Joel S. Perlmutter, MD, the Elliot H. Stein Family Professor of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been named scientific director of the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation. Dystonia is a neurological disorder that causes excessive, involuntary muscle contractions and abnormal postures.
An expert on Parkinson’s disease and related movement disorders including dystonia, Perlmutter is co-leader of an international study on the natural history of dystonia and the changes in the brain related to dystonia manifestations. He and his team also develop, test and apply new neuroimaging biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease.
Perlmutter leads the movement disorders section of the neurology department and is a professor of neuroscience, of occupational therapy, of physical therapy, and of radiology. He is also co-director of the Dystonia Coalition, a collaboration of clinical researchers and patient advocacy groups that works toward better ways to understand and treat dystonia. As scientific director of the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, Perlmutter will help plan and evaluate the foundation’s scientific efforts and offer guidance on dystonia research to its board of directors.