/- 0.21; P = 0.001) and DNETs (0.75 +/- 0.39; P < 0.001). These results demonstrate that AMT PET identifies most low-grade gliomas and DNETs by high uptake, even if these tumors are not contrast-enhancing on MRI. Kinetic analysis of AMT uptake shows significantly higher tumor/cortex tryptophan metabolic ratios in astrocytomas and oligoastrocytomas in comparison with oligodendrogliomas and DNETs.

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