Pacific Parkinson’s Research Centre

Clinical Activities

The Movement Disorders Clinic provided 3,700 outpatient visits in 2011. The majority of these were for patients with Parkinson’s disease or focal dystonia. The program is supported by nurse coordinators, who assist in the assessment of patients and who provide education and counseling to patients, families and other health care professionals, as well as a physiotherapist and social worker.

Research Activities

During 2011, Centre investigators held nearly $4M of peer-reviewed research support (excluding faculty salary awards), including support from a CIHR Team grant in Parkinson’s Disease ($4.45M over 5 years, beginning 2006) and a Centre grant from the Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation on Overlap Syndromes resulting in Dementia valued at more than $7M over 5 years (PI: Stoessl). Centre investigators continue to work on a number of other CIHR funded projects, including depression in PD and mechanisms of impulse control disorders in PD. Drs. Farrer, Sossi and Stoessl hold a number of grants from the Michael J. Fox Foundation to support both clinical and preclinical work on genetics and biomarkers for genetic forms of Parkinson’s. Dr. Sossi obtained a CFI award which together with BCKDF matching funds is valued at $800K for hybrid microPET/SPECT-CT. Dr. McKeown is a co-investigator on a $12.8M CFI grant for expansion of the ICICS facilities in biomedical technologies (PI: N. Rajapakse, ICICS, Mechanical Engineering). He received a grant from CIHR on striatal-cerebellar interactions in PD and also obtained support from the National Parkinson Foundation (together with Dr. Cresswell) to study MRI biomarkers for motor and non-motor manifestations of PD. These two investigators also obtained support from the Parkinson Society Canada for work on apathy in PD. Dr. Doudet received a grant from the Lundbeck Foundation to investigate noradrenaline release using PET and microdialysis. Centre investigators had 50 PubMed listings during 2010, including papers in American Journal of Human Genetics, Annals of Neurology, Brain, European Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Neuroscience, Lancet Neurology, Neurobiology of Aging, Neurobiology of Disease and Neuropsychopharmacology. Dr. Farrer and his team published findings on 2 new genes causing dominantly inherited Parkinson’s in 2011 and they continue to work closely with Centre neurologists and investigators.
Teaching Activities

The Movement Disorders Clinic provides ambulatory teaching to medical students and to residents in neurology, geriatrics, psychiatry and palliative care. During 2011, there were 4 clinical fellows at the PPRC. Faculty members of the Pacific Parkinson’s Research Centre participate in the Brain & Behaviour course and provide training to multiple students at the MSc and PhD levels in the Graduate Neuroscience program, as well as students in Chemistry, Experimental Medicine, Physics & Astronomy and Electrical & Computer Engineering. PPRC faculty also provides a series of lectures to the Neurology residents on basic science applications to basal ganglia disease. Dr. Doudet directs the Motor Systems module of the Systems Neuroscience (Neuroscience 501) core course in the Graduate Neuroscience program. Faculty members within the Centre serve on numerous supervisory, comprehensive and examination committees. Additionally, Dr. Cresswell coordinates a regular series of video/journal clubs attended by residents as well as fellows and Centre staff.

Participating Divisional Members

  • Dr. Cresswell
  • Dr. Doudet
  • Dr. Farrer
  • Dr. Javidan
  • Dr. Jones
  • Dr. Katz
  • Dr. McKeown
  • Dr. Ruth
  • Dr. Sossi
  • Dr. Stoessl
  • Dr. Tsui