PSG International Collaborators

Parkinson Research Alliance of India (PRAI)

Karl Kieburtz, PI

A two-day in-person meeting was held last January, 2012, in New Delhi, India, to introduce the groups in person and to begin training efforts, and another in-person meeting was held on February 8-9, 2013, in New Delhi.

A couple small projects developed by the group at the January meeting have already been completed. Also, many of the aims of the grant have been accomplished, including training of the Indian investigators of PRAI on the MDS-UPDRS and training on the Unified Dyskinesia Rating Scale has begun. Also the PRAI investigators have completed training on the eClinical electronic data capture system. Additionally all of the PRAI investigators who were in attendance at last year’s in-person meeting have now become members of The Movement Disorders Society (MDS), which facilitated their training on the MDS-UPDRS, and will help facilitate training on the UDysRS as well. An additional project idea developed by the group at last year’s in-person meeting was the translation of the MDS-UPDRS into Indian dialects, such as Hindi, Marathi and Bengali. The India PI Dr. Behari and her colleagues have already translated the MDS-UPDRS into Hindi. One of the other projects developed was to assess the agreement between investigators when rating individual patients, as an assessment of the quality of the examinations, which has been operationalized as a comparison between senior and junior raters of the MDS-UPDRS. This project has already begun in the US and the protocol is under review by the India sites to submit to their local IRBs. This small inter-rater reliability project is especially useful for the goals of the CPPD, as it utilizes several aims of the project, including recent training on PD scales, use of the eClinical system, and overall collaboration between US and India.

Despite some initial difficulties with the India government's release of funding to the India PI, this project is moving along. This grant is a two-year R21 grant from NIH.

International Colleagues

Piu Chan MD, PhD

Director, Beijing Institute of Geriatrics and Department of Neurology Xuanwu Hospital of Capital University of Medical Sciences

Dr. Chan graduated from Human Medical College in Changsha, China with a MD and became a neurologist after the fellowship training. He later acquired his PhD on neurosciences from Sun Yan-Set University of Medical Sciences in Guangzhou, China and followed by postdoctoral training at the Parkinson's Institute in Sunnyvale USA. He is currently the Professor of Neurology and Neurobiology of the Capital University of Medical Sciences, and the Director of the Beijing Institute of Geriatrics at the Xuanwu Hospital in Beijing, China and Adjunct Scientist at the Parkinson's Institute, Sunnyvale, California, USA where he has worked for more than ten years before returned to China in 2000. In addition, Dr. Chan is the director of the Chinese Parkinson Study Group and the deputy director of the Movement Disorder Section of the Chinese Neurological Association of the Chinese Medical Association. He is also the deputy director of the Chinese National Human Genome Center Beijing. Dr. Chan has published more than 250 peer reviewed papers in English and Chinese.

He was the Principal Investigator of a project awarded by EPA to study the susceptibility genes in a multi-center study in China. Since his return to China, he has continued to study the distribution of and risk factors for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases in a few unique cohorts in China. He has initiated projects investigating the role for Traditional Chinese Medicine in prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. He has been awarded several times as First Prize by the Chinese Medical Association and Ministry of Education of China for his work on genetics of Parkinson's disease.

Jennifer Zheng

Beijing Institute of Geriatrics and Department of Neurology

Jennifer Zheng is a senior statistician in Beijing Institute of Geriatrics, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University. She got her master degree in Biostatistics from University of South Florida in 2002 and has been working on clinical research in both academic and industry settings. Before joined Xuanwu Hospital, she had been worked for Florida Mental Health Institute, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Sanofi-Aventis as a SAS programmer and biostatistician for more eight years. She has published and finished statistical analysis for more than ten international clinical trials and several large-scale epidemiology studies.

Wolfgang H. Oertel, MD

Professor for Neurology and Director of the Department of Neurology, The Philipps University, Marburg, Germany

Dr. Oertel obtained his MD at the University of Berlin, Germany. He completed his postgraduate neuroscience training at the Laboratory of Clinical Sciences at the National Institute of Mental Health, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. He is full professor for neurology and director of the Department of Neurology at the Philipps University Marburg, Germany, a Centre of Excellence of the US National Parkinson Foundation. Wolfgang H. Oertel is currently speaker of the Competence Network on Parkinson's Disease (an outstanding infrastructure for medical research in Germany) and chairman of the German Parkinson Study Group. Since 2011 he is president of the German Society of Neurology and liaison professor of the German National Academic Foundation at the Philipps-University of Marburg. He received the Parkinson-Frosst Award (1986) and the Dingebaur-Price for Parkinson research (2004) from the German Society of Neurology and the "carrier award for basal ganglia disorders" from the German Research Foundation (1987-1990).

Dr. Oertel's research interests focus on the diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative disorders (particularly Parkinson's disease and atypical parkinsonian syndromes) as well as sleep disorders (especially REM-sleep-behaviour-disorder and restless-legs-syndrome). He has profound expertise in the design and conduct of diagnostic and therapeutical trials in these fields and has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator in numerous clinical trials.

Kapil Dev Sethi, MD, FRCP

Representing PRAI (Parkinson Research Alliance of India)

Kapil Dev Sethi, MD, FRCP is Professor of Neurology at the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia. He also serves as the Director of the Movement Disorders Center at MCG. Dr. Sethi is board certified in Neurology and Internal medicine.

Dr. Sethi earned his medical degree at the Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, India. After completing his residency in Internal Medicine and Neurology at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India, he finished a research fellowship Charing Cross Group of Hospitals and Medical School, London, UK. He was a Registrar in Neurology at the Welsh National School of Medicine at Morriston Hospital, and served a Neurology residency at the Medical College of Georgia.

An author of numerous reviews, abstracts, book chapters, and journal articles, Dr. Sethi’s work has been published in peer-reviewed publications, including Neurology, Movement Disorders and Annals of Neurology. He serves as an Associate Editor for Movement Disorders and has served as a section editor for Current Neurology and Neurosciences Reviews and Medscape Neurology.

Dr. Sethi is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and the Royal College of Physicians (London). He is the Vice President of the Tremor Research Group. He is a member of the PSG, American Neurological Association, the Movement Disorder Society, and the American Association of Physicians from India. He has served on the International Executive committee for the Movement Disorders Society and on the board of Directors of the AAN and has served as a Treasurer of the AANF. He also serves as the Chair of the Development Committee of the MDS and is the MDS appointee on the WHO advisory group for the revision of ICD-10.

With research interests in Parkinson’s disease, restless legs syndrome, and cervical dystonia, Dr. Sethi has participated as principal investigator in numerous clinical trials. He is a frequent invited lecturer and has held visiting professorships at Duke University, Emory University and MGH Boston, among others.

Filip Bergquist, MD, PhD

Swedish Parkinson Research Network, SWEPAR-net

Dr. Bergquist earned his medical degree in 1997at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden and went on to earn a PhD in pharmacology in 2002 at the University of Gothenburg. He did a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Edinburgh from 2004-2008. Worked with Profs Dutia, Ludwig and Leng studying brain stem synaptic plasticity and mechanisms of neuropeptide release and function.

Currently, Dr. Bergquist is the Neurology registrar at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg and holds a Junior Research Position on a personal grant from the Swedish Research Council. He is a Board member of the recently formed Swedish Parkinson Research Network, SWEPAR-net. SWEPAR-net is a subordinate to the Swedish Movement Disorder Society and aims to stimulate preclinical, clinical and translational PD related research in Sweden.

Dr. Bergquist has a translational research profile encompassing Parkinson disease animal models, behavior and in vivo neurochemistry, in vivo physiology and clinical patophysiology. His PhD thesis described the downstream permissive role of nigral somatodendritic dopamine release for motor functions, and he has since then also worked with models of brain stem synaptic plasticity and its role in posture and balance. Recent projects concern deficits in spatial memory strategies in PD patients and the role of sensory noise for motor-, and cognitive function in the dopamine depleted brain, and in Parkinson’s disease in particular.

Selected publications:

Andersson D., Nissbrandt H. and Bergquist F. (2006). ''Partial depletion of dopamine in substantia nigra impairs motor performance without altering striatal dopamine neurotransmission'' Eur J Neurosci 24:617-624.

Brederlau A., Correia A.S., Anisimov S.V., Elmi M., Paul G., Roybon L., Morizane A., Bergquist F., Riebe I., Nannmark U., Carta M., Hanse E., Takahashi J., Sasai Y., Funa K., Brundin P., Eriksson P.S .& Li J.Y. (2006). Transplantation of human embryonic stem cell-derived cells to a rat model of Parkinson's disease: effect of in vitro differentiation on graft survival and teratoma formation. Stem Cells 24, 1433-1440.

Bergquist, F., Ruthven, A., Ludwig, M. and Dutia, M.B (2006). “Histaminergic and glycinergic modulation of GABA release in the vestibular nuclei of normal and labyrinthectomised rats”, J Physiol, 577:857-868.

Bergquist, F., Ludwig, M. and Dutia, M.B (2008). “Role of the commissural inhibitory system in vestibular compensation in the rat”, J Physiol, 586:4441-4452.

Andersson, D.R., Björnsson, E., Bergquist F. and Nissbrandt H. (2009) “Motor activity-induced dopamine release in the substantia nigra is regulated by muscarinic receptors”, Exp Neurology, 221:251-259.

Pålsson E, Söderlund G, Klamer D, Bergquist F. (2010) Noise benefit in prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex. Psychopharmacology (Berl) pre-print online publication. DOI: 10.1007/s00213-010-2074-6.