Research & Publications
My main research interests lie in the intersection between neurology and sleep medicine. My current area of focus is on the pathophysiology of restless legs syndrome (RLS) and the role of autoimmunity in REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). Our lab focuses on the study of humans with neurologically-based sleep disorders to gain knowledge about disease with a focus on assessing disease biomarkers in blood and cerebrospinal fluid. We are particularly interested in the role of the melanocortin hormones in the pathophysiology of RLS. These hormones include alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone, pro-opiomelanocortin, and beta-endorphin. The latter peptide is the body’s endogenous opioid hormone, which is interesting as opioid medications are very effective in treating RLS. We are also investigating the role of autoimmunity in REM Sleep Behavior Disorder and the onset of Parkinson disease.
Specialized Terms: Restless Legs Syndrome; Periodic Limb Movements During Sleep; Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Stroke
Neurology; Restless Legs Syndrome; Sleep; Veterans; Sleep Apnea, Obstructive; Stroke