February 5, 2024

VUMC recognized for atypical Parkinsonism care and research

Vanderbilt’s Department of Neurology has been named a CurePSP Center of Care

The Department of Neurology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center has been named a CurePSP Center of Care.

CurePSP, based in New York City, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness and advancing care and research for three related neurodegenerative diseases — supranuclear palsy (PSP), corticobasal degeneration, (CBD), and multiple system atrophy, (MSA).

Sometimes called Parkinsonism-plus syndromes, the three adult disorders, often lumped with Lewy body dementia, constitute atypical Parkinsonism.

Formed in 2018, the CurePSP Centers of Care network includes 33 sites in the United States and Canada. Criteria for the designation involve comprehensive care for all three disorders “exceeding that available at most neurology centers,” community education and outreach, ongoing professional education, research, and agreement to link patients with support programs offered by CurePSP.

VUMC’s application for the new designation was led by Amy Brown, MD, MS, assistant professor of Neurology in the Movement Disorders Division.

“CurePSP is an exemplary patient advocacy organization with a sweeping vision of improving diagnosis, care and support for patients and ridding the world of PSP, CBD, and MSA,” Brown said. “Their Centers of Care network is stellar, and we are excited to officially join its ranks. Besides boosting national recognition for our program, I foresee this new connection aiding local support for our patients.”

The core of the VUMC center includes the Parkinson’s Disease Center, where all three disorders are treated, and the Autonomic Dysfunction Clinic, which sees patients with MSA. These clinics bring together neurologists, neurosurgeons, cardiologists, and other specialists, with access to speech therapists and social workers.

On the atypical Parkinsonism research front at VUMC, Brown is recruiting patients for two MSA drug trials, and Ryan Darby, MD, assistant professor of Neurology, is leading a prospective observational study involving PSP and CBD patients.

VUMC is also a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence.

For more information, see the CurePSP website and websites of the VUMC Parkinson’s Disease Center and Autonomic Dysfunction Clinic.