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Neurology - Parkinson's

Houston, Texas

The Cullen Building at Baylor College of Medicine.
Department of Neurology
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Annual Report

October, 2009

Each year I try to provide a brief overview of the various activities at the Parkinson Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic at Baylor College of Medicine. Because of the deep recession, this has been a particularly difficult year for the nation and for many of our patients. Fundraising for non-profit organizations has also suffered. Although more funding than ever is needed to support our many research projects, the PDCMDC has been extraordinarily productive in carrying out our clinical, academic, and research missions. I am pleased to highlight some of the accomplishments we have achieved at the PDCMDC during the past year and progress we have made since my last report.

  • Congratulations to our own William G. Ondo, M.D., who was promoted to professor of neurology (with tenure). [Read the announcement]
  • During the past year, Dr. Ondo published his second book "Handbook of Movement Disorders", as well as numerous manuscripts on Parkinson disease, restless legs syndrome, ataxia, tremor, and blepharospasm. He lectured at the American Academy of Neurology, the International Congress of Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorders and at Grand Rounds at several medical schools.
  • Our previous fellows, Drs. Adam and Ferrara, completed their two-year fellowships and are currently on the faculty of the UTMB, Galveston and University of Louisville, respectively. On July 1, 2009, we welcomed our current fellows, Drs. Fekete and Yaltho.
  • The October 28, 2008 USA Today cover article featured Dr. Jankovic and his critical role in FDA's approval of tetrabenazine (Xenazine) for the treatment of chorea associated with Huntington disease. This drug is now used also for the treatment of other movement disorders, including tardive dyskinesia and Tourette syndrome. HD and new treatments were also featured in a segment on KTRK-TV during an interview with Dr. Jankovic and one of his patients. [Read the USA Today article]
  • Another important HD-related activity was the extraordinarily successful annual HD Run/Walk on Oct. 10, 2009, which raised awareness about and money for HD and the Huntington's Disease Society of America Center of Excellence at BCM.
  • Dr. Jankovic was the 2009 Honoree of the Tourette Syndrome Association of Texas, during their annual gala "Unmasking the Face of Tourette's", Houston Club, Jan. 22, 2009, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the national TSA recognizing his "lifetime of outstanding achievements in advancing research, education and clinical care for all people touched by Tourette syndrome", presented during the 5th Tourette Syndrome International Symposium, New York City, June 13, 2009.
  • Dr. Jankovic received The Marjorie Guthrie Award, presented during a Huntington Disease Society of America symposium "in grateful appreciation for his dedication and contribution toward the care and cure of Huntington's disease", Cleveland, Ohio, May 16, 2009.
  • Dr. Jankovic was featured in the September 2009 issue of Lancet Neurology in a special series called "in Context", in which "noteworthy physicians and other people who have made significant contributions to medicine over the years" are profiled. The profile, titled: "Joseph Jankovic: Mozart and Movement Disorders", accompanied a landmark article authored by Dr. Jankovic, titled "Treatment of hyperkinetic movement disorders". [Read the profile]
  • Dr. Jankovic was invited to present the Steve Fink Memorial Lecture, Boston University, Boston and was a lecturer at the MiniUniversity on the Brain, Young President's Organization-World President's Organization, Baylor College of Medicine.
  • Dr. Jankovic also chaired a session at the Global Neurology Summit, Charite University, Berlin, Germany, co-organized International Symposium on Psychogenic Movement Disorders and Conversion Disorders, Washington, DC, and lectured at the 13th International Congress of Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorders, Paris, France.
  • Dr. Jankovic was selected as the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center "Great Teacher" and invited to present a lecture at the NIH on "Treatment of Parkinson Disease".
  • Dr. Jankovic was invited to serve on the Clinical and Scientific Advisory Board, National Parkinson Foundation, 2009.
  • Dr. Jankovic serves as a member of the Scientific Committee for the XVIII World Federation of Neurology World Congress on Parkinson Disease and Related Disorders, to be held in Miami Beach, Florida, Dec. 13-16, 2009. He also chairs the Fundraising Committee and is a member of the steering and program committees of the World Parkinson Congress, scheduled to occur in Glasgow, Scotland, Sept. 28 - Oct. 1, 2010.
  • In 2009 Dr. Jankovic was invited as a lecturer and a visiting professor at Yale University, New Haven; Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, New York; SUNY Downstate Medical Center at Brooklyn, NY; Duke University, Durham, NC; University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas; University of Southern California; University of California, San Diego; and New York Medical College, New York City.
  • Physicians and scientists at the PDCMDC published over 50 peer-reviewed articles in the past year and presented 15 abstracts at the13th International Congress of Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorders, Paris, France, in June 2009. [View the articles and posters]
  • Dr. Jankovic recently published the following textbooks (many translated into multiple languages):
    • Jankovic J, Tolosa E, eds. Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders, 5th edition, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA, 2007 (along with a video atlas).
    • Fahn S, Jankovic J. Principles and Practice of Movement Disorders, Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier, Philadelphia, PA, 2007 (along with DVD of hundreds of patients with a variety of movement disorders)
    • Bradley WG, Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, eds. Neurology in Clinical Practice, 5th Edition, Butterworth-Heinemann (Elsevier), Philadelphia, PA. Jankovic J (chief editor), Albanese A, Atassi MZ, Dolly JO, Hallett M, Mayer N. Botulinum Toxin. Therapeutic Clinical Practice and Science. Saunders (Elsevier), Philadelphia, PA, 2008.
    • Singer HS, Mink JW, Gilbert DL, Jankovic J. Movement Disorders in Children, Butterworth-Heinemann (Elsevier), Philadelphia, PA, 2009.
    • Jankovic J, Editor. Movement Disorders. Neurologic Clinics, W. B. Saunders, Elsevier, Philadelphia, 2009.

In addition to our clinical and academic activities, our Parkinson Disease Research Laboratory, headed by Wei-Dong Le, M.D., Ph.D., and supported by grants from NIH, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, The Diana Helis Henry Medical Research Foundation, has made remarkable advances in understanding the cause of Parkinson disease. For example, we have found that genetic mutations in certain transcription factors that are important for central dopamine neuron development increase the risk for Parkinson disease. Furthermore, we have made great progress in developing disease-modifying, pathogenesis-targeted therapy. For example, we have tested NURR1 activator SH1, new generation of iron chelator M-30 and VK-28, and autophagy inducer rapamycin in several animal models of Parkinson disease, showing promising therapeutic potential. We hope that through these research efforts we may be able find the clue to identify the disease pathways and develop novel neuroprotective drugs to curb the disease progression. In addition we are also working on the development of biomarkers for Parkinson disease that may aid in early diagnosis of the disease, even before the onset of symptoms.

I hope that this partial list of our accomplishments over the past year adequately highlights the progress being made in our search for better understanding and treatment of neurodegenerative and movement disorders. Your investment in research at the PDCMDC will hasten the day when Parkinson disease and other movement disorders will be effectively ameliorated or even cured.

With warm appreciation,

Joseph Jankovic, M.D.

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