Florida Researcher Introduces a New Imaging Technique for Parkinson’s Disease and Parkinsonism

University of Florida Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration researcher Dr. David Vaillancourt was featured on the front page of the Gainesville Sun for his recent publication on a new technique to diagnose Parkinson’s disease and parkinsonisms  earlier in the course of the disease.

An excerpt from the article:

Although the patients already had been diagnosed with diseases, the ultimate goal is to use DTI at the outset of diagnosis so that patients aren’t treated unnecessarily for disorders they don’t actually have.

“This is not at a point where we are going to start diagnosing patients based on this, but it shows significant promise in that direction,” Vaillancourt said.

Accurate diagnoses for these diseases can be helpful for patients and caregivers alike, he continued. “I think people generally want to know what they have. It helps people plan and know what to put in place.”

“Early and accurate diagnosis will be essential for testing new therapies and especially those that can meaningfully alter the disease course,” Okun said. “The field has been hoping that such technology would begin to solve a problem that has plagued the field and threatened to slow new therapies to the bedside.”

Previously, drugs and other therapies might have been tested in patients with the wrong diagnosis, Vaillancourt added.

About the Author


Michael Okun

Professor of Neurology, expert on Parkinson's disease and other basal ganglia disorders, deep brain stimulation, author of over 300 research papers and the bestselling book…

Read all articles by Michael Okun