UCLA scientists are conducting a vast array of research investigating the causes of movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease and to develop new therapies. Researchers in the Movement Disorders Program are conducting basic science, translational and clinical studies often in collaboration with other investigators in the UCLA community.

Basic science research

Drs. Bronstein and Portera direct basic science laboratories. Dr. Bronstein’s lab investigates the causes of Parkinson’s disease (PD) at a molecular level using novel zebrafish models. He is particularly interested in environmental causes of PD and collaborates with Dr. Beate Ritz to study both genetic and environmental risk factors that can further investigated in the lab. Dr. Bronstein’s lab also studies potential disease modifying therapies.

Dr. Portera’s lab utilizes advanced microscopic techniques such as in vivo 2-photon imaging to study cortical circuitry and neuronal structure in development and disease such as PD and Fragile X. His lab is highly accomplished having published in top journals and received extensive funding from the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and from several foundations. Please see porteralab.neurology.ucla.edu for details.

Clinical and translational research and clinical trials

Several members of the Movement Disorders Program faculty perform clinical research. All studies are performed in the Neurology Department’s dedicated Center for Neurotherapeutics and the Chen Center for Translational Research for Parkinson’s disease and Related Disorders. A variety of studies are currently underway for Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, PSP and Wilson’s disease. Drs. Bronstein, Bordelon and Subramanian are members of the Parkinson’s Study Group (PSG) and Dr. Bordelon is a member of the Huntington’s Study Group (HSG). 

Some of these studies are investigator initiated while others are industry sponsored. These studies include novel therapies to treat these disorders, devices to better determine the needs of our patients, and magnetic and electrical stimulation studies. Funding comes from a variety of sources including the NIH, foundations and industry. 

For information, please contact Diane Yang at: 310-206-3356 or email [email protected]


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