Targeting Brain Insulin Resistance in PD

Condition: Parkinson's disease 


Key Inclusion Criteria (for PD and MSA participants)

  • 40-85 years old
  • Ability to safely undergo fludeoxyglucose (18F) positron emission tomography (FDG-PET)/ magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Ability to comply with study procedures

Key Exclusion Criteria (for PD and MSA participants)

  • Allergy to tracer used for PET imaging or prior allergic reaction to iodine or contrast; allergies to animal dander or animal-instigated asthma
  • Significant systemic illness likely to affect the patient's safety during the study other than PD or MSA
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding 

Full Study Name

Biomarkers Enabling the Targeting of Brain Insulin Resistance in Parkinson's Disease (IRB no. 54698)


This study focuses on individuals who have been diagnosed with either Parkinson's disease (PD) or the related condition, multiple system atrophy (MSA). The purpose of the study is to use imaging techniques to track changes in glucose metabolism (the way the brain uses energy), which may improve understanding of PD and related diseases such as MSA, and to develop new treatments for these conditions. Researchers aim to determine the effects of brain glucose metabolism on the body in PD and MSA patients and in those who have insulin resistance or diabetes.

Insulin resistance is a condition that does not allow the body to naturally lower blood sugar. It has been discovered that people with PD and other related conditions such as MSA may have glucose intolerance (elevated blood sugars) and may benefit from medications originally designed to treat insulin resistance.

The study is designed to quantify glucose metabolism in the brain of patients with PD or MSA, with or without insulin resistance, using fludeoxyglucose (18F) PET scans. This diagnostic technique is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for assessment of abnormal glucose metabolism in various conditions, but it is not approved by the FDA for the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease and MSA. 

Principal Investigator

Michele Tagliati, MD