About Dr. Xuemei Huang's Laboratory


Parkinson's disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder that is characterized by

  • progressive tremor
  • rigidity
  • bradykinesia
  • postural instability


The pathological basis of these symptoms is thought to be due to the degeneration of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra of the brain. However, the exact etiology of Parkinson's disease is unknown, and there are no therapies proven to slow, arrest, or reverse cell death and disease progression. 


One of the goals of our lab is to investigate distributed changes in neural activity associated with Parkinson's disease and to determine the effects of therapeutic agents such as levodopa and dopamine agonists using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Furthermore, we would like to pursue structural imaging studies in Parkinson's disease in order to provide a more sophisticated understanding of PD-related cell loss, and a determination of whether MRI can be useful and non-invasive marker of disease progression.