Department IV: Resaerch activities

Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases participated in a large number of research projects that include analyses of clinical, genetic, imaging and other specificities of the diseases.

(1) Analysis of clinical – genetic specificities of neurodegenerative diseases

In cooperation with genetic laboratories in the country and abroad we investigate presence of currently known mutations in Parkinson’s disease, Wilson disease, dystonia, chorea, myoclonic dystonia, dopa-responsive dystonia and cerebellar ataxias.
A part of the research includes analysis of susceptibility genes and monitoring of their influence on onset and specificities of certain diseases (e.g. Parkinson’s disease).
Investigation of the known genetic mutations may help in getting the insight into clinical heterogeneity in expression of individual mutations while detection of families with large number of affected members with genetically undefined diseases enables identification of mutations or mapping of the gene considered to be responsible. As for the diseases supposed to be hereditary with unrecognized gene mutation, population genetic research studies have been initiated that may suggest the type of inheritance in these diseases (e.g. restless leg syndrome).

(2) Analysis of clinical specificities of neurodegenerative diseases

Although clinical spectrum has been relatively clear in a large number of the diseases, new clinical characteristics are still being detected for many of them. Thus, testing of autoimmune disorders has been initiated in patients affected with Parkinson’s disease that will be based, in addition to clinical and electrophysiological tests, on the specific scintigraphic methods (MIBG-I-131).
Analysis of the neuropsychiatric disorders within Parkinson’s disease as well as monitoring of the degree of cognitive and behavioral deteriorations are included in our research.
Monitoring of frequency and specificity of neuropsychiatric disorders within Wilson disease, essential tremor and cerebellar ataxias is also in progress.

(3) Neurophysiological studies

Analysis of tremor and its electrophysiological specificities, TMS studies aimed at elucidation of certain movement disorders as well as analysis of postural mechanisms and gait specificities in basic conditions and upon demanding of motor and cognitive tasks have been initiated within the Laboratory for clinical and experimental neurophysiology.

(4) Clinical trials on drugs and their efficacy

Assessment of botulin toxin efficacy in prospective studies on treatment of sialorrhea, spasmodic dysphonia and spasticity in order to verify its efficacy for the above indications is included in the ongoing research activities.

(5) Epidemiological studies

Large population studies on the prevalence of less common diseases (RLS) are initiated in cooperation with the Unit for Neuroepidemiology and Prof. T. Pekmezović.

(6) Data bases and video library, DNA library

The specific data bases with detailed clinical evaluation of the patients suffering from a number of movement disorders as well as DNA library that will be a base for numerous planned studies are formed within the department, as well as a video library presenting the cases of propedeutic and educational significance. Although not a part of the research activities, they are essential for its success.

(7) Imaging

Assessment of structural specificities of certain diseases (e.g. Wilson disease) has always been within the scope of our interest. New possibilities and development of new technologies enabled us to monitor anatomic specificities of individual entities and sub-entities (voxel-based morphometry) as well as structural and functional wholeness of the individual structures (DAT scan) in degenerative diseases.

(8) Parenchymal ECHO

Availability of monitoring of intracerebral structures with a non-invasive method has enabled us to get the insight into the condition of individual structures within and out of the brain stem as well as its correlation with numerous clinical parameters of the degenerative diseases.
The research activities carried out so far have resulted in considerable number of papers published in renowned professional journals as well as successful participation of our team at the meetings held in the country and abroad, including lectures delivered by invited lecturers at the most important scientific meeting in the world. The invested efforts resulted in establishment of scientific cooperation with numerous similar institutions in the world, which enabled application of the most up-to-date methods in diagnosis and treatment of our patients. The research activities also include training of future generations of clinicians – researchers and particular efforts are made in finding the possibility of advanced training of our staff members in the world in order to keep the pace and adopt the most contemporary scientific achievements in the field.


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Scientific papers

A list of scientific papers published by the employees of the Neurology clinic since 1981. Complete list can be found here.