Focus of my research has been mainly towards autonomic disorders, specifically Pure Autonomic Failure (PAF), Autoimmune Autonomic Neuropathies (AAN), Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), and Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). The main effort has been to characterize and describe the natural history of these disorders, assess their quality of life, identify predictors of good versus poor outcome, and conduct therapeutic trials to control their most disabling symptoms. Similarly, we have been evaluating patients with diabetic autonomic neuropathies. All these studies have been conducted in the Clinical Research Unit (CRU) in collaboration with the group led by dr. M. Camilleri (Gastroenterology), Dr. M. Joyner (Anesthesia) and the personnel of the Autonomic Disorder Center, led by Dr. P. Low (Neurology). One of the projects has been conducted in collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. W. Kennedy at the University of Minnesota.
In addition, I pursued my interest in neuropathic pain specifically on Complex Regional Pain Syndromes (CRPS) by completing an population-based epidemiologic study, collaborating in a new therapeutic trial with Dr. J. Basford (Physical Medicine), participating to a multicenter trial to test a new medication for patients with post-herpetic neuralgia and planning a new study to improve our assessment of subjects affected by sympathetically maintained pain in collaboration with Dr. D. Martin (Anesthesia).
Another research interest of mine has been a condition known as erythromelalgia. The main investigator has been Dr. M. Davis(Dermatology), together with Dr. T. Rooke (Vascular Medicine). This has been an on going project now for a few years, focusing on clinical characteristics, vascular and neurophysiologic studies, new treatment options, and more studies are being planned to elucidate the pathophysiology of this misterious entity.
In collaboration with Dr. S. Sampson (Psychiatry), I plan to start a pilot study on a completely novel treatment strategy for patients suffering form chronic neuropathic pain by utilizing brain magnetic stimulation. If successful, this technique may become an invaluable tool to help our most severely affected patients.