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Important updates for patients with Parkinson's disease, friends, and families.

A new type of DBS device, the St. Jude Medical Infinity system has been FDA approved, but is not yet available for use. If you are being considered for DBS in the future, this device may be an option for you in the future.

The Vanderbilt Parkinson's Disease Center

The mission of the VPDC is to provide excellence in research, patient care, and education in Parkinsons Disease and related disorders.

Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's disease affects approximately one million Americans. It is due to a progressive degeneration of a small area of the brain and leads to progressive disability. Symptoms include rigidity, tremor, poor balance and difficulty walking. Fortunately, there are medical and surgical treatments for Parkinson's disease.

The Movement Disorders Clinic is a national leader in the area of clinical research for new medical and surgical treatments for Parkinson's disease and offers a full range of services for these disorders. As a Center of Excellence we are dedicated to providing the best care through a comprehensive approach that addresses the whole person and the full range of symptoms of the disease.

For information on our Outreach Program including Educational programs, support groups and exercise classes contact Kelly Arney, MSSW, Outreach Coordinator for the Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence at Vanderbilt at 615-936-5517.

To schedule an appointment with consulting physicians in the VPDC, please ask your primary physician or neurologist to fax (preferred) a referral to Ms. Nikki Jones at 615-936-1229. Our mailing address is 1161 21st Ave South, A-0118 MCN, Nashville, TN 37232. Please be aware that insurance authorization will be necessary.

RESEARCH

The VPDC has active programs in clinical trials for PD. Current clinical trials are focusing on  interventions that slow the progression of PD and also treatment of motor fluctuations in PD.

For more information about participating in clinical trials in PD, please contact Ms. Tricia McKinney, LPN, at 615-875-7394.

PATIENT CARE

The VPDC has the largest clinical program in the state of Tennessee and offers medical and surgical management options for patients with PD and related disorders.

EDUCATION

The educational program has several components.

Physicians in training may rotate with VPDC physicians. Fellowship applications should visit the Fellowship site.

The VPDC also offers patient outreach services including networking with patients support groups through a grant from the Parkinson's Foundation (PF). This program is headed by Ms. Kelly Arney. Along with monthly support group meetings, Ms. Arney coordinates an annual "Blazing for a Cure" PD symposium in October. Families and patients are invited to attend this educational program. To learn more, contact Kelly Arney, MSSW at 615-936-5517 or email kelly.b.arney@vanderbilt.edu.

The next symposium will be held in October of 2018.

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VPDC Members

Director: Thomas L. Davis, M.D., Professor of Neurology

  • Kelly Arney, NPF Outreach Coordinator
  • Daniel O. Claassen, M.D. M.S., Associate Professor of Neurology
  • John Y. Fang, M.D., Associate Professor of Neurology
  • Travis Hassell, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neurology
  • Peter Hedera, M.D., Associate Professor of Neurology
  • David Isaacs, M.D., Assistant Professor of Neurology
  • Changqing Chris Kao, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
  • Peter E. Konrad, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Neurological Surgery & Biomedical Engineering
  • Heather Koons, M.D., Assistant Professor of Neurology
  • Tricia McKinney, L.P.N., Clinical Research Nurse
  • Fenna T. Phibbs, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor of Neurology

ADDITIONAL EDUCATION MATERIAL

Documents (PDF files)

Tyramines in PD

Patient and Caregiver Conference on Parkinsons disease:

To Contact the VPDC

Phone (615) 936-0060
Fax (615) 936-1229

Additional Links of Interest:

1) NINDS - Parkinson's disease
2) WeMove.org
3) Parkinson's Foundation