The research of Paola Sandroni, M.D., Ph.D., has been mainly focused on autonomic disorders, specifically pure autonomic failure, autoimmune autonomic neuropathies, postural tachycardia syndrome and multiple system atrophy.
The main effort of Dr. Sandroni's research has been to characterize and describe the natural history of these disorders, assess quality of life for patients with these conditions, identify predictors of good versus poor outcome and conduct therapeutic trials to control their most disabling symptoms. Similarly, Dr. Sandroni and colleagues have been evaluating patients with diabetic autonomic neuropathies.
All these studies have been conducted in Mayo Clinic's Clinical Research and Trials Unit, in collaboration with the group led by Michael Camilleri, M.D., Michael J. Joyner, M.D., and the personnel of the Autonomic Physiology/Neurophysiology Facility, led by Phillip A. Low, M.D. One of the projects has been conducted in collaboration with the laboratory of William R. Kennedy, M.D., at the University of Minnesota.
- Neuropathic pain. Specifically, Dr. Sandroni focuses on complex regional pain syndromes through completion of a population-based epidemiologic study. She is also collaborating in a new therapeutic trial with Jeffrey R. Basford, M.D., Ph.D., participating in a multicenter trial to test a new medication for patients with postherpetic neuralgia. In addition, Dr. Sandroni is planning a new study to improve assessment of subjects affected by sympathetically maintained pain in collaboration with David P. Martin, M.D., Ph.D.
- Erythromelalgia. Dr. Sandroni is collaborating in an ongoing project with principal investigator Mark Denis P. Davis, M.D., and Thom W. Rooke, M.D. They are focusing on clinical characteristics, vascular and neurophysiologic studies, new treatment options, and additional studies to elucidate the pathophysiology of this mysterious disease.
Significance to patient care
In collaboration with Shirlene Sampson, M.D., Dr. Sandroni is planning a pilot study on a completely novel treatment strategy utilizing brain magnetic stimulation for patients who have chronic neuropathic pain. If successful, this technique may become an invaluable tool to help the most severely affected patients.