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Parkinsons Disease Research

Division of Psychiatric Neuroimaging

The Parkinson's Disease Research Center (PDRC) was established in 1998 with a grant from the National Institutes of Health. The mission of the PDRC is two-fold:

  • To work toward a cure for Parkinson's disease by conducting both laboratory and clinical research into the cause and treatment of Parkinson's disease, and
  • To train clinicians and scientists in the clinical aspects of movement disorders and related clinical and laboratory research.

  If you are interested in participating in one of the PDRC studies, please contact Melissa Gerstenhaber at 410-614-1242.

Longitudinal Study of Parkinson's Disease

PI: Susan Bassett, Ph.D.
IRB # 98-05-08-06

Purpose: Monitor progress of Parkinson’s disease utilizing motor. measurements, neurological and psychiatric evaluations, neuropsychiatric testing.

Eligibility: Patients with advanced Parkinson’s Disease. Patients must register for autopsy.

Visit Frequency: Patients are followed every 2 years with 6 month phone calls in-between visits.

Parkinson's Disease Brain Tissue Donation Program

PI: Susan Bassett, Ph.D.
IRB # 98-05-08-06

Purpose: To provide valuable brain tissue from patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and neurologically health controls for laboratory-based studies on the disease mechanisms underlying PD. To study the relationships between motor, cognitive and psychiatric symptoms in PD with identified brain abnormalities.

Eligibility: Patients with Parkinson’s Disease. Individuals without a neurological or psychiatric disorder to serve as controls. Must be willing to consent to eventual autopsy.

Methods of Optimal Depression Detection in Parkinson's Disease (MOOD-PD)

PI: Greg Pontone, M.D.
IRB # 04-04-01-01

Purpose: To evaluate screening methods to improve detection of depression in patients with Parkinson’s Disease. Using a two-stage design for screening and diagnosis, a panel of psychiatrists with expertise in geriatric psychiatry and movement disorders will apply best estimate diagnostic procedures to evaluate the psychometric properties of depression rating instruments.

Parkinson's Disease Disability Study

PI: Susan Bassett, Ph.D.
IRB # 00-03-09-04

Background: In general, characterization of the disabilities associated with PD has focused on motor functioning and the accompanying decrements in basic activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing. this study aims to characterize physical, social and occupational disability in PD and the relationship of these to motor, cognitive and psychiatric impairments. Understanding these relationships will enable us to develop strategies to improve the care of these patients, as well as target interventions and therapies.

Specific Aims:

  • To examine the influence of motor, cognitive and psychiatric impairments on disability in working age patients with PD.
  • To examine excess disability associated with the presence of mood disorders in patients 65 years and under with PD.
  • To examine annual changes in the degree of disability over a four year period and the relationship of these changes in motor, cognitive and psychiatric impairments.

Eligibility: Non-demented patients with Parkinson's disease, ages 65 or younger.

This project is no longer recruiting participants

Phase II study to explore the effects of safinamide on cognition in non-demented patients with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (PD)

Principal Investigator: Greg Pontone , M.D.
EMR 701165-024
EMD Serono Inc.

Purpose: To explore the potential benefits of safinamide on cognition in non-demented patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease.

Eligibility: Patients with Parkinson's disease without dementia.

Phase III multi-center, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial to examine the safety and efficacy of pimavanserin in the treatment of psychosis in Parkinson’s disease.

PI: Z. Mari
ACP 103-020                                                                              
Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Purpose: To determine the safety and efficacy of a new treatment, pimavanserin, for psychosis in Parkinson's disease.

Eligibility: Patients with Parkinson's disease with psychotic symptoms.

A pilot study of panic disorder as a phenotypic subtype associated with genetic mutations in Parkinson’s disease.

PI: Greg Pontone , M.D.
Institute for Clinical Translational Research (JHH)                    
Translational Technology Core – technical services award

Purpose: To determine if panic disorder is a marker for a subtype of Parkinson's disease associated with mutations in PARK 2 or LRRK 2.

Eligibility: Patients with Parkinson's disease and panic disorder.

Prevalence and familial aggregation of panic disorder in patients with Parkinson’s disease

PI: Greg Pontone , M.D.
Parkinson Study Group/Parkinson Disease Foundation    
2008-2009 Mentored Clinical Research Award

Purpose: To determine panic disorder and 'panic-like' disturbances are familial in Parkinson's disease.

Eligibility: Patients with Parkinson's disease and panic disorder.



Research Volunteers Needed
Projects that are currently recruiting
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