James Curtis, PhD

Clinical Research Training Scholarship in Parkinson’s Disease

Dysphagia (disordered swallowing) is a life-threatening condition that affects the vast majority of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Not only does it increase the length and cost of medical care for patients with PD, but it is also associated with increased anxiety and depression, reduced quality of life, and significant caregiver burden. Dysphagia also increases the risk of developing serious complications. Currently there are limited treatments for dysphagia for people with PD.

Dr. Curtis’s research will test a new treatment method to improve swallowing safety for people with severe, chronic dysphagia. This method requires less intense practice regimens for patients while also improving safety.

This research is funded by the Parkinson’s Foundation and American Brain Foundation, in collaboration with the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Curtis is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Columbia University.