Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2007
Mentor: Padraig O'Suilleabhain MD
Room number: J3.134
Mail Code: 9036
Phone number: 82943
Project title: 5-year follow-up of a cohort of patients with Parkinson disease: relationship of homocysteine to disease progression
Human subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): 0402-220
Animal subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): NA
Project Type Patient-based
Brief Description of Project: In summer 2002 we recruited 100 patients with
early PD. Two summer students drew and processed blood for analysis; collected
clinical and demographic and dietary information; scored their motor function,
mood, and cognitive function. We reported baseline parkinsonism and cognition,
analyzed as a function of homocysteine level (ref 2). In summer 2004, another
two summer students measured and reported 2-year follow-up (ref 3). We now wish
to bring these patients back to clinic for 5-year data. The same battery of
motor and cognitive and mood tests will be delivered.
The primary hypothesis is that subjects with elevated homocysteine at baseline progress at a faster rate, and that a higher proportion become demented. If these hypotheses are supported, it would justify a clinical trial measuring the efficacy of an intervention to lower homocysteine.
Secondary hypotheses have arisen more recently that could well be addressed in this cohort of early PD patients followed for years with prospective standardized longitudinal measurement. For example, genetic markers and pesticide exposures as predictors of progression may also be analyzed this year.
Once again this year, two students are sought. They will spend the first couple of weeks in training for scoring the motor and mood and cognitive scales and phlebotomy and preprocessing blood, also in contacting patients and scheduling visits. Study visits take up most of a month, and then analysis and reporting will occur in the final weeks.
Previous Research Activities or Publications with Medical Students:
1. Baseman D (summer med student), Dewey RB, O'Suilleabhain PE, Reimold S, Laskar S, Baseman S. "Pergolide Use is associated with cardiac valve regurgitation", Neurology 2004; 63: 301-304
2. O'Suilleabhain PE, Sung V, Hernandez C (summer med students), Lacritz L, Dewey RB, Bottiglieri T, Diaz-Arrastia R "Elevated plasma homocysteine in Parkinson's disease: motor, affective and cognitive associations", Archives of Neurology 2004; 61: 865-868
3. O'Suilleabhain PE, Oberle R, Bartis C (summer med students), Dewey RB, Bottiglieri T, Diaz-Arrastia R "Clinical course in Parkinson's disease with elevated homocysteine: motor, affective and cognitive associations", Parkinsonism and Related Disorders 2006; 12: 103-107
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