The research interests of Julie A. Fields, Ph.D., L.P., include Parkinson's disease, Lewy body disease, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease.
Dr. Fields' focus has been on examining the effects of deep brain stimulation on cognitive, emotional and quality-of-life factors in movement disorders; the relationship among level of cognitive impairment and day-to-day functional abilities; functional brain connectivity in MCI and Alzheimer's disease; measuring the effects of behavioral intervention on daily functioning and self-efficacy in MCI; and examining whether behavioral intervention can decrease caregiver burden in these populations.
- Determine effects of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Action to Benefit Independence and Thinking (HABIT) program on mood, cognition, behavior and daily activities in individuals with MCI and Alzheimer's disease
- Measure the impact of HABIT intervention on patient self-efficacy and caregiver burden, and gender differences in perception and outcomes
- Measure mood, cognition and quality-of-life outcomes of deep brain stimulation for movement and psychiatric disorders
Significance to patient care
If multicomponent behavioral intervention programs such as HABIT increase a sense of self-efficacy in individuals with MCI that translates into improvement in functional status and less dependence on caregivers, individuals with MCI may be able to live longer independently. This will decrease the physical and emotional burden on caregivers, ultimately improving quality of life in patients and their caregivers as well as leading to a reduction in health care costs.
With regard to patients undergoing deep brain stimulation, measuring baseline functioning and postsurgical outcomes will guide the appropriate selection of patients for these procedures in order to reduce associated cognitive and behavioral morbidity.
- Member, Sustaining Caregivers Leadership Group, Prepare Minnesota for Alzheimer's 2020, 2011-present
- Editorial Advisory Board, International Journal of Neuroscience, 2011-present
- Blue Ribbon Award for the Manuscript "Practical Utility of DRS-2 in Predicting and Describing Functional Impairment," American Psychological Association, 2010
- Carmen Miller Michael Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Citizenship, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 2008