2021 Hellos and Goodbyes

The first of July is the start of a new academic year at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. It’s a bittersweet time as we welcome new team members and say goodbye to others.

This year, we are excited to have two new fellows joining up – Heather Heiser, MD and Antonia Pusso, MD. Dr. Heiser went to medical school at Michigan University at the Grand Rapids campus. She completed her Neurology residency at Ruch University in Chicago. Dr. Pusso obtained her medical degree in Charlottesville, VA and completed her residency training in Boston, serving as chief resident in her final year. Both new fellows will complete two years of fellowship training at the University of Colorado Movement Disorders Center.

Dr. Alex Baumgartner and Dr. Mike Korsmo completed their first year of fellowship and are currently starting their second year. We look forward to having them with us for another year.

Dr. Teresa Lee has graduated from the two-year Movement Disorders Fellowship and joined our faculty on July 1, 2021. Welcome to the team, Dr. Lee!

Finally, we are sad to announce that Dr. Lauren Seeberger has stepped away from the University of Colorado Movement Disorders Center. She joins family in another state and will be helping to develop an up-and-coming Neurology and Movement Disorders program. Dr. Seeberger contributed a lot to our program during her tenure here. She will be missed, but we wish her the best of luck on her next adventure.

There were many changes in July, but the Movement Disorders Center looks forward to another incredible academic year.

2021 Annual Research Retreats

One of the roles of the faculty and staff in academic medicine is conducting research. In addition to seeing patients and teaching the next generation of neurology and movement disorders providers, faculty conduct research to identify new therapies and – ultimately – find a cure for the disease they treat.

On June 2, the University of Colorado Department of Neurology hosted its 11th Annual Research Retreat. This event allowed subspecialists, fellows, and residents an opportunity to share their ongoing research with their peers. In addition to the presentations, the department also hosted a poster session. In a virtual setting, faculty, staff, and medical learners gave brief overviews of their research projects.

On June 9, the University of Colorado Movement Disorders Center hosted its Annual Research Retreat hosted by Isabelle Buard, PhD. The MDC’s Research Retreat is for researchers only and includes clinician-scientists and bench scientists. Presenters give a brief overview of their project and then immediately answer questions from the audience (other researchers). The goal of this day is to develop and nourish collaborations in movement disorders research across different campuses and institutions in the state of Colorado.

The Research Retreat also gives the Movement Disorders Pilot Grant Recipients an opportunity to share their projects. Each year, the Movement Disorders Center formally asks for early-career researchers across Colorado to submit proposals for pilot grant projects related to movement disorders. These requests are intended to give researchers the funding they need to collect data for larger research projects. Awardees with well-developed projects are funded up to $10,000 and one year to complete their research projects. Many of the awardees have subsequently been awarded larger grants from larger organizations to continue their research.

If you are a researcher interested in learning more about our pilot grant program, our annual research retreat, or more about the research at our Center, please see our For Researchers page or join our mailing list.

Getting Back in the Community

June was a wonderful month. The faculty and staff of the Movement Disorders Center were able to join the Parkinson’s community in person.

On June 6, 2021 The Movement Disorders Center participated in the Vitality Walk for the Parkinson’s Association of the Rockies (PAR). Providers, researchers, staff, and their families walked and ran in support of PAR. PAR is a local non-profit organization that provides education, exercise classes, equipment trials, and many more resources. This year PAR is celebrating 40 years of service to the Rocky Mountain Region.

You’ll see more of the Movement Disorders Center at upcoming PAR Educational events. Please see our Events page for a full list of our upcoming speaking engagements.

On June 12, the Parkinson’s Foundation hosted their Revolution Ride. For the first time, this event was held in Denver. Riders were able to join in person or virtually. The University of Colorado Movement Disorders Center was designated a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence in 2019. Being able to join them for an in-person event finally was very exciting.

We hope to continue making progress towards being in-person for our events soon. It was wonderful to see everyone in person again.

Welcome to Our New Fellows

The Movement Disorders Center values training the next generation of movement disorders specialist. We host medical students and neurology residents. In addition, our movement disorders center section hosts a fellowship program.

Our fellows have completed their medical training in Neurology and have elected to deepen their expertise in movement disorders. We’d like to give a warm welcome to our newest first-year fellows, Dr. Alexander Baumgartner and Dr. Michael Korsmo.

movement disorders specialist colorado

Dr. Baumgartner was born and raised in Lakewood, CO. He obtained his medical degree from Brown University in Providence, RI. He completed his residency training at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School in Boston. During his residency, he served as chief resident in his final year. He is excited to being a fellowship in Movement Disorders in July 2020 and to be returning home to Colorado.

Dr. Korsmo completed his medical education at Tulane University School of Medicine and completed residency training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. While in residency, he created and launched the university’s first Global Health Neurology rotation with the first site n Malawi. He also served as Chief Resident of Education where he restructured their introductory “Boot Camp” and Morning Report sessions. Beyond Movement Disorders, his interests include education, clinical reasoning, and global/rural health.

movement disorders specialist colorado

Dr. Baumgartner and Dr. Korsmo join Dr. Teresa Lee who is completing her second year of fellowship. We look forward to working with our new fellows. Say hello when you see them in clinic.

Farewell to our Fellows!

Join us in celebrating the graduates of our University of Colorado Movement Disorders Fellowship. We wish them the best of luck.

Jeanne Feuerstein, MD

Jeanne Feuerstein Movement Disorders FellowshipDuring her two-year fellowship, Jeanne Feuerstein, MD accomplished so much. She received the University of Colorado Movement Disorders Center Pilot Grant and two travel awards to attend international conferences. During the Movement Disorders Society’s 2019 International Congress, Dr. Feuerstein presented a case study which also resulted in a forthcoming publication. Also, she was the first author on two published abstracts and one upcoming publication. She co-led a local PD-SELF group during her first year. In addition, Dr. Feuerstein became a first-time mother. After her fellowship, we are excited that she will be joining the University of Colorado Movement Disorders faculty as an Assistant Professor focusing on a role at the VA.

Lisa Deuel, MD

Lisa Deuel Movement Disorders FellowshipLisa Deuel, MD began her fellowship with us in 2018 and she has had a very successful two years at the University of Colorado. Lisa presented two abstracts at international conferences – the 2020 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting and the 2019 International Movement Disorders Congress. She was awarded the Movement Disorders Center Pilot Grant Award to study “Sex Disparities in deep brain stimulation for patients with essential tremor.” She published two case reports in peer-reviewed journals. In addition, she was a co-moderator of a PD-SELF group in Denver. Dr. Deuel will be starting as an Assistant Professor at the University of Vermont Medical Center where she will work as a Movement Disorders specialist and serve as the fellowship director.

Caroline Goldin, MD

Caroline Goldin Movement Disorders FellowshipCaroline Goldin, MD joined our team as a fellow in the summer of 2019. During the past year, Dr. Goldin co-wrote a chapter on the treatment of Parkinson disease for a physical medicine & rehabilitation textbook. She began to build a best practice review for the University of Colorado Hospital’s electronic medical practice. This review will work to stop Parkinson disease patients from getting the wrong medications when they are hospitalized. She led a team of many specialists in writing a paper about the use of neuropalliative care for deep brain stimulation patients. Dr. Goldin will start a neuro-oncology fellowship at the University of Colorado in July 2020 to add to her movement disorders training.

Teresea Lee, MD

Teresa Lee  Movement Disorders Fellowship

During her first year, Teresa Lee, MD received the Movement Disorders Center Pilot Grant Award for her research with DBS and smartphone applications. She presented an online poster on wellness in Neurology residents at the 2020 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting. She spoke at the University of Colorado Movement Disorders Center’s Annual Parkinson Disease Symposium. She also presented a webinar for the Parkinson Association of the Rockies on COVID-19 and Parkinson Disease. Dr. Lee is also enrolled in the Master of Public Health program with a focus in global health and epidemiology. Dr. Lee is staying with us to complete another year of fellowship.

We wish them the best and looking forward to seeing what they accomplish.

Upcoming Events for Parkinson Disease

upcoming events for parkinson disease

The faculty and staff of the Movement Disorders Center has moved online for many things. Many of our upcoming events for Parkinson disease community have also been moved online. We miss meeting in person but have been able to continue our collaborations and work.

One of the great things we have found through these tough times is the ability to connect with other groups and organizations. We have been working virtually with groups throughout Colorado and throughout the country. Our community has access to more information and more resources.

Upcoming Events for Parkinson Disease | Movement Disorders Center

Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson Disease and Essential Tremor

Dr. Drew Kern is hosting a webinar about Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for Essential Tremor and Parkinson disease. The webinar will be Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 10:00 AM MT.

Dr. Kern will talk about the DBS process, different products available, and the benefits and risks of surgery.

The webinar is free, but please register here before. After registering, you will get a confirmation email with instructions to join the webinar.

Upcoming Events for Parkinson Disease | Parkinson’s Foundation (PF)

Care Partner Summit

The Parkinson Foundation summit will take place virtually on Saturday, May 16th from 12:00 pm- 3:30 pm ET (10:00 am – 1:30 pm). This year’s Summit will focus on the unique journey of a care partner, with our theme: Planning for the Unpredictable Path of Parkinson’s Caregiving.

A timely topic during the COVID-19 pandemic, the speakers and care partners are ready to share their insight and encouragement to those caring for someone living with Parkinson’s disease (PD). We recognize the hard work that goes into caregiving and we want to create this space for them to share their life lessons, learn from each other and grow in their self-care skills.

The summit will be online only, and individuals may register for English or Spanish. The Care Partner Summit will be focused on the following topics:

  • Cognitive Changes
  • Mental Health
  • Self-Care
  • Practical Planning

PD Health @ Home

During this challenging and often isolating time of social distancing, now more than ever PF recognizes the importance for people within the Parkinson’s community to stay active, connect with each other, and receive support no matter their physical location.

Visit Parkinson.org/PDHealth for a full list of events. Participants can register for virtual community engagement events of interest and put them on their calendars.  You can join PF for these upcoming events:

Mindfulness Mondays
Start your week with calmness, as you take part in guided relaxation techniques to help boost brain power and reduce stress. Sign up now. View past events.

Expert Briefings Tuesdays
Taking place in home offices across the nation, the PF will host webinars about the PD topics that matter most to you. Sign up now. View past events.

Wellness Wednesdays
Join us at noon for a Facebook Live event or a PD-related educational video that will highlight PD awareness, research, or treatments. Follow us on Facebook now. View past events.

Take Time Thursdays
Choose from several virtual events taking place across local chapters. Engage with a PD expert on the topics that matter most to you ― from exercise, nutrition, stress management, and more. Sign up now. View past events.

Fitness Fridays
This PD-tailored 10-part fitness series will feature a new focus every week, from balance to coordination, posture, and more. Watch each 12-minute session from home as many times as you wish. Watch now!

Consult with your healthcare team before beginning any new physical activity, including online exercise classes and programs. The Parkinson’s Foundation is in no way liable or responsible for injuries sustained from online classes.

PD Health @ Home will be held from April 6 to June 11. Find all PD Health @ Home programs here. Register for the events that interest you and put them on your calendar. New to virtual events? Read our guide here.

Resources That are Always Available
The Parkinson’s Foundation is dedicated to empowering the PD community through education. Below are additional resources always available to you:

  • PD Conversations
  • Parkinson’s Today Blog
  • Bilingual Helpline 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636) Weekdays 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.
  • Follow us on Facebook
  • Substantial Matters Podcast
  • Expert Briefing Webinars

Stay healthy and well!

Update on Annual Events + Another Congrats!

annual events update

An Update on Our Annual Events

The Movement Disorders Center hosts many annual events. The safety of our attendees is always a priority. However, COVID-19 brings additional concerns. Because of this, we are constantly re-evaluating the safety of our events.

In light of this, we have postponed our annual Huntington’s Disease conference. Please save our new date of September 26, 2020. We hope to host this event in person, but you can look for updates on the Events page. We will provide informatino in a timely manner.

At this time, we are still going forward as planned with our 7th Annual Parkinson Disease Conference on October 3, 2020. We will continue to keep you updated on any changes.

We know these annual events are important to the community and will work hard to make sure you receive the benefits they offer.

Congratulations!

Congratulations to Dr. Christina Vaughan and the Neuropalliative team. Dr. Vaughan and her team received the Fast-Track Grant Response: COVID-1 award. She received full funding from the Adria Foundation.

This will allow Dr. Vaughan to proactively reach out to her patients and their families in the face of COVID-19. It will also provide temporary tele-health equipment for those who need it. Her hope is that reaching out to patients will provide the following benefits:

  • Prevent unneeded trips to the emergency room
  • Prevent symptoms from getting worse
  • Identify families in need of food and/or supplies
  • Identify emotional or spiritual concerns.

Again, congratulations to Dr. Vaughan and her team!

Dr. Holden Awarded Funding to Study Dementia with Lewy Bodies

Congratulations to Dr. Samantha Holden! Dr. Holden was awarded the University of Colorado Department of Neurology’s Intradepartmental Grant. She was given this support for her study “The eyes have it: a pilot study of wearable eye-tracking metrics as a clinical marker of cognitive fluctuations in dementia with Lewy bodies.”

Dr. Holden will lead this study under the guidance of Dr. Victoria Pelak. Dr. Holden and Dr. Pelak serve as co-directors of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Lewy Body Dementia Association Center of Excellence.

Dr. Holden’s Demetia with Lewy Bodies Study

Cognitive fluctuations are periods of time when a person is less alert and aware (i.e. “zoned out”). They are very common and happen often in people with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). The fluctuations can also occur in other forms of dementia but happen more often and cause more problems in peple with DLB. Cognitive fluctuations are one of the four main features of DLB. Other key features are parkinsonism, visual hallucinations, and REM behavior disorder.

Unfortunately, even though they are common, we have no good way to keep track of cognitive fluctuations in people with DLB. Right now we depend on people who know the person well to see it happening and report it to their doctors. This is not ideal and has led to difficulty in both diagnosing and treating DLB. For example, it may look like a new treatment for DLB is not working when it actually is because the person with DLB had a fluctuation during their memory testing and no one else noticed.

We know there are specific patterns of eye movement changes linked with lack of sleep and its associated “zoning out” spells in people without DLB. Dr. Holden’s study will see if there are also changes in the eye movements of people with DBL during their cognitive fluctuations. She will use wearable eye-tracking glasses to study the eye movements of people with DLB while they are at rest and during memory testing. The study will also compare the eye movements of people with DBL to people with Alzheimer’s disease, and to older adults without any memory changes. If these glasses work, eye tracking devices could catch cognitive fluctuations as they are happening in a reliable way. This would lead to the right adjustments in treatment or testing for DLB in response.

COVID-19 Updates

Our fellow Teresa Lee, MD and Associate Professor Lauren Seeberger, MD, FAAN gave an on-line presentation on COVID-19 and Parkinson disease for the Parkinson’s Association of the Rockies. You can watch it at any time.

The Parkinson’s Foundation is offering ways to stay connected to the Parkinson’s community online. They are offering exercise and educational events online. To see the full list of classes, please visit their website.

If you don’t already have one, please make sure you order your Aware in Care kit. These kits help you prepare for planned and unplanned hospitalizations. Be sure to update your medication lists.

We hope you continue to stay well.

COVID-19 Update

We are announcing our new Movement Disorders Center website a little earlier than expected. This website is still a work in progress. However, it offers us additional opportunities to keep in touch with our community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’ve released our Spring 2020 On the Move! Newsletter. Please see our newsletter section to read the latest MDC news.

UCHealth has implemented guidelines to keep patients, providers, and staff healthy during this time. The Neurology department has added their own measures too. If you have an appointment in the upcoming weeks, you may be getting a call to move your appointment to a virtual visit at your provider’s discretion. Virtual visits will help us make sure all our patients are seen in a timely manner. Providers are monitoring their schedules very closely.

To see UCHealth’s policy please visit UCHealth’s website.

Movement Disorders ColoradoAlthough we’ve been treading a lot of new terrain through this pandemic, we are excited by how connected technology has kept us. On Wednesday, March 18, we hosted our first virtual movement disorders learning session. Our fellows were able to continue their education despite the distance between us!

We are trying to keep things uninterrupted when possible and appreciate your flexibility with appointments.

We recommend checking the links below for updates on COVID-19.

Parkinson’s Foundation
Center for Disease Control
CDC Fact Sheet

Stay Well!

-The Movement Disorders Team