The Parkinson's Disease Research Consortium (PDRC)consists of researchers from various departments at UCSD and the VAMC. Through this group, a wide variety of research opportunities are available for persons with Parkinson's disease with and without memory problems. If you have Parkinsons's disease with or without dementia or a diagnosis of Dementia with Lewy Bodies, please contact Christina Gigliotti, Ph.D. for more information about which studies may be a match for you.
Free Memory Screening for Persons with Parkinson's Disease
Due to the positive response and excellent turnout at our recent ADRC PD Memory Screening Day, we will now offer this free service throughout the year. If you or someone you know is 60 or older, has a diagnosis of PD and has concerns about memory, please call 858-622-5800 to schedule a no cost appointment and ask to speak to Kelly Landy.
If you are 60 and older and have Parkinson's Disease with or without memory problems, please contact the Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research Center to learn more about opportunities to participate in a wide variety of research studies.
Read on to learn more about some of our research opportunities for persons with Parkinson's disease and dementia with lewy bodies.
Dr. Brewer is evaluating new neuroimaging techniques that might distinguish dementia with Lewy bodies from other neurodegenerative diseases. For patients, the procedure simply involves resting in an MRI scanner for about 40 minutes while images are taken of the brain. Dr. Brewer will then measure the volumes of several brain structures involved in memory and visual processing. He will also use a new imaging procedure called diffusion tensor imaging to examine the connectivity between brain regions in patients with dementia with Lewy bodies. The knowledge gained from these studies may aid in the development of noninvasive biomarkers of various neurodegenerative diseases, which may be used for clinical diagnosis and for evaluating the effects of new therapeutics.
People who have Dementia with Lewy Bodies are known to experience unusual visual experiences. Dr. Hamilton is studying these changes in an effort to identify better ways of diagnosing the disease and tracking its progression. Patients will be given paper-pencil and computerized tests of visual perception that test their ability to identify figures, locate targets, and detect motion. The tests take about two hours to complete and can be done at the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center or at the patient’s home. The results of these studies may provide a means for evaluating the effects of therapeutic drugs that may be tested in the future, while helping us understand why these visual changes occur.
Click here to read more if you have a diagnosis of Dementia with Lewy Bodies
Click here to read more if you are concerned that you might have Dementia with Lewy Bodies, but you do not have a diagnosis.
Neuropsychological Deficits in DLB, PDD, and AD
PI: David Salmon, Ph.D.
Dr. Salmon is studying whether patients with DLB, PDD, and AD produce distinct patterns of impairment on cognitive tasks sensitive to deficits in implicit feedback-based category learning, visuospatial function, language/semantic memory, and episodic memory. The primary purpose of his study is to extend and refine our knowledge about neuropsychological deficits in DLB and PDD and to elucidate how they differ from those of AD.