My research involves the application of neuroimaging (Positron Emission Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging) in neurodegenerative diseases to identify biomarkers of the pathological process and to elucidate the pathophysiological mechanisms responsible for the onset of specific symptoms such as dementia, depression, sleep problems, and fatigue, in patients with these conditions. My work has established for the first time that occurrence of fatigue and excessive daytime sleepiness in Parkinson’s disease are linked to definite deficits of the serotoninergic pathways in the brain which may lead to development of new drug targets and therapeutic strategies for these disabling symptoms. I have also worked extensively in the field of neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative disorders, and I currently leads an international collaboration with Aarhus University in Denmark and Barcelona University in Spain to investigate the occurrence of neuroinflammation in subjects at high risk of developing Parkinson’s disease and other parkinsonism, including patients with REM sleep behavior disorder.
I also act as Principal Investigator in several pharmaceutical sponsored clinical trials in patients with Parkinson’s disease and other parkinsonisms.
I have published over 160 reports including original articles, reviews, book chapters, and editorials.