Bldg 10 8N260
9000 Rockville Pike MSC 1620
Bethesda, MD 20892-1620
United States of America
I am a founder and thought leader in the nascent field of autonomic medicine, with substantial experience and expertise in clinical catecholamine neurochemistry, sympathetic neuroimaging, autonomic pathophysiology, mechanisms of catecholaminergic neurodegeneration, and stress and homeostasis as medical scientific ideas. My interest in brain regulation of the circulation began when I was a psychology major at Yale College and grew when I was an MD-PhD student in Behavioral Science at Johns Hopkins and a resident in internal medicine at the University of Washington. After coming to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute as a Clinical Associate in 1978, I was the first to validate liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection for measuring plasma levels of catecholamines in humans. Clinical catecholamine neurochemistry remains a fixture of the lab. After transferring to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) in 1990 to head the Clinical Neurochemistry Section in the Clinical Neuroscience Branch, I pioneered cardiac sympathetic neuroimaging by positron emission tomographic (PET) scanning. We developed 18F-dopamine PET scanning and applying this technology discovered cardiac sympathetic denervation in Parkinson disease (PD). This seminal finding provided key evidence that PD is not only a brain disease and a movement disorder but also a form of dysautonomia that involves cardiac noradrenergic deficiency. Carrying out comprehensive clinical physiological, neurochemical, and neuroimaging evaluations has led to many other discoveries, including sympathoadrenal imbalance before neurocardiogenic syncope, multiple functional abnormalities in intact catecholaminergic neurons (“sick-but-not-dead” phenomenon) in Lewy body diseases (LBDs), and catecholaminergic biomarkers predicting PD in at-risk individuals. I have advanced a catecholaldehyde hypothesis for the pathogenesis of LBDs, a homeostatic theory of stress, and the concept of the “extended autonomic system.” I have 642 cited publications, 137 first-authored original research articles, 133 publications cited >100 times each, and >50,000 total citations. Single-authored books I have written include Stress, Catecholamines, and Cardiovascular Disease (1995), The Autonomic Nervous System in Health and Disease (2000), Adrenaline and the Inner World: An Introduction to Scientific Integrative Medicine (2006), and the e-textbook, Principles of Autonomic Medicine. I initiated and direct the accredited clinical fellowship in autonomic disorders at the NIH. Awards and honors I have received include the Distinguished Investigator Award of the Society for Clinical and Translational Science, the Schatz Award in Autonomic Disorders of the American Academy of Neurology, the NIH Distinguished Clinical Teacher Award, and 2 NINDS Director’s Awards for Mentorship. My strategic goals are to continue to advance patient-oriented research on autonomic and catecholamine-related disorders, establish autonomic medicine as a clinical and scientific discipline, and mentor rising investigators in the field.
National Institutes of Health (Primary)
Darryl C. Zeldin, MD is the representative at this institution.