Project TitleControlling Dopaminergic Neuron Pacemaking
Track Code2005-034
Short Description

New method for modulating activity of dopaminergic neurons to alleviate symptoms of Parkinson's disease #CNS #Parkinsonsdisease #therapeutics #drugdiscovery


Northwestern researchers have developed an innovative strategy for treating Parkinson's Disease (PD) that focuses on strengthening the vulnerable dopaminergic neurons in the brain. Most researchers believe that a combination of environmental factors and genetic predisposition leads to development of PD through depletion of dopaminergic neurons. Current treatment strategies focus on maintaining high levels of dopamine in the brain, but over time this approach is rendered ineffective. Prof. Surmeier's laboratory has invented a new treatment strategy that relies on controlling neuron pacemaking, which strengthens these cells and makes them less vulnerable to injury by environmental toxins and dysfunction caused by genetic mutations. Additionally, the same method could be used to treat patients with several other diseases, like dystonia, Tourette's syndrome and drug addiction.

TagsCNS: Parkinson's Disease, THERAPEUTICS: CNS, THERAPEUTICS: drug discovery
Posted DateMay 5, 2015 1:17 PM


D. James Surmeier*

Savio Chan

Jaime Guzman

Jeff Mercer


  • Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease
  • Treatment of other CNS disorders with dopaminergic determinants


  • Non-surgical treatment method


IP Status

US patent application has been filed.

Contact Information

Michael Moore, PhD

Invention Manager

(p) 847.491.4645