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Research

Dr. Albin is interested in the mechanisms of neuronal death in Huntington disease and changes in brain systems that underlie the different features of movement disorders. Dr. Albin’s laboratory is using mouse genetic models of Huntington disease to investigate mechanisms of neuronal death. In collaboration with other members of the Movement Disorders Program, Dr. Albin is using positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to study changes in brain systems related to Parkinson's disease, Tourette's syndrome and dementing disorders. Dr. Albin also participates in clinical trials for Parkinson disease and Huntington disease.

Dr. Aldridge is interested in understanding how brain systems process information related to movement and rewards. The principal method is to record electrical activity of individual nerve cells while animals execute natural movements, respond to predictive sensory cues or react to rewards. The goal of this work is to understand how changes in these brain systems cause features of Parkinson disease, Tourette’s syndrome and addiction.

Dr. Berke is interested in how neural circuits involving the basal ganglia mediate action selection and forms of learning. His laboratory is studying the mechanisms by which neuromodulators such as dopamine affect these circuits to produce both acute and long-term changes in behavior. Dr. Berke is studying how these parts of the brain interact with other brain regions to control the flexibility of behavior.

Dr. Bohnen is director of the Functional Neuroimaging, Cognitive, and Mobility Laboratory. He is interested in understanding the basis for different clinical features of movement disorders using a combination of imaging, particularly PET imaging, neuropsychology, and analysis of gait/balance. Dr. Bohnen also is active in clinical trials for Parkinson disease.

Dr. Chou pursues clinical research related to Parkinson disease. He is interested in efficacy of Deep Brain Stimulation, clinical trials for new treatments for Parkinson disease and study of functional impairments in Parkinson disease.

Dr. Frey is director of the Division of Nuclear Medicine. He is interested in brain functional changes in Parkinson disease, other movement disorders and dementing disorders. He studies these changes with positron emission tomography. He is active in the development of new PET methods. 

Dr. Fink is particularly interested in the Hereditary Spastic Parapareses (HSPs), a family of inherited disorders affecting gait. Dr. Fink’s laboratory pursues identification of genes causing HSPs and development of mouse genetic models for this disease family.

Dr. Lorincz is interested in the mechanisms of neuronal death in Huntington disease and related diseases. He uses novel cell culture systems to study neuronal death pathways.

Dr. Patil is interested in the relationship between the activity of individual and groups of neurons in the brain and the performance of motor and cognitive tasks, as well as the mechanisms underlying deep brain stimulation therapy. Dr. Patil has been active in clinical trials of DBS to treat various neurological conditions.

Dr. Paulson is interested in mechanisms of neuronal death in inherited ataxias, Huntington disease and related disorders, and in changes in protein processing during aging. His laboratory studies these problems with a combination of in vitro and in vivo preparations. His laboratory uses cell culture systems, mouse genetic models and zebrafish models. He also participates in clinical trials for Huntington disease.

Karen Kluin, M.S., CCC, BC-NCD, is interested in the speech, language and swallowing problems in neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson’s disease, MSA, PSP, Wilson’s disease, CBGD, other movement disorders and dementing disorders.