Clinical Research

The Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorders Center at Boston University Medical Campus has a long established clinical research program. Research is ongoing and includes observational and interventional research in pharmacology and rehabilitation. In addition, there are studies of surgical procedures and or devices.

Clinical research staff includes four board-certified neurologists with specialty training in movement disorders, three nurse specialists (two with greater than 20 years research experience), two research assistants, and one regulatory manager. Staff are members of the Parkinson Study Group, Huntington’s Study Group, and the Multi System Atrophy Study Group.  The Center is designated an American Parkinson Disease Association Center for Advanced Research.

Staff are experienced in the collection of data necessary to conduct research in PD. These measures include the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), Hoehn and Yahr Scale, Schwab and England Scale, Core Assessment Program for Surgical Intervention Therapies in PD (CAPSIT-PD), Quality of Life Scales including the PDQUALIF and PDQ39. Neuropsychological scales including depression and mood assessments, Dyskinesia Rating Scales and the Epworth Sleep Scale. Staff is trained in videotaping.

Imaging specific to Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders including MRI, CT, and SPECT, are available at Boston University Medical Center.  The facility supports the collection of laboratory samples including routine labs, pharmacokinetics, and DNA collection and storage.

Collaborative and Complementary Research at Boston University

Complementary research programs exist in neurogenetics (Richard Myers, PhD), Molecular neuropharmacology (Jiang-Fan Chen, MD, PhD), pharmacology (Ben Wolozin, MD, PhD), experimental neuropathology including animal models of neurodegenerative disease (Robert Ferrante, PhD), neurological epidemiology (Philip Wolf, PhD, Director, Framingham Study), visual and cognitive laboratory, psychology (Alice Cronin-Golumb), rehabilitation, Sargent College (Terry Ellis, PhD).

An annual PD Forum is held for Boston University faculty and staff.

For additional information, contact Marie Saint-Hilaire, MD, FRCPC, at

January 3, 2014
Primary teaching affiliate
of BU School of Medicine