Movement Disorders Research

The Division of Movement Disorders is world-renowned for its tradition of clinical care and research excellence in the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders. We are committed to providing patients and their families with thorough, considerate, state-of-the-art care.  Our goal is to further progress in the field of Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders, in terms of both patient care and cutting-edge research.  We are continuously investigating better diagnostic test and improved therapeutic options for patients and their families.

Areas of Research

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Apoptosis
  • Astrocytes
  • Ataxia
  • Bioinfomatics
  • Biomarkers, genetic and epidemiology of Parkinson's disease
  • Cell biology
  • Disease
  • Dystonia
  • High-throughput screening
  • Learning and behavior
  • Microglia
  • Mitochondria biology and disease
  • Mitophagy
  • Molecular and cellular biology of neurodegeneration
  • Motor neuron biology and diseases
  • Motor systems
  • Multiple system atrophy
  • Necroptosis
  • Neural degeneration and repair
  • Neurobiology of disease
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neurodegeneration and repair
  • Neuroimmunology
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Neurosurgical treatment using deep brain stimulati
  • Novel targets for neuromodulation
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Parkinson's disease and movement disorders
  • Parkinson's disease biomarkers
  • Physiology of the basal ganglia
  • Protein trafficking
  • Roles of macroautophagy in the healthy and diseased CNS
  • Stem cell biology
  • Synapses and circuits
  • Use of tractography for the understanding of neuromodulation

Studies and Trials

These studies are designed to help find new and more effective ways to diagnose, treat and, ultimately, cure Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders. Your participation in a research study may not only improve your quality of life but also make a difference for generations of patients in the future.

To learn more about participation in research studies, please visit the Office of Clinical Trials at Columbia University.

Should you decide to participate in a research study, our team of subspecialty-trained neurologists, nurses, coordinators, and genetic specialists will work closely with you before, during, and upon completion of your valued participation, to make certain you receive the best possible care. 

Here are clinical trials and research studies that are currently open to patient participation:

PD GENEration: Mapping the Future of Parkinson’s Disease (PD)

PDGENE is a national initiative that offers free genetic testing for clinically relevant PD-related genes and free genetic counseling to help participants better understand their results. The PD GENE study is open to people who have a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease and takes place at multiple Parkinson’s Foundation Centers of Excellence. At Columbia University, participation in this study will primary be through telemedicine appointments and at-home cheek swab collection kit. For further study eligibility information, please visit the PD GENEration website or contact:

Amanda Chan
Research Coordinator
Akc2177@cumc.columbia.edu
(212) 305-4233

or

Zach Meyers
Research Coordinator
zjm2009@cumc.columbia.edu

Parkinson’s Disease and related disorders Brain Donation Research

Columbia University Center Movement Disorders Division and the NY Brain Bank perform an essential research procedure to learn about movement disorders: brain autopsy (also known as brain donation). Studying Parkinson’s disease is made particularly difficult by the fact that scientists are unable to examine the brains of living patients. They must rely on the generous donation of brains by patients—as well as some family members—to brain banks. Our ability to understand how Parkinson’s disease and related disorders affect the brain is dependent upon studying brain tissue.

For further information about enrolling to be a potential brain donor, please contact Matt Surface, Brain Donation Coordinator at ms6015@cumc.columbia.edu.

Biohaven 206 - A Phase III, Long-Term, Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial of Troriluzole in Adult Subjects with Spinocerebellar Ataxia

Who is this study for?

Ages 18-75; diagnosed with genetically confirmed SCA 1, 2, 3, 7, or 10; ability to ambulate 8 meters without human assistance; fluent in English; adequate hearing, vision, and language abilities to complete testing

How long will I need to participate?

2 Years

What is the treatment being studied?

Troriluzole or Placebo Tablet, taken by mouth

What is the objective of the study?

The overall objective is to evaluate the long-term efficacy and safety of Troriluzole in adult patients with Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA). Troriluzole potentially may provide therapeutic effects for SCA via neuroprotective mechanisms.

Who should I contact?

Nadia Amokrane, na2855@cumc.columbia.edu

LEARN MORE

Biohaven 201 - A Phase IIb/III, Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial of BHV-4157 in Adult Subjects with Spinocerebellar Ataxia

Who is this study for?

Ages 18-75; diagnosed with genetically confirmed SCA 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, or 10; ability to ambulate 8 meters without human assistance; fluent in English; adequate hearing, vision, and language abilities to complete testing

How long will I need to participate?

1 Year

What is the treatment being studied?

BHV-4157 or Placebo Tablet, taken by mouth

What is the objective of the study?

The overall objective is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of BHV-4157 in patients with Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA) after 8 weeks of treatment. BHV-4157 potentially may provide therapeutic effects for SCA via neuroprotective mechanisms.

Who should I contact?

Nadia Amokrane, na2855@cumc.columbia.edu

LEARN MORE

Biohaven 301 - A Phase III, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel-Group Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of BHV-3241 in Subjects with Multiple System Atrophy

Who is this study for?

Ages 40-75; diagnosed with MSA-P or MSA-C; ability to ambulate 10 steps without human assistance; consent of caregiver

How long will I need to participate?

1 Year

What is the treatment being studied?

BHV-3241 or Placebo Tablet, taken orally

What is the objective of the study?

The objective is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of BHV-3241 in patients with multiple system atrophy (MSA). BHV-3241 potentially may provide therapeutic effects for MSA by reducing neuroinflammation.

Who should I contact?
​​​​​​Natasha Desai, nd2528@cumc.columbia.edu

LEARN MORE

READISCA - Clinical Trial Readiness for Rare Neurological and Neuromuscular Diseases

Who is this study for?

Ages 18-65; diagnosed with SCA 1 or 3

How long will I need to participate?

5 Years

What is the objective of the study?

The objective is to establish the world's largest cohorts of pre-manifest and early-stage SCA1 and SCA3 individuals by combining and expanding existing cohorts, COA data, and biofluid samples (blood and cerebrospinal fluid) from the US and Europe.

Who should I contact?

Nadia Amokrane, na2855@cumc.columbia.edu

LEARN MORE

CRC-SCA - Natural History of Spinocerebellar Ataxias

Who is this study for?

Ages 6+; diagnosed with SCA 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, or 10

How long will I need to participate?

5 Years

What is the objective of the study?

This observational study focuses on assessing the progression rate of SCA 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, and 10 using validated neurological rating scales, timed performance measures, and patient-reported outcome measures.

Who should I contact?

Nadia Amokrane, na2855@cumc.columbia.edu

Cerebellar Impulsivity Study

Who is this study for?

Ages 18+; diagnosed with SCA, essential tremor, or Parkinson's Disease

How long will I need to participate?

30 minutes

What is the objective of the study?

The purpose of this observational study is to evaluate decision making, thinking patterns, motor function, emotions and behaviors in patients with ataxia and healthy controls.

Who should I contact?

Nadia Amokrane, na2855@cumc.columbia.edu

Neural Study: NLY01-PD-1 - Randomized, Multicenter, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study to Evaluate the Efficacy, Safety, and Tolerability of 36 Weeks of Treatment with NLY01 in Early-stage Parkinson’s Disease

Who is this study for?

Ages 30-80; diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) in the last 5 years and not currently on any dopaminergic treatment

How long will I need to participate?

1 Year

What is the treatment being studied?

NLY01 or Placebo, taken subcutaneously once a week

What is the objective of the study?

The objective is to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of NLY01 in patients with early-stage PD.

Who should I contact?

Natasha Desai, nd2528@cumc.columbia.edu