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Perlmutter Research Group

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Joel Perlmutter, MD, Professor - Prinicipal Investigator

Meghan Campbell, PhD
Assistant Professor in Neurology & Radiology

Morvarid Karimi, MD
Assistant Professor in Neurology

Stephen Moerlein, PhD
Associate Professor in Radiology

Scott Norris, MD
Assistant Professor in Neurology

LinLin Tian, PhD
Instructor in Neurology

Will Tu, PhD
Associate Professor in Radiology

Mwiza Ushe, MD
Assistant Professor in Neurology

Stacey Barton, MSW
Thomas Belcher, Research Coordinator
Darryl Craig, Research Technician
Hugh Flores, Data analyst
Johanna Hartlein, ANP, Clinical Research Coordinator/Nurse Practitioner
John Hood, Research Technician
Susan Loftin, Senior Research Technician
Anja Pogarcic, Research Coordinator
Stacy Pratt, Research Coordinator
Emily Williams, Research Technician
Jo Wright, Research Coordinator

Susan Donovan, Administrative Professional

Description of Research Group

We seek to understand the pathophysiology and behavioral sequalae of movement disorders.  Our translational and interdisciplinary research combines neuroscience, neuroimaging, neurology and neuropsychology to determine the biological mechanisms, identify and evaluate neuroimaging biomarkers, and characterize disease progression in movement disorders.  We use methods such as PET measures of radioligand binding and blood flow; MR-based BOLD measures for resting state functional connectivity; MR-based DTI measures; HPLC-based neurochemical measures; unbiased stereology of immunostained brain tissues; and quantitative autoradiography.  Our research covers many different disorders, including Parkinson and Huntington diseases, dystonia, and essential tremor.  Some of our current projects are described below.

  • Parkinson disease dementia.  This is an on-going, longitudinal study investigating the pathological markers of dementia in PD as well as evaluating potential neuroimaging biomarkers for predicting and tracking cognitive impairment.
  • Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS).  This study aims to determine the effects of DBS electrode contact location on motor, neuropsychological, and blood flow response to stimulation.  This study can provide insight into the underlying neural circuitry and functional consequences of DBS treatment.
  • Dystonia.  We have several studies investigating the pathophysiology and natural history of dystonia.  These vary from running large international studies on natural history and genetics to advanced neuroimaging with PET and MRI measures.
  • Validation of Neuroimaging Biomarkers.  We have a series of investigations developing and validating new PET-based radiotracers for dopaminergic and related systems as well as MR-based measures.  We also use an MPTP-induced animal model of parkinsonism for some of these studies.  This includes quantitative measures of animal behavior to compare with the imaging measures.

See publications.