Anne Blood, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Harvard Medical School
Psychiatry, Mass General Research Institute
|PhD UCLA University 1997|
My research involves using MRI to examine the pathophysiology of dystonia and other neurological movement disorders. Dystonia is a debilitating movement disorder, characterized by excessive, sustained involuntary muscle contractions, resulting in abnormal postures and impaired movement.
The emphasis of my laboratory's research is on developing novel approaches to studying dystonia using functional and diffusion MRI techniques.
For example, we are using motor threshold" tasks to determine if the motor system is more easily engaged in dystonia patients than in people who do not have the disorder. We are also examining hemodynamic timecourses in motor and somatosensory brain regions during motor tasks to investigate how repetitive or skilled movements may contribute to development or exacerbation of brain pathology underlying dystonia.
We have also recently begun using diffusion MRI to investigate whether there are mictrostructural abnormalities in the brains of dystonia patients. In the future, we plan to apply the approaches we've developed to study brain structure and function in other movement disorders, such as Parkinson's Disease.