Brad A. Racette, MD

Professor and Vice Chairman of Neurology, School of Medicine

Dr. Racette studies environmental risk factors for Parkinson’s disease using several methodologies, including field-based epidemiology studies, neuroimaging (PET and MRI), neuropathology, and administrative data studies. Much of this research focuses on manganese (Mn) neurotoxicity which is used as a model for environmental causes of Parkinson’s disease.

Active projects in Dr. Racette’s lab include multiple studies of cohort of Mn-exposed welders who have undergone extensive clinical phenotyping for motor and cognitive dysfunction. A subset of these workers is being scanned with PET to investigate pre- and post-synaptic dopaminergic function. His lab is also studying the motor and cognitive effects associated with environmental Mn exposure near a smelter in Meyerton, South Africa and the neuropathology associated with Mn exposure in the South African Mn mines. Finally, he is working on a multiple “big data” projects to study Parkinson’s disease etiology and health services utilization using Medicare data and a study the Finnish Social Insurance Registry in Helsinki, Finland.