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Movement Disorders

  • Un Jung Kang, MD, Chief, Division of Movement Disorders
    Dr. Kang is focused on 1) understanding the mechanisms of dopaminergic therapy in order to maximize its efficacy and 2) understanding the mechanisms of neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease (PD) to gain insights for potential neuroprotective therapies. His lab has been studying the non-dopaminergic mechanisms underlying both the beneficial aspects of the dopaminergic therapy, such as motor learning, that produces long-duration response and detrimental ones, such as dyskinesia. He is also interested in pathogenic mechanisms of PD and investigates interaction of PD causing genes such as DJ-1 and PINK1 with environmental exposures in producing neurodegeneration.
  • Stanley Fahn, MD
    Clinical research involving most aspects of movement disorders: dystonia and tardive syndromes; clinical pharmacology; genetics of movement disorders; clinical and surgical trials of new therapies for Parkinson disease, dystonia and myoclonus; rating scales; and experimental therapeutics for movement disorders.
  • Blair Ford, MD
    Clinical research on deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson disease, tremor, dystonia, and other movement disorders, with a focus on treatment outcomes, patient selection criteria, stimulation effects, long-term follow-up, and potential new clinical applications and target sites.
    Center for Movement Disorder Surgery
  • Roy Alcalay, MD, MS
    Dr. Alcalay’s focus is on clinical research on the epidemiology and the genetics of Parkinson’s disease. He has particular interest in cognitive manifestations of Parkinson’s disease. His research focuses on the association between genetic mutations, Parkinson’s disease and cognitive impairment. Additional current projects include assessment of correlations between genetic profile and clinical manifestations of Parkinson’s disease, especially among patients with early-onset Parkinson’s.
  • Cheryl Waters, MD
    Clinical drug trials for Parkinson disease. Clinical research on other parkinsonian syndromes and movement disorders.
  • Serge Przedborski, MD, PhD
    Studies on the cellular and molecular bases of neurodegeneration as they pertain to the demise of specific populations of neurons in toxic and genetic models of Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Research efforts are geared toward unraveling the contribution of both cell autonomous (e.g. mitochondrial bionenergetic and dynamics; autophagy; apoptosis) and non-cell autonomous (e.g. astrocyte, microglia) mechanisms of neuronal death. Methods include transgenic rodents, cell culture of both clonal and primary cells, transfection/infection to modulate genes of interest, immunohistochemistry, stereology, functional microscopy, in situ hybridization, receptor binding, enzymatic assays, mitochondrial functional assays, HPLC, classical histology, behavioral testing, and surgery.
    Przedborski Neuroscience Research Laboratory
  • Seth Pullman, MD
    Areas of research include movement analysis, brainstem and spinal reflexes, botulinum toxin injections into limbs, intraoperative single unit recordings during functional neurosurgery, mathematical modeling, and artificial intelligence approaches to clinical and physiological data. Current projects include sophisticated diagnosis-oriented tremor analysis, back averaging EEG to EMG and polymyography, handwriting and spiral analysis, transcranial magnetic motor evoked responses, reaction time and movement speed analysis in patients undergoing surgery for Parkinson's disease, intraoperative monitoring during pallidotomy and diagnostic neural network paradigm development.
    Clinical Motor Physiology Laboratory

Neurodegeneration Laboratories: Morris Udall Center For Parkinson Disease Research

  • Robert Burke, MD, PhD, Director PD Research Lab
    Studies of mechanisms of programmed cell death in models of neurodegeneration related to disorders of the basal ganglia, especially parkinsonism. Studies are conducted both in vivo and in vitro, utilizing immunohistochemistry, quantitative morphologic analysis, in situ hybridization, differential display, receptor autoradiography, and enzyme assays.
    Burke Laboratory
  • David Sulzer, PhD
    Study of dopamine synaptic plasticity and its pharmacological manipulation by drugs used for treatment of Parkinson disease and schizophrenia, as well as modulation by intrinsic synaptic proteins. Investigations also include mechanisms of addictive drugs associated with dopamine systems and cell culture models of catecholamine neurotoxicity and neurodegeneration. Methods include electrophysiology, electrochemistry, HPLC, quantitative microscopy, molecular biology, and neuronal cell culture.
    Sulzer Laboratory
  • Lloyd A. Greene and Claude P.J. Ghez
    The neurological mechanisms underlying the initiation and control of reaching movement are studied by kinematic, electromyographic analyses, PET, and fMRI in normal humans and patients with cerebral or cerebellar lesions. In trained cats, deficits in kinematic control are analyzed following reversible inactivation of motor cortex and cerebellum. Other anatomic brain pathways relevant to movement are also being investigated.