2015 Annual Report — Parkinson's Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic

Nov. 19 has been designated as National Philanthropy Day. Each year we celebrate this important day by recognizing our donors and other supporters of the Parkinson’s Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic. Thank you! Your investment in our clinical, research and educational mission is clearly paying off as highlighted by our accomplishments below, many of which would not be possible without the continued support by you, our grateful patients and generous friends. I also want to use this opportunity to update you on some of our accomplishments and notable milestones we reached this year.

In January, the Department of Neurology and the PDCMDC moved to the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center at the McNair Campus, 7200 Cambridge Street on the east side of the Texas Medical Center. In this beautiful new facility, the PDCMDC now enjoys more space for optimal medical care, cutting edge clinical research, and most compassionate care and expert treatment. The new PDCMDC location has a spacious and welcoming waiting room, 20 examining rooms, two nursing stations, physician workrooms, video studio, medication preparation/storage rooms, a procedure/LP room, research equipment/supply storage room, 10 academic offices, 10 staff/research coordinator offices, two large conference rooms with state-of-the art audio-visual equipment and other research and administrative space. In addition, there are numerous other conference rooms within the building that can be utilized for various research and educational programs. The clinic and the waiting area are designed to convey a warm and welcoming feeling, which is enhanced by 45 beautiful photographs graciously donated by Mr. Robert Flatt, a world renowned photographer and self-disclosed Parkinson’s disease patient.

The PDCMDC is not just a fabulous facility conducive to the most optimal medical care and clinical research but, more importantly, it is a team of dedicated individuals, including four faculty members, four fellows, five research coordinators, three medical assistants and an administrative clinic and support staff. I am proud to lead the world renowned PDCMDC, which continues to make important advances on many research fronts in the field of Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. Our discoveries have led to many scientific, peer-reviewed publications on the genetics of Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor, advances in autoimmune movement disorders, and novel treatments in Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, Huntington’s disease and Tourette syndrome. Many of the new drugs and other therapies tested at the PDCMDC are currently under consideration for approval by the Food and Drug Administration.

This year has been particularly productive in terms of clinical care, research and education. Some of those advances and honors are listed below.

Joseph Jankovic, M.D.

PDCMDC Team (J. Jankovic, M.D., Director) (320x240)
PDCMDC Team (J. Jankovic, M.D., Director)

- In January I was elected as the president of the International Neurotoxin Association, an umbrella organization with the primary mission of providing a forum for the exchange of information and ideas among scientists, clinicians and other allied health professionals about the science and broadening therapeutic use of neurotoxins. I also was an organizer and lecturer at the conference: Toxins 2015: Basic Science and Clinical Aspects of Botulinum and Other Neurotoxins, in Lisbon, Portugal.

- I lectured at the “First Maghreb Teaching Course in Movement Disorders,” Marrakech, Morocco in January and at the Global Expert Summit, Charite University, Berlin, Germany in May.

- I was an invited lecturer and/or visiting professor at the University of Florida; University of California at San Francisco; Columbia University, New York City; the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, Washington, D.C.; the International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders, San Diego; University of California at San Diego; Cartagena, Colombia; University of Calgary, Canada; XXI World Congress on Parkinson’s Disease and Related Disorders, Milan, Italy, and other institutions and conferences. 

- I was honored to be invited as one of few non-European speakers to lecture at the inaugural meeting of the European Academy of Neurology, Berlin, Germany in June and was delighted to receive a certificate in recognition as “one of the best speakers” during the Congress. 

- In June, I was one of the organizers and also lectured at the First World Congress on Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders in London.

- Together with my colleagues, Dr. Stanley Fahn of Columbia University and Dr. Mark Hallett of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), we celebrated this summer the 25th anniversary of the CME course "A Comprehensive Review of Movement Disorders,” held annually in Aspen, Colorado. 

- In October, the PDCMDC was honored by the national Tourette Association of America (TAA) with an official designation as the TAA Center of Excellence.

- In October, the PDCMDC was certified by the Huntington Study Group as HSG Credentialed Research Site.

- I accepted a personal invitation from the rector of Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, the oldest and most prestigious university in Central Europe, to serve on its international advisory board. I will be attending its inaugural meeting in Prague this month.

- I was invited to serve on the executive committee of the editorial board of Medlink Neurology, the most important online educational resource for neurology. I also was selected for the “Member of the Year Award” for F1000, a publisher of services for life scientists and clinical researchers.

- In addition to publishing more than 1,000 scientific articles and chapters during my academic career, I also have published more than 55 books. Several books are being released in 2015, including Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders, Sixth Edition, Movement Disorders in Childhood, Second Edition, and Neurology in Clinical Practice, Seventh Edition.

The following are some highlights of the accomplishments of my PDCMDC associates:

Joohi Jimenez-Shahed, M.D.

- In January, Dr. Jimenez-Shahed was honored by the Tourette Syndrome Association of Texas at their annual gala for her contribution to research and care of patients with Tourette syndrome.

- She gave a Parkinson’s disease research update at the Davis Phinney Foundation Victory Summit in Upstate, South Carolina in November 2014.

- She served as the course director for the first Neurology Workshop at the North American Neuromodulation Society Annual Meeting in Las Vegas in December 2014.

- She was an invited speaker at the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., in April; Deep Brain Stimulation Symposium on Tourette Syndrome in London in June; and World Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery in Mumbai, India in September. 

- Drs. Jimenez-Shahed and Jankovic represented the PDCMDC at the “Partners in Parkinson’s” statewide educational program sponsored by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston in September.

- She was appointed co-chair of the Functional Neurosurgery Working Group of the Parkinson’s Study Group. 

- She received Baylor College of Medicine’s “That’s the Way” Award, which recognizes employees for exemplary service, with recognition determined by patient comments and kudos cards. 

- She was elected by members of the Department of Neurology to serve as one of their representatives to the faculty senate at the College.

Mary Ann Thenganatt, M.D.

- Dr. Thenganatt has published articles and chapters on cervical dystonia, essential tremor, Parkinson’s disease, tardive dyskinesia and psychogenic movement disorders.

- Drs. Thenganatt and Jankovic and Ms. Hunter were invited to speak at the “9th Annual Johns Hopkins Dystonia & Spasticity Practicum and Update”, a workshop on botulinum toxin, in Houston in October.

- She was invited to speak on the “Nonmotor features of Parkinson’s Disease” at Current Neurology 2015 sponsored by Baylor College of Medicine.

Joshua M. Shulman, M.D., Ph.D.

GENETICS Team (J. Shulman, M.D., Ph.D., Director) (320x240)
GENETICS Team (J. Shulman, M.D., Ph.D., Director)

- Drs. Shulman, Thenganatt, and Jankovic are participating in a study of genetics of familial essential tremor, funded by the NIH. 

- Dr. Shulman, who also holds a joint appointment in the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, is the principal investigator of an NIH-funded grant entitled "Functional Validation of Parkinson’s Disease Susceptibility Genes in Drosophila”.

- He was invited to present at meetings of the International Genomics of Alzheimer’s Project in Washington, D.C., the International Parkinson’s Disease Genetics Consortium in London, and the American Federation of Aging Research in Santa Barbara.

- He has published on the value of experimental animal models for investigation of neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson’s disease. He has also published data on parkinsonism in older adults and the application of genome sequencing for identification of novel candidate genes for Parkinson’s disease. 

Christine Hunter, R.N., B.S.N.

- Ms. Hunter was elected by members of the Parkinson’s Study Group to serve as the coordinator representative to the executive committee of this International Consortium of Investigators.

- She serves on the board of the Tourette Association, Texas Affiliate.

- She serves on the steering committee for the Vaccinex Huntington Disease Trial.

I hope these highlights provide insight into the exciting clinical and research activities at the PDCMDC. 

Your generous support will enable us to continue our fellowship training program and to make advances in research that will translate into better quality of life for patients with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.

With warm appreciation, 

Joseph Jankovic, M.D.