Program Duration: 1 - 3 years
This program in the Autonomic Medicine Section offers a clinical fellowship that is accredited by the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties (UCNS) and trains Fellows in patient-oriented and translational research about disorders of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Because of the myriad roles the ANS in homeostasis, drug effects, and multi- disciplinary acute and chronic disorders of regulation, autonomic medical research requires thinking in terms of integrative physiological concepts. The clinical research consists of developing and testing diagnostic and pathophysiologic biomarkers and natural history studies. Major emphasis is on catecholaminergic deficiencies in the brain and periphery in Parkinson disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, pure autonomic failure, and other synucleinopathies evaluated by physiological, neurochemical, neuroimaging, microscopic, and genetic approaches. The program uses a variety of clinical assessment techniques such as physiological autonomic function testing, catecholamine neurochemistry, visualization of catecholaminergic innervation by positron emission tomography (PET) scanning, and immunofluorescence confocal microscopy to examine alpha-synuclein deposition in sympathetic nerves.
Area of Current Research
- Diagnostic biomarkers and mechanisms of catecholaminergic neurodegeneration in autonomic failure
- Relationships of autonomic failure to non-motor and pre-motor aspects of Lewy body diseases
- Clinical laboratory diagnosis and natural history of neurogenic orthostatic hypotension
- Collaborative clinical and preclinical studies of autonomic rare diseases
- Clinical autonomic function testing
- Collaborative clinical and preclinical studies of catecholamine systems
FACULTY: David S. Goldstein, M.D., Ph.D.