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Noreen Bukhari-Parlakturk

Assistant Professor of Neurology
Campus mail: 932 Morreene Rd., Durham, NC 27705
Phone: (919) 684-8704
Email address: noreen.bukhari@duke.edu

I have a long standing interest in developing disease-modifying therapies for movement disorders, a major unmet clinical need. I work at the interface of neuroscience and neurology to apply mechanistic understanding of neurological disease to develop targeted neuromodulatory therapies and in the process further disease mechanisms and medical therapy.

Education and Training

  • Parkinson's and Movement Disorders Fellowship, Neurology, Duke University School of Medicine, 2017 - 2018
  • Neurology Residency, Neurology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 2014 - 2017
  • Internal Medicine Internship, Medicine, Stony Brook School of Medicine, 2013 - 2014
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 2012 - 2013
  • M.D., Stony Brook School of Medicine, 2012
  • Ph.D., Stony Brook School of Medicine, 2010

Research

Dystonia is an involuntary movement disorders characterized by intermittent muscle contractions that lead to abnormal postures and overflow of muscle activation.  Writer’s cramp is a focal hand dystonia occurring during the specific task of handwriting.  There is currently no disease modifying therapy for dystonia while symptomatic therapy provides limited benefit.  Building on prior research, we know that dystonia is due to an imbalance of brain plasticity mechanism.  I am interested in restoring the balance of brain plasticity mechanism using non-invasive brain stimulation therapy called transmagnetic stimulation therapy (TMS).  My first goal is to demonstrate that TMS brain stimulation can lead to functional changes in dystonia brain network and improve clinical disease.  My second goal is to demonstrate the efficacy of combinatorial therapy in treatment of dystonia.      

This has significant value because TMS is an FDA approved therapy for treatment of depression.   Demonstrating therapeutic benefit in dystonia patients can provide a readily available symptomatic therapy.  Findings from this research can also provide mechanistic insight on a disease pathway that is not well understood and thereby advance disease modifying therapy.  Finally, on a broader level, TMS thus far has been applied to change human brain cortical activity.  In this line of work, I am proposing to use TMS to make network level changes which can be used as a new paradigm for non-invasive brain stimulation therapy.

Read more about Dr. Bukhari-Parlakturk's research on her Scholars@Duke page.