I am interested in the pathophysiology of movement disorders, in particular tremor, dystonia, and Parkinson’s disease. I am also intruiged by the functional anatomy of the healthy motor system, especially the cortico-striatal and cerebello-thalamic circuits. My tools to investigate this are fMRI, EMG, and TMS. I like to take a systems view on movement disorders, and work with Dynamic Causal Modelling, (resting state) functional connectivity, and combined EMG-fMRI.
Tremor. I am interested in understanding how tremor is generated in the brain, and what are the pathophysiological differences between tremor pathologies such as Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, and dystonic tremor. To this end, I use combined EMG-fMRI measurements, resting state functional connectivity, and pharmacological imaging.
Cerebral compensation. There are major differences between Parkinson patients in the rate of progression. Longitudinal changes in dopaminergic denervation (measured with e.g. DAT-SPECT) correlate very poorly with individual changes in disease progression. This suggests that other mechanisms (outside the basal ganglia) are involved. Using longitudinal fMRI in Parkinson’s disease patients, I aim to test whether a collapse of compensatory mechanisms is associated with disease progression.
Stress. Psychological stress worsens specific Parkinson symptoms such as tremor, dyskinesias, and freezing of gait. Using fMRI, I aim to test which cerebral mechanisms are involved.