Parkinson's disease - increasing understanding and defining new therapies
Dr Brotchie's research is focussed on understanding the neural mechanisms underlying movement disorders, in particular Parkinson's disease. His focus is on identifying and understanding interactions between the multiple neurotransmitter systems found within the basal ganglia in
a. the generation of symptoms of movement disorders
b. the development of side effects of current treatments e.g. L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia.
c. neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease
d. mechanisms compensating for loss of dopamine in pre-symptomatic stages of Parkinson's disease.
The approaches applied span basic molecular biological and pharmacological studies in vitro to studies in animal models, rodent and non-human primate (MPTP), of movement disorders. In addition to increasing knowledge of basal ganglia function in health and disease, this work has helped identify several novel therapeutic approaches to movement disorders, including manipulation of cannabinoid, opioid, glutamtergic and serotonergic systems, which are currently in the process of being translated into therapies. In this latter respect, he enjoys close collaborations with the TWH Movement Disorders Clinic with respect to conducting Phase II clinical trials.