BUMC faculty present at the 16th Annual International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease & Movement Disorders

July 11th, 2012

BUMC Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Center faculty presented the following research studies at the 16th Annual International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders in Dublin, Ireland. Dr. Marie Saint-Hilaire, Dr. Anna Hohler, Cathi Thomas, MS, RN, and Terry Ellis, PhD, PT, NCS participated in this Congress.

A comparison of adverse events with monoamine oxidase inhibitors and catechol-o-methyl transferase inhibitors in combination with levodopa for patients with Parkinson’s disease.
R. Zhang, A.D. Hohler, M. Saint-Hillaire

SCA28: A novel gene mutation and clinical presentation in the oldest reported patient.
E.K. Orehek, A.D. Hohler

Feasibility of virtual exercise coach to promote walking in community dwelling persons with Parkinson’s disease
T.D. Ellis, N.K. Latham, T.R. DeAngelis, C.A. Thomas, M. Saint-Hillaire, K.L. Hendrom, T. Bickmore

Visual hallucinations in photographs of visual hallucinations in Parkinson’s disease.
O. Vaou, M. Saint-Hilaire, J. Friedman

The social self-management of Parkinson’s disease in daily life.
L. Tickle-Degnen, C. Thomas, M. Saint-Hilaire, E. Naumova, N. Ambady, T. Ellis, R. Wagenaar

Treatment of orthostatic hypotension in patients with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease or atypical parkinsonism improves motor, balance, and cognitive function.
D.E. Amariei, A.D. Hohler, D.I. Katz, T.J. DePiero, C.L. Hehl, A. Leonard, V. Allen, J. Dentino, M. Gardner, H. Phenix, M. Saint-Hilaire, T. Ellis

Fourth annual Parkinson’s Disease Forum takes place on April 13th

April 17th, 2012

Uri Eden, PhD presents his research at the 2012 PD ForumThe American Parkinson Disease Association Advanced Center of Research at Boston University and Boston Medical Center supported this year’s fourth annual Parkinson’s Disease Forum. This program, which took place on Friday, April 13th at Boston University’s Photonics Center, was organized by Dr. Ben Wolozin, Professor of Pharmacology and Neurology, Dr. Marie Saint-Hilaire, Associate Professor of Neurology and Medical Director of the APDA Advanced Center of Research, and Cathi Thomas, MS, RN, Program Director of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center.

Researchers share ideas during breakout sessionsScientists and clinicians from across campus presented information on their research. Breakout sessions were designed to foster collaborations among different disciplines. Tara Guastella provided information on the Fox Trial Finder, an innovative online database connecting researchers to study subjects. The day ended with a poster session with contributions by many of the doctoral students conducting research in Parkinson’s disease and related disorders.

Special thanks to Ray James, BS, RN and Vanessa Blais for their support. To view the program please click here.

PD Forum OrganizersStudents display research during the poster sessionBoston University faculty and staff gather to discuss their Parkinson's disease research

New exercise study for people with Parkinson’s disease currently enrolling

February 22nd, 2012

The Center for Neurorehabilitation at Boston University’s Sargent College invites eligible individuals to participate in a new exercise study for people with Parkinson’s disease. Participants will be randomly assigned to take part in either an exercise program consisting of balance and walking exercises or an exercise program consisting of stretching and relaxing exercises. For more information, please click here or call Brita Orwoll at 617-353-7525.

Parkinson’s disease educational program to take place in Braintree

February 6th, 2012

Teva Neuroscience and the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association will hold a free educational program on Wednesday, February 29th at Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital. Neurologist James Gilbert, MD will provide An Update on Parkinson’s Disease. Movement Disorder Specialist Samuel Ellias, PhD, MD will present An Overview of Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease Medical & Surgical Options. Dinner and reception will begin at 4:30pm and the program will run from 5:00 to 7:00pm.

Please click here to view the program flyer. Register now by contacting the APDA Information & Referral Center at (800) 651-8466 or information@apdama.org. RSVP is required.

Date: Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Time: 4:30pm to 7:00pm

Location: Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital – 2nd Floor Conference Room – 250 Pond Street – Braintree MA 02184

Research study investigating dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease

December 19th, 2011

A new research study will investigate dyskinesia in individuals with Parkinson’s disease. For more information, please click here.

Parkinson’s Disease: A Practical Approach to Evaluation & Treatment for the Physical Therapist

December 19th, 2011

For Physical Therapists

Save the Date: Friday, April 20, 2012

Designed by physical therapists for physical therapists, this course will provide practical, evidence based knowledge on how to effectively evaluate and treat individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Terry Ellis, PhD, PT, NCS, Clinical Associate Professor at Boston University’s Sargent College and Associate Director of Clinical Care in the Center for Neurorehabilitation at Boston University, will present. 8 CEUs are available.

This program is presented by the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation in collaboration with the American Parkinson Disease Association.

For more information, please contact 800-457-6676 or ptherapy@pdf.org.

Yoga teacher training seminar coming to Waltham, MA

December 15th, 2011

On Saturday, January 21, 2012, TriYoga of Boston will host a half-day seminar for yoga teachers. It will present teachers with strategies and safety tips they can use to guide students who have limitations associated with movement disorders. Participants will learn about Parkinson’s disease and how yoga can be best used to help with strength, balance, and flexibility. The afternoon will include asana practice as well as interactive group sessions led by a certified yoga instructor living with Parkinson’s and health care professionals specializing in Parkinson’s.

The seminar costs $50 and includes lunch. Registration is required. To register, contact the Information & Referral Center at (800) 651-8466. For more information, please see the event flyer.

Date: Saturday, January 21, 2011

Time: 12:30 to 5:30pm

Location: TriYoga of Boston – 60 Prospect Street – Waltham, MA 02154

Boston Medical Center designated a DaTScan Center of Excellence

October 13th, 2011

A new type of imaging scan called DaTScanTM has been recently approved by the FDA to be used to improve the diagnosis of Parkinsonian disorders. Boston University Medical Center, an APDA Advanced Center of Excellence, is among the first institutions in the country to offer this scan. The scan is done at Boston Medical Center in the Department of Nuclear Medicine.

Developed by GE Healthcare, DaTScanTM is an imaging drug that is used to detect the presence of dopamine in the brain. This visual evidence of dopamine producing cells in the basal ganglia, a primary movement center of the brain, can help doctors to distinguish Parkinsonism from other  disorders causing similar symptoms, when combined with clinical assessments.

Patients undergoing this test have DaTScanTM injected into their bloodstream and then pictures are taken of the brain by a gamma camera. The specialized camera is used to produce a single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scan. The images from SPECT scans combine to provide a picture of brain function rather than structure, allowing the doctor to see changes in the chemistry of the brain.

Identifying the amount of dopamine present in the brain is important because it is decreased in patients who have  Parkinsonian syndromes . The test enables physicians to differentiate between PD and Essential Tremor, or certain other causes of Parkinsonism such as medication-induced Parkinsonism or vascular Parkinsonism. It does not, however, differentiate between the various Parkinsonian syndromes which include Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), and Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB).

Boston Medical Center has been designated a DaTScanTM Imaging Center of Excellence and has extensive experience using DaTscanTM in the biomarker study, Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), which is sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation. Boston Medical Center is one of fourteen US medical centers currently enrolling for this study.

For more information on DaTScanTM, please visit this link DaTScan. For more information on the PPMI Study, please visit this link Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative Study (PPMI).

New study recruiting at Sargent College, Boston University

October 6th, 2011

The Center for Neurorehabilitation at Sargent College, Boston University invites you to participate in a research study to promote walking in people with Parkinson’s disease. Participants will be given a pedometer to measure the amount of walking done over one month. The pedometer is a small device kept in your pocket or on your waist to measure how many steps you take each day. Participants will also be given a small computer to take home. The computer contains an automated exercise advisor – this advisor appears as an animated cartoon character that talks to you from the computer. With only five minutes of use each day, this program is designed to help you increase your walking.

For more information, please click here.

2nd Annual Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty Program Takes Place in Boston

August 11th, 2011


Recognizing the important role nurses play in the care of patients and families living with Parkinson’s disease, the Edmond J. Safra Foundation awarded a grant to support the second annual Visiting Nurse Faculty Program. The program was held June 20th to 24th at Boston University Medical Center. The goal of this program was to provide up-to-date information on the care needs of Parkinson patients to faculty. This information and experience can then be shared with students to better prepare them for their role as nurses. This year, nursing faculty from the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth, Worcester State College, and Saint Anselm College were selected to participate.

Program content included signs and symptoms of PD, diagnosis, medical and surgical management,  the role of nursing and interdisciplinary care, basic science and clinical research, resources, and family care. Opportunity was provided to meet patients and family during actual clinic visits. Faculty spent one full day at Boston University’s Neurorehabilitation Center learning about the important role of exercise and other rehabilitative therapies. Each participant will work on a Parkinson’s disease independent project.

This Visiting Nursing Faculty (VNF) program was developed and successfully piloted in 2009 by Gwyn Vernon MSN, CRNP and Lisette Bunting-Perry, PhD(c), RN at the University of Pennsylvania. Cathi Thomas, MS, RN, CNRN served as BU’s program director. To learn more about the Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty visit www.parkinsonsnursing.com.

April 26, 2013
Primary teaching affiliate
of BU School of Medicine