Brad A. Racette, MD

Professor and Vice Chairman of Neurology, School of Medicine
administrative data, cognitive health, cohort study, disability, environmental health, global health, heavy metals, imaging, occupational health, Parkinson's, toxins
South Africa

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.