Clinical, genealogic and genetic studies of Parkinson syndrome and related disorders.
Our research focuses on finding specific genes as well as novel genes responsible for neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, ALS, Dementia, and Dystonia. Each new gene and story the genes tell together are providing the most remarkable, most fundamental, molecular insights into what is happening in movement disorders which can help lead to therapies and ultimately slow down the disease progression. By analyzing the DNA from family members with a family history of 2 or more affected with the condition in the family, we can zero in on the specific genetic changes causing the disease.
Affected and also unaffected family members and spouses are welcome to participate and contribute a blood sample. DNA from affected and unaffected family members will inform us of rare variants that may or may not be causing the condition in the family. Spouses who are unaffected/unrelated with no history of neurodegenerative conditions in their family will contribute to our research by helping to validate the frequency of rare variants found in healthy subjects in the general population.
If you would like to participate or would like more information about our clinical research studies, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +1-604-822-0322.
Brain Imaging Studies — Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
Using PET radiotracers that target the function of these neurons that are affected in Parkinson’s we continue to learn not only about the onset and progression of disease but its complications; including mood, memory, and sleep issues. PET differs from Computer Tomography (CT) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) imaging in that it allows us to create functional images, for example of blood flow or the transmission of chemical signals in the brain. We have a variety of very specialized PET tracers we use to investigate cellular communication, gene expression and therapy, neurotransmitter binding and storage, receptor density and occupancy.
Successful studies of this nature have given us significant understanding already about progression of disease, the placebo effect in disease, motor complications, and familial disease. We will continue to focus on these but additionally continue to work towards a better understanding of other components such as mood and memory that are affected in a number of neurodegenerative disorders. The ability to target cell behavior and identify disease pathways holds promise for any number of conditions beyond Parkinson’s disease.