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Julie G Pilitsis , PhD , MD
Associate Professor


1998 - MD from Albany Medical College
2002 - PhD from Wayne State University

Current Research

 Impulse control disorders (ICD) and dopamine dysregulation syndrome (DDS) in Parkinson Disease; Impact of Deep Brain stimulation (DBS) on ICDs and DDS Other research interests: MRI compatible robotic assistance for stereotactic procedures; Deep brain stimulation for psychiatric disorders Summary: In collaboration with Dr. Damian Shin, my research efforts are investigating mechanisms of impulsivity in PD. Utilizing rodent models and clinical data from patients with Parkinson’s, the lab performs extensive evaluations of mechanisms of impulsive behavior. Our overall research objective is directed at understanding how PD alters impulsivity and predisposes to development of ICDs. We examine the hypodopaminergic state which may predispose to these conditions and evaluate the impact of medical and surgical treatments on impulsive behaviors. We augment behavioral testing with electrophysiological correlates to understand changes in plasticity in regions of the brain involved in reward circuitry. We augment these studies with the use of optogenetics to silence involved regions. 

PubMed Publications

  1. Verhagen Metman L, Pilitsis JG, Stebbins GT, Bot M, Bakay RA. Intraoperative x-ray to measure distance between DBS leads: A reliability study. Mov Disord. 2012 Jun 12. (Epub)

  2. Pilitsis JG, Burrows A, Peters ML, Sargent J, Ng SC, Tseng J. Changing practice pattern of DBS in Parkinson Disease and Essential Tremor in USA. Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery 2012;90(1):25-9

  3. Novak P, Przybyszewski A, Barborica A, Ravin P, Margolin L, Pilitsis JG. Localization of the Subthalamic Nucleus in Parkinson Disease Using Multi Unit Activity. Journal of Neurological Sciences 2011 Nov 15;310(1-2):44-9.

  4. Toleikis JR, Verhagen L, Pilitsis JG, Toleikis SC, Barborica A, Bakay RAE. Analysis of Human Single Unit Activity Acquired During Deep Brain Stimulation Analysis of Human Single Unit Activity Acquired During Deep Brain Stimulation. Journal of Neurosurgery 2012 May;116(5):1134-43

  5. Burrows A, Peters ML, Ravin P, Novak P, Dessureau B, Swearer J, Pilitsis JG. Limbic and Motor Function Comparison of Deep Brain Stimulation of the Zona Incerta and Subthalamic Nucleus. Neurosurgery 2012 Mar;70(1 Suppl Operative):125-30; discussion 130-1.

  6. Peters ML, Burrows A, Ravin P, Novak P, Swearer J, Pilitsis JG. Implanted Parkinson's Disease Patients Show Better Olfaction than Those Treated Medically Neurological Bulletin 2011 Volume 2.

  7. Cole G, Harrington K, Su H, Camilo A, Pilitsis JG, Fischer GS. Closed-Loop Actuated Surgical System Utilizing Real-time In Situ MRI Guidance. International Symposium on Experimental Robotics 2010

  8. Cole G, Pilitsis JG, Fischer GS. Design of a Robotoic System for MRI-Guided Deep Brain Stimulation Electrode Placement. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. 2009.

  9. Wang Y, Cole GA, Su H, Pilitsis JG, Fischer GS. MRI compatibility evaluation of a piezoelectric actuator system for a neural interventional robot. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 1:6072-5, 2009.

  10. Pilitsis JG, Verhagen LM, Sani SB, Hughes LE, Toleikis JR, Bakay RAE. Factors associated with stimulation failure in essential tremor patients with Vim DBS. Journal of Neurosurgery; 109: 640-646, 2008.

  11. Pilitsis JG, Chu Y, Kordower J, Bergen D, Cochran E, Bakay RAE. Post-mortem study of deep brain stimulation of the anterior thalamus. Neurosurgery. 62:E530-2; 2008.

  12. Pilitsis JG, Bakay RAE. Deep brain stimulation for psychiatric disorders. Psychopharm Review; Vol 42, 2007

  13. Pilitsis JG, Bakay RAE. Deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease. Contemporary Neurosurgery, Vol 29, 2007.

  14. Lee A, Pilitsis JG. Spinal Cord Stimulation: indications and outcomes. Neurosurgical Focus 21 (6): 3, Dec 2006.

  15. Brown JA, Pilitsis JG. Motor Cortex Stimulation. Pain Med 7:140-5 2006.

  16. Brown JA, Pilitsis JG. Motor Cortex Stimulation for central and neuropathic facial pain: a prospective study of ten patients and observations of enhanced sensory and motor function during stimulation. Neurosurgery 56: 290-7, 2005

  17. Brown JA, Pilitsis JG. Percutaneous balloon compression for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia: results in 56 patients based on balloon compression pressure monitoring. Neurosurg Focus 18, 2005.

  18. Pilitsis JG, Rezai AR, Boulis NM, Henderson JM, Busch RM, Kubu CS. A preliminary study of transient confusional states following bilateral subthalamic stimulation for Parkinson's disease. Stereotact Funct Neurosurg 83:67-70, 2005.