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Otago Medical School staff profiles

Dr Louise Parr-Brownlie

PositionSenior Lecturer
DepartmentDepartment of Anatomy
QualificationsBPhEd MSc PhD(Otago)
Research summaryBrain changes associated with Parkinson's disease and chronic pain
Teaching

Current:

  • ANAT335 Neurobiology
  • NEUR452 Neurodegenerative disorders

Previous:

  • HUBS191 (musculoskeletal)
  • ANAT241 (musculoskeletal)
  • ELM2 (musculoskeletal)
Memberships
  • Co-Director Maori, Ageing Well National Science Challenge
  • Deputy Chair for the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand Scientific Advisory Committee
  • Māori Advisory Board for Brain Research New Zealand – Roro Rangahau Aotearoa Centre of Research Excellence
  • Secretary of the International Basal Ganglia Society Council

Research

Dr Parr-Brownlie has internationally recognised expertise in understanding how activity in the motor thalamus, motor cortex and basal ganglia control normal movements and is altered in Parkinson's disease. Her team use a combination of optogenetic stimulation, electrophysiological recordings, electron and confocal microscopy to investigate brain function and structure. They have applied optogenetic stimulation to determine if there are better places and ways to stimulate the brain to improve movements in models of Parkinson's disease.

She has been an invited speaker at prestigious conferences in the United States, such as Howard Hughes Medical Institute (Janelia) and Gordon Research Conferences. Dr Parr-Brownlie has extended her research programme to (1) examine anatomical and physiological changes in the brain associated with chronic pain and (2) investigate Māori community perspectives of neurosurgical approaches to treat neurological disorders and traumatic brain injury.

Current staff in the laboratory are Dr Elodie Kip (ARF), Conor Underwood (ARF) and Mariana Te Pou (ARF). Current postgraduate students are Alexander Woolrych (BMedSc) and Sophie Barnett (PhD).

Parr-Brownlie lab team photo

Additional details

Dr Parr-Brownlie is Ngāti Maniapoto and Te Arawa.

Current funding includes Health Research Council of New Zealand, Brain Research New Zealand, and Marsden Fund. Other previous funding includes Neurological Foundation of New Zealand.

Lab staff alumni are:

  • Dr Clementine Bosch-Bouju, postdoctoral fellow
  • Dr Lisa Smith, postdoctoral fellow
  • Dr Rachel Sizemore, postdoctoral fellow
  • Dr Sonja Seeger-Armbruster, postdoctoral fellow
  • Julia Prier, ARF
  • Roseanna Smither, ARF
  • Stella Cameron, ARF
  • Niamh Cameron, ARF

Lab postgraduate alumni are:

  • Dr Ashik Banstola (PhD)
  • Dr Stella Cameron (PhD)
  • Nikki Guy (MMedSc)
  • James Miller (MSc and Hons)
  • Shane Little (MSc and PGDipSc)
  • Abby Johnson (Hons)
  • Niamh Cameron (PGDipSc)

Publications

Hyland, B. I., Seeger-Armbruster, S., Smither, R. A., & Parr-Brownlie, L. C. (2019). Altered recruitment of motor cortex neuronal activity during the grasping phase of skilled reaching in a chronic rat model of unilateral Parkinsonism. Journal of Neuroscience. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1523/jneurosci.0720-19.2019

Smith, L. M., & Parr-Brownlie, L. C. (2019). A neuroscience perspective of the gut theory of Parkinson's disease. European Journal of Neuroscience, 49(6), 817-823. doi: 10.1111/ejn.13869

Swain, N., Parr-Brownlie, L. C., Lennox Thompson, B., Darlow, B., Mani, R., & Baxter, D. (2018). Six things you need to know about pain. New Zealand Medical Journal, 131(1486), 5-8. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Barnett, S. C., Perry, B. A. L., Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., & Parr-Brownlie, L. C. (2018). Optogenetic stimulation: Understanding memory and treating deficits. Hippocampus. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/hipo.22960

Sizemore, R. J., Seeger-Armbruster, S., Hughes, S. M., & Parr-Brownlie, L. C. (2016). Viral vector-based tools advance knowledge of basal ganglia anatomy and physiology. Journal of Neurophysiology, 115, 2124-2146. doi: 10.1152/jn.01131.2015

Chapter in Book - Research

Parr-Brownlie, L. C., & Reynolds, J. N. J. (2015). Basal ganglia. In K. Rogers (Ed.), Encyclopædia Britannica. (Online ed.) Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com

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Journal - Research Article

Hyland, B. I., Seeger-Armbruster, S., Smither, R. A., & Parr-Brownlie, L. C. (2019). Altered recruitment of motor cortex neuronal activity during the grasping phase of skilled reaching in a chronic rat model of unilateral Parkinsonism. Journal of Neuroscience. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1523/jneurosci.0720-19.2019

Sizemore, R. J., Seeger-Armbruster, S., Hughes, S. M., & Parr-Brownlie, L. C. (2016). Viral vector-based tools advance knowledge of basal ganglia anatomy and physiology. Journal of Neurophysiology, 115, 2124-2146. doi: 10.1152/jn.01131.2015

Smith, L. M., Parr-Brownlie, L. C., Duncan, E. J., Black, M. A., Gemmell, N. J., Dearden, P. K., & Reynolds, J. N. J. (2016). Striatal mRNA expression patterns underlying peak dose L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia in the 6-OHDA hemiparkinsonian rat. Neuroscience, 324, 238-251. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2016.03.012

Sizemore, R. J., Zhang, R., Lin, N., Goddard, L., Wastney, T., Parr-Brownlie, L. C., Reynolds, J. N. J., & Oorschot, D. E. (2016). Marked differences in the number and type of synapses innervating the somata and primary dendrites of midbrain dopaminergic neurons, striatal cholinergic interneurons and striatal spiny projection neurons in the rat. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 524(5), 1062-1080. doi: 10.1002/cne.23891

Seeger-Armbruster, S., Bosch-Bouju, C., Little, S. T. C., Smither, R. A., Hughes, S. M., Hyland, B. I., & Parr-Brownlie, L. C. (2015). Patterned, but not tonic, optogenetic stimulation in motor thalamus improves reaching in acute drug-induced Parkinsonian rats. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(3), 1211-1216. doi: 10.1523/jneurosci.3277-14.2015

Parr-Brownlie, L. C., Bosch-Bouju, C., Schoderboeck, L., Sizemore, R. J., Abraham, W. C., & Hughes, S. M. (2015). Lentiviral vectors as tools to understand central nervous system biology in mammalian model organisms. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, 8, 14. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2015.00014

Bosch-Bouju, C., Smither, R. A., Hyland, B. I., & Parr-Brownlie, L. C. (2014). Reduced reach-related modulation of motor thalamus neural activity in a rat model of Parkinson's disease. Journal of Neuroscience, 34(48), 15836-15850. doi: 10.1523/jneurosci.0893-14.2014

Bosch-Bouju, C., Hyland, B. I., & Parr-Brownlie, L. C. (2013). Motor thalamus integration of cortical, cerebellar and basal ganglia information: Implications for normal and Parkinsonian conditions. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 7, 163. doi: 10.3389/fncom.2013.00163

Avila, I., Parr-Brownlie, L. C., Brazhnik, E., Castañeda, E., Bergstrom, D. A., & Walters, J. R. (2010). Beta frequency synchronization in basal ganglia output during rest and walk in a hemiparkinsonian rat. Experimental Neurology, 221(2), 307-319. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2009.11.016

Parr-Brownlie, L., Poloskey, S. L., Bergstrom, D. A., & Walters, J. R. (2009). Parafascicular thalamic nucleus activity in a rat model of Parkinson's disease. Experimental Neurology, 217(2), 269-281. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2009.02.010

Aravamuthan, B. R., Bergstrom, D. A., French, R. A., Taylor, J. J., Parr-Brownlie, L. C., & Walters, J. R. (2008). Altered neuronal activity relationships between the pedunculopontine nucleus and motor cortex in a rodent model of Parkinson's disease. Experimental Neurology, 213, 268-280. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2008.05.023

Parr-Brownlie, L. C., Poloskey, S. L., Flanagan, K. K., Eisenhofer, G., Bergstrom, D. A., & Walters, J. R. (2007). Dopamine lesion-induced change in subthalamic nucleus activity are not associated with alterations in firing rate or pattern in layer V neurons of the anterior cingulate cortex in anesthetized rats. European Journal of Neuroscience, 26, 1925-1939.

Walters, J. R., Hu, D., Itoga, C. A., Parr-Brownlie, L. C., & Bergstrom, D. A. (2007). Phase relationships support a role for coordinated activity in the indirect pathway in organizing slow oscillations in basal ganglia output after loss of dopamine. Neuroscience, 144, 762-776.

Parr-Brownlie, L. C., & Hyland, B. I. (2005). Bradykinesia induced by dopamine D2 receptor blockade is associated with reduced motor cortex activity in the rat. Journal of Neuroscience, 25(24), 5700-5709.

Mohagheghi, A. A., Anson, J. G., Hyland, B. I., Parr-Brownlie, L. C., & Wickens, J. (1998). Foreperiod length, but not memory, affects human reaction time in a precued, delayed response. Motor Control, 2, 133-141.

Parr-Brownlie, L. C., Wickens, J., Anson, J. G., & Hyland, B. I. (1998). Does having to remember the position of a target improve reaction time? Motor Control, 2, 142-147.

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Journal - Research Other

Smith, L. M., & Parr-Brownlie, L. C. (2019). A neuroscience perspective of the gut theory of Parkinson's disease. European Journal of Neuroscience, 49(6), 817-823. doi: 10.1111/ejn.13869

Swain, N., Parr-Brownlie, L. C., Lennox Thompson, B., Darlow, B., Mani, R., & Baxter, D. (2018). Six things you need to know about pain. New Zealand Medical Journal, 131(1486), 5-8. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Barnett, S. C., Perry, B. A. L., Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., & Parr-Brownlie, L. C. (2018). Optogenetic stimulation: Understanding memory and treating deficits. Hippocampus. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/hipo.22960

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