|Basic Research||Clinical Research|
Research at the Parkinson’s Institute involves a multidisciplinary and interactive approach toward the overall goal of understanding the natural history of Parkinson’s disease (as well as related neurological disorders), finding its cause and developing better treatments. Specific lines of inquiry into the cause, cure and prevention of the disease are more effectively pursued through (i) the coordinated efforts of investigators with different scientific background and expertise (e.g. molecular biology, pharmacology and toxicology), and (ii) the use of state-of-the-art experimental tools at the molecular, cellular and whole organism levels. The close interaction between our scientists and clinicians provides a direct mechanism for translational laboratory-to-patient research.
Examples of current research endeavors at the Parkinson’s Institute include investigations into environmental, genetic and age-related risk factors for Parkinson’s disease, mechanisms of selective dopaminergic cell injury, the role of a-synuclein in disease pathogenesis, mechanisms of dyskinesias and new neuroprotective strategies (e.g. agents that counteract a-synuclein fibrillation, treatment with nicotine or nicotinic receptor agonists, and stimulation of endogenous stem cells).
The Clinical Research department conducts epidemiologic studies of movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. These studies help establish how many people have a disease, where they live, and how many new cases develop per year. Ultimately, this work is the cornerstone of understanding the causes of a disease and how to prevent or treat it.
The Clinical Research team is composed of epidemiologists, physicians, scientists, and toxicologists who work together to study many aspects of Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders. We are interested in studying the environmental and genetic factors causing neurologic diseases, and are also investigating early detection strategies to determine those at risk for developing movement disorders and methods for delaying or preventing the onset of these disorders.
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