The Pacific Parkinson Research Centre conducts the largest peer-reviewed Parkinson disease research program in Canada, under the direction of Dr. Martin McKeown, an internationally recognized expert on PD. The focus of the research program is the use of Positron Emission Tomography, and recently with functional fMRI to study the natural history and progression of Parkinson disease, genetic forms of Parkinson, the complications of long-term disease and its therapy and the placebo effect.
Dr. Stoessl and his colleagues were the first to demonstrate that the placebo effect in PD is mediated by the release of dopamine in the brain. This work, originally published in Science, has received attention by the scientific community and the media internationally and was featured by the BBC. The work on genetic causes of Parkinson has been conducted in collaboration with Dr. Matt Farrer, who formerly worked at the Mayo Clinic with Dr. Z. Wszolek, has resulted in publications in Nature Genetics, Neuron and Brain. Work on complications of Parkinson has resulted in publications in Annals of Neurology and Brain.
Other investigators associated with the Centre study occupational risk factors for Parkinson disease (Dr. Tsui); studies on compensatory mechanisms in PD assessed using fMRI and high resolution EEG (Dr. McKeown; internationally recognized for his development of Independent Component Analysis to study complex data sets, including functional imaging) and basic science preclinical models of PD.
Research Recruitment Brochure: [Link]