Associate Professor, Neurology| MnDRIVE Neuromodulation Researcher
The Movement Disorders Laboratory at the University of Minnesota, directed by Dr. MacKinnon, is focused on understanding the pathophysiology of impaired movement control in people with neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD). The laboratory uses quantitative measures of movement (whole body kinematics, multi-channel EMG, kinetics) and both non-invasive (high-resolution EEG, TMS, tDCS, startle) and invasive (local field potential recordings) techniques to examine the cortical, subcortical and spinal mechanisms contributing to the primary motor symptoms of PD (akinesia, bradykinesia, rigidity and postural instability and gait dysfunction). The laboratory is currently examining the relationship between REM sleep and motor disorders in people with PD, the mechanisms by which external cues facilitate gait initiation in PD and the mechanisms of impaired control of repetitive movement in PD. We are also examining how changes in the location and pathways targeted by deep brain stimulation (DBS) affect motor control in people with PD.
The goal of the program is to translate this knowledge to the development, testing and implementation of novel therapies and interventions for people with movement disorders.