PSG Working Groups

The Parkinson Study Group (PSG) Working Groups enable collaborations among investigators with related interests in PD. Their primary goal is to generate proposals for new research studies, either interventional or observational, as well as retrospective data mining projects. They provide a forum for initial discussion and feedback on research projects and clinical trials and are responsible for generating or facilitating proposals to submission to the Scientific Review Committee for further feedback and consideration before submitting proposals for funding. They meet via teleconference when needed and meet in person at least once a year (at the PSG Annual Meeting). 

There are seven working groups: BiomarkersClassic MotorCognitive/Psychiatric (Behavior)Functional NeurosurgicalGenetics/Environmental RiskHealth/Care Outcomes and Disparitiesand Other Non-Motor Features of PD.

Each working group has a mandate statement that describes the goals of the working group, potential scope of working group activity, examples of ideas for projects, and procedures for member initiated proposals.  A pre-proposal request form is provided to submit preliminary proposals/ideas to working groups to provide feedback and discussions that will help the investigator to improve the plan and potentially to prepare a more complete proposal for submission to the PSG Scientific Review Committee or for a submission to other funding agencies.  You will find a link to these documents under each working group name.

How to become a PSG Working Group Member

If you want to become a member or have an idea for a project, please contact the working group’s chairperson via the email link listed under each working group description.

You can download the Working Group Summaries from the 2014 PSG Annual Meeting here.

 

Biomarkers Working Group

Formed: 2006

Led by:  Jennifer Goldman, Chair; Roy Alcalay, Co-chair

Purpose

The primary goal of the Biomarkers Working Group is to develop and advance biomarker research projects in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Our current focus is to identify candidate biomarkers that track PD progression and are suitable as surrogate markers in clinical trials of putative-disease modifying agents – lack of appropriate markers is currently a major barrier.

In 2008, they hosted the First Annual Clifford W. Shults Symposium on biomarkers. They also are active in making recommendations to the PSG Scientific Review Committee on proposals requesting to use PSG biospecimens.

Current Projects

The Working Group is helping to coordinate the biomarker collection component of the QE3 study (separately funded through the MJFF). Ongoing collaboration with Jing Zhang, MD has led to a proteomics study on DATATOP CSF.

Click here to download a complete roster of leaders and members of all PSG working groups.

Classic Motor Working Group

Formed: 2007

Led by:  Alberto Espay, Chair; Susan Fox, Co-chair; Tiago Mestre, Co-chair

Purpose

The primary purpose of the Classic Motor Working Group is to generate proposals for new research studies, either interventional or observational, as well as retrospective data mining projects.

Each working group has a mandate statement that describes the goals of the working group, potential scope of working group activity, examples of ideas for projects, and procedures for member initiated proposals. A pre-proposal request form is provided to submit preliminary proposals/ideas to working groups to provide feedback and discussions that will help the investigator to improve the plan and potentially to prepare a more complete proposal for submission to the PSG Scientific Review Committee or for a submission to other funding agencies. Click on the links below to access the documents.

Recent Publications/Projects

  1. Robert Hauser and Peggy Auinger. "Determination of Minimally Clinically Important Change in Early and Advanced PD". This datamining project was funded by PSG/PDF and analyses have been completed on the TEMPO and PRESTO studies.

    Hauser RA, Auinger P. Determination of minimal clinically important change in early and advanced Parkinson’s disease. Mov Disord 2011;26(5): 813-818.

  2. This working group hosted the Fourth Annual Clifford W. Shults Symposium as part of the 25th Annual PSG Symposium on Friday, May 13, 2011. The theme was "Movement Disorders: Beyond the classic model of the basal ganglia".

Click here to download the Mandate Statement.
Click here to download the Pre-Proposal Request Form.
Click here to download a complete roster of leaders and members of all PSG working groups.

Cognitive/Psychiatric (Behavior) Working Group

Formed: 2006

Led by: Laura Marsh, Co-chair; Jorge Juncos, Co-chair; Jessica Calleo, Co-chair

Purpose

The primary goals of the Cognitive/Psychiatric Working Group are to:

  1. Increase awareness of cognitive/behavioral aspects of PD among clinicians, researchers, and patients.

  2. Develop and conduct multidisciplinary, translational research studies investigating the cognitive and behavioral symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

  3. Assist in design and conduct of PSG clinical trials to incorporate optimal tools for measuring cognition and behavior.

  4. Foster collaboration and provide guidance to PSG members in developing investigator initiated studies on cognition and behavior in PD.

Each working group has a mandate statement that describes the goals of the working group, potential scope of working group activity, examples of ideas for projects, and procedures for member initiated proposals. A pre-proposal request form is provided to submit preliminary proposals/ideas to working groups to provide feedback and discussions that will help the investigator to improve the plan and potentially to prepare a more complete proposal for submission to the PSG Scientific Review Committee or for a submission to other funding agencies. Click on the links below to access the documents.

Recent Publications/Projects

  1. The Working Group (PI: Ergun Uc) completed a data-mining study examining the clinical predictors and incidence of cognitive impairment and depression in early PD using the DATATOP cohort.

    • The incidence of cognitive impairment in clinical trial participants in early PD was relatively low. The study found potential novel predictors of cognitive impairment in PD such as bulbar dysfunction and presence gastrointestinal/urologic symptoms suggestive of early autonomic dysfunction. These results were presented at the Derek Denny-Brown Symposium (2008 ANA meeting) by Dr. Uc and published in Neurology.

    Uc EY, McDermott MP, Marder KS, Anderson SW, Litvan I, Como P, Auinger P, Chou KL, Growdon J, on behalf of the Parkinson Study Group. Incidence of and Risk Factors for Cognitive Impairment in an Early Parkinson’s Disease Clinical Trial Cohort. Neurology, 2009; 73:1469–1477.

    • The results of the depression component were presented in a platform session at the 2009 AAN meeting (Uc EY, McDermott MP, Weintraub D, Marsh L, Growdon J, Chou K, Auinger P, Marder K, on behalf of the PSG DATATOP Investigators. Predictors of Depression in Early Parkinson's Disease. Neurology 2009; 72(11):A257-A258.) and a paper is being drafted.

  2. Dr. Chou coordinated a task force to make recommendations for a cognitive assessment that could be consistently administered in clinical trials of PD. The Task Force conducted a systematic literature search for cognitive assessments previously used in a PD population. Scales were evaluated for their applicability in clinical trials, including administration time, assessment of the major cognitive domains, potential to detect subtle cognitive impairment, psychometric properties, and sensitivity to progression and to treatment effects.

    Chou KL, Amick MM, Brandt J, Camicioli R, Frei K, Gitelman D, Goldman J, Growdon J, Hurtig HI, Levin B, Litvan I, Marsh L, Simuni T, Troster AI, Uc EY. A Recommended Scale for Cognitive Screening in Clinical Trials of Parkinson’s Disease. Mov Disord 2010;DOI: 10.1002/mds.23362.

  3. The Cognitive/Psychiatric Working Group sponsored the “Second Clifford W. Shults Symposium: Cognitive & Psychiatric Aspects of Parkinson’s Disease” on May 28, 2009 during the 21st Annual Meeting of the Parkinson Study Group. The organizing committee consisted of Drs. Uc (chair), Growdon, Chou, Marder and Ms. Marsha Tennis.

  4. Dr. Karen Marder (Columbia University), along with Lorraine Clark, PhD, conducted a study on genotyping blood samples collected during the DATATOP study to determine the association between several PD related mutations with dementia incidence in PD. An abstract was presented at the AAN 2010.

    Marder KS, Clark LN, McDermott M, Uc E, and PSG DATATOP Investigators. Genetic Risk Factors for Cognitive Impairment in the DATATOP Cohort. Neurology 2010;74(Suppl 2);A254.

Want to get involved or have an idea for a project related to cognitive or psychiatric (behavior) concerns in PD? Please contact us via email.

Click here to download the Mandate Statement.
Click here to download the Pre-Proposal Request Form.
Click here to download a complete roster of leaders and members of all PSG working groups.

Functional Neurosurgical Working Group

Formed: 2007

Led by: Elena Moro, Chair; Jason M. Schwalb, Co-chair; Joohi Jimenez-Shahed, Co-chair

Purpose

The purpose of the Functional Neurosurgical Working Group is to generate ideas for surgical trials including DBS, gene therapy, factor delivery, and other novel surgically directed technologies.

Want to get involved or have an idea for a project related to functional neurosurgical concerns in PD? Please contact us via email.

Click here to download the Mandate Statement.
Click here to download the Pre-Proposal Request Form.
Click here to download a complete roster of leaders and members of all PSG working groups.

Genetics & Environmental Risk Factors in PD Working Group

Formed: 2006

Led by:  David K. Simon, Co-chair; Xiang Gao, Co-chair

Purpose

The primary goal of the Genetic and Environmental Risk Factors Working Group is to generate proposals for new research studies, either interventional or observational, as well as retrospective data mining projects.

Each working group has a mandate statement that describes the goals of the working group, potential scope of working group activity, examples of ideas for projects, and procedures for member initiated proposals. A discussion request form is provided to submit preliminary proposals/ideas to working groups to provide feedback and discussions that will help the investigator to improve the plan and potentially to prepare a more complete proposal for submission to the PSG Scientific Review Committee or for a submission to other funding agencies. Click on the links below to access the documents.

Recent Publications/Projects

  1. The Genetics & Environmental Risk Factors in PD Working Group sponsored the “Third Clifford W. Shults Symposium: Current Issues in Genetic and Environmental Contributions to Parkinson's Disease and Other Movement Disorders" as part of the 24th Annual PSG Symposium in May 2010.

Want to get involved or have an idea for a project related to genetic and environmental risk factors in PD? Please contact us via email.

Click here to download the Mandate Statement.
Click here to download the Pre-Proposal Request Form.
Click here to download a complete roster of leaders and members of all PSG working groups.

Health/Care Outcomes and Disparities Working Group (ODWG)

Formed: 2012  

Led by: Allison W. Willis, MD, Chair; John G. Nutt, MD, Co-chair; Lisa M. Shulman, MD, Co-chair

Purpose

We care for those affected by Parkinson disease (PD) in a time when academic physicians in all specialties are appropriately placing increased focus on patient, clinical and system outcomes.

Leaders in academic medicine have also begun to accept the responsibility of ensuring equitable access to state of the science care and research opportunity, given the mounting evidence that disease risk and treatment response may differ substantially across patient subgroups.

The Health/Care Outcomes and Disparities Working Group of the Parkinson Study Group (PSG) aims to advance clinical research and understanding of the patient, provider, and system level contributors to clinical, societal, and economic outcomes in those affected by PD, producing data that will support quality goals and policy recommendations aimed at improving the care and well-being of those with PD.

Each working group has a mandate statement that describes the goals of the working group, potential scope of workin group activity, examples of ideas for projects, and procedures for member initiated proposals. Click on the link below to access the Mandate Statement.

If you are interested in joining this working group, please email Dr. Willis and include your statement of interest and background information.

Click here to download the Mandate Statement.
Click here to download a complete roster of leaders and members of all PSG working groups.

Other Non Motor Features of PD Working Group

Formed: 2006

Led by: Aleksandar Videnovic, Chair; Pinky Agarwal, Co-chair; Leslie Cloud, Co-chair

Purpose

The primary goal of the Other Non-Motor Working Group is to generate proposals for new research studies, either interventional or observational, as well as retrospective data mining projects.

Want to get involved or have an idea for a project related to other non-motor concerns in PD? Please contact us via email.

Click here to download the Mandate Statement.
Click here to download the Pre-Proposal Request Form.
Click here to download a complete roster of leaders and members of all PSG working groups.