Noted Parkinson’s Disease Expert to Speak at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

The National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence at Vanderbilt University will host the internationally known Parkinson’s disease expert George W. Paulson, M.D., for a special presentation on Thursday, Sept. 21. Paulson will discuss “Depression and Parkinson’s Disease.” The presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Wadlington Conference Room at the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. This event is free and open to the public. Free parking is available immediately adjacent to the Children’s Hospital in the South Garage.

Paulson is the former chair of the Department of Neurology at Ohio State University School of Medicine and has authored over 150 primary research papers and numerous book chapters on Parkinson’s disease. His special interests include the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, including depression, which is seen in up to half of Parkinson’s disease patients at some point during their illness. “Depression is an added blow to people with Parkinson’s disease, and directly affects their activity and adjustment and thus the course of the illness,” said Ariel Y. Deutch, Ph.D., director of the NPF Center of Excellence at Vanderbilt. “Dr. Paulson’s research and experience have greatly enhanced our ability to effectively treat the symptoms of this disease.”

Parkinson’s disease affects areas of the brain that control and coordinate movement. People typically have two or more key features such as tremor, slowness of movement and stiffness. Other common symptoms include depression, speech difficulties, sleep problems, dysfunctions in smell and cognitive impairment. The disease affects more than 1 million people in the United States, most of whom are older than 60. Medications and surgery are available to treat the symptoms of the disease, but there is currently no cure.

This event is part of an ongoing outreach effort that pairs Vanderbilt University with the National Parkinson Foundation, the oldest and largest organization serving people with Parkinson’s disease. Vanderbilt University has been designated as a Center of Excellence for the NPF since 1997 in recognition of quality in research, clinical care and outreach services.

“The NPF Center at Vanderbilt and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center are delighted to reach out to the community and serve all families affected by Parkinson’s disease,” said Nicole Teed, the NPF Center’s outreach coordinator. For more information about this event, please contact Teed at (615) 936-5517) or by e-mail (