Associate Professor Colum MacKinnon

Medical School
Twin Cities
Project Title: 
Modeling Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease

The mission of the Movement Disorders Laboratory is to gain a greater understanding of the mechanisms causing movement problems in people with neurological disorders and to translate this knowledge to the development of novel therapies and interventions to improve movement function, mobility, and quality of life. The lab's present research focus is to examine the mechanisms contributing to the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD). The researchers are able to quantify impairments in steady-state gait, gait initiation, rigidity, bradykinesia, tremor, repetitive movements, and speech. The laboratory is currently examining the relationship between postural instability, freezing of gait, and sleep disorders in people with Parkinson's disease, neuroplasticity and progression of disease in PD, and the mechanisms and pathways mediating the improvement or worsening of motor function with deep brain stimulation of the globus pallidus or subthalamic nucleus. The latter project is using computational biophysical models of DBS to estimate the pathways activated by stimulation and their effects on quantitative measures of motor signs.

Project Investigators

Dr. Sommer Amundsen-Huffmaster
Emily Lecy
Associate Professor Colum MacKinnon
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