The unit studies Parkinson's disease and related disorders, including risk factors and treatment methods with emphasis in the following areas:

  1. Genetics and molecular biology. These include the areas of Parkinson's disease and parkinsonism.
  2. Genetic and environmental risk factors. Researchers study tauopathies, such as progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and corticobasal degeneration (CBD) syndrome and a-synucleinopathies, including dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and multiple system atrophy (MSA).
  3. Genealogical and family studies. These include Parkinson's disease, PARK genes, PSP, CBD, DLB and MSA. In addition, the unit studies related disorders, such the genetics of restless legs syndrome, essential tremor, dystonia and cerebral calcinosis.
  4. Clinical and genetic studies. These include hereditary diffuse leukoencephalopathy with spheroids and Perry syndrome — parkinsonism, depression, weight loss and central hypoventilation.
  5. Neuropsychology of dementia with Lewy bodies.
  6. Clinical trials for Parkinson's disease and parkinsonism.
  7. Deep brain stimulation for treatment of essential tremor and Parkinson's disease.
  8. Imaging studies. These include computerized tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography of families with Parkinson's disease, parkinsonism, PSP, CBD, DLB, MSA and other movement disorders.
  9. Clinical, genetic, radiological and pathological studies of cases with known gene mutations for Parkinson's disease and related disorders. These include a-synuclein, parkin, leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2), PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1), DJ1 protein, microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT), gene regulatory networks (GRNs), chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9ORF72), eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4 gamma 1 (EIF4G1), vacuolar protein sorting-associated protein 35 (VPS35), dynactin subunit 1 (DCTN1), colony stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) and others.
  10. Brain bank research. Researchers study brain tissue from patients with Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.