Volunteer in the Spotlight: Dr. Howard Hurtig, member of LBDA's Scientific Advisory Council

LBDA’s Scientific Advisory Council is comprised of leading clinical and scientific experts in Lewy body dementias.  Dr. Howard Hurtig has a longstanding interest in the pathology of Lewy body disease, how it affects cognitive function in patients with associated parkinsonism and the overlap between dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and the dementia that occurs late in the course of Parkinson's disease (PDD).  He has been a member of LBDA's Scientific Advisory Council for five years and served as chair of the planning committee for the Biomarkers in Lewy Body Disease Conference held in Washington, DC in 2010, which was jointly sponsored by LBDA and the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders in Stroke.

Dr. Hurtig is a member of an outstanding team of investigators at the University of Pennsylvania's Morris K. Udall Parkinson's Disease Research Center (John Trojanowski, Primary Investigator), now in its fifth year.  The organizing theme of the Penn Udall Center is improved understanding of cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease (PD), which is being approached at the basic level with development of an animal model of dementia and at a clinical level with careful, longitudinal evaluation of a large cohort of patients with PD.  An exciting bonus of this work are the collaborations recently forged with new Udall Centers at the University of Washington in Seattle and the Feinberg Institute of the Northshore University Hospital, Long Island, NY, both of which are engaged in research on cognitive impairment in PD.  Since DLB and PDD are distinct clinical entities with similar underlying pathology, the hope embedded in this research is for advancement in knowledge that translates into effective new treatments.

Dr. Hurtig is Chair of the Department of Neurology and Co-Director of the Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center at the Pennsylvania Hospital, a division of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, and the Frank and Gwladys Elliott Professor of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.