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Otago Medical School staff profiles

Dr Toni Pitcher

PositionSenior Research Fellow
DepartmentDepartment of Medicine (UOC)
QualificationsBSc(Hons) PhD(Otago)
Research summaryParkinson's disease

Research

I am involved in a number of projects relating to Parkinson’s and dementia. Within the Institute’s longitudinal Parkinson’s cohort, I co-ordinate the collection, storage, and use of biological samples (blood and urine). These samples are used in conjunction with collaborators (local, national, and international) to help further our understanding of biological pathways involved in the disease processes through the investigation of genetic and epigenetic factors, and the investigation of blood proteins levels as potential markers of the disease.

I lead an epidemiology project, providing much needed information about the number of people in New Zealand living with Parkinson’s. We continue to use the national health datasets to further our understanding of the number of people with Parkinson’s dementia, mortality within this patient group, and regional variation in the numbers with the disease. I am also part of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society’s Epidemiology Study Group.

Publications

Melzer, T. R., Stark, M. R., Keenan, R. J., Myall, D. J., MacAskill, M. R., Pitcher, T. L., Livingston, L., Grenfell, S., Horne, K.-L., … Pascoe, M., Almuqbel, M. M., … Miller, D. H., & Dalrymple-Alford, J. C. (2019). Beta amyloid deposition is not associated with cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s Disease. Frontiers in Neurology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2019.00391

Groves, S. J., Pitcher, T. L., Melzer, T. R., Jordan, J., Carter, J. D., Malhi, G. S., … Porter, R. J. (2018). Brain activation during processing of genuine facial emotion in depression: Preliminary findings. Journal of Affective Disorders, 225, 91-96. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.07.049

Pitcher, T. L., Myall, D. J., Pearson, J. F., Lacey, C. J., Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., Anderson, T. J., & MacAskill, M. R. (2018). Parkinson's disease across ethnicities: A nationwide study in New Zealand. Movement Disorders. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/mds.27389

Myall, D. J., Pitcher, T. L., Pearson, J. F., Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., Anderson, T. J., & MacAskill, M. R. (2017). Parkinson's in the oldest old: Impact on estimates of future disease burden. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, 42, 78-84. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2017.06.018

Jones, A. J., Kuijer, R. G., Livingston, L., Myall, D., Horne, K., MacAskill, M., Pitcher, T., … Anderson, T. J., & Dalrymple-Alford, J. C. (2017). Caregiver burden is increased in Parkinson's disease with mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI). Translational Neurodegeneration, 6, 17. doi: 10.1186/s40035-017-0085-5

Journal - Research Article

Melzer, T. R., Stark, M. R., Keenan, R. J., Myall, D. J., MacAskill, M. R., Pitcher, T. L., Livingston, L., Grenfell, S., Horne, K.-L., … Pascoe, M., Almuqbel, M. M., … Miller, D. H., & Dalrymple-Alford, J. C. (2019). Beta amyloid deposition is not associated with cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s Disease. Frontiers in Neurology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2019.00391

Groves, S. J., Pitcher, T. L., Melzer, T. R., Jordan, J., Carter, J. D., Malhi, G. S., … Porter, R. J. (2018). Brain activation during processing of genuine facial emotion in depression: Preliminary findings. Journal of Affective Disorders, 225, 91-96. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.07.049

Pitcher, T. L., Myall, D. J., Pearson, J. F., Lacey, C. J., Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., Anderson, T. J., & MacAskill, M. R. (2018). Parkinson's disease across ethnicities: A nationwide study in New Zealand. Movement Disorders. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/mds.27389

Myall, D. J., Pitcher, T. L., Pearson, J. F., Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., Anderson, T. J., & MacAskill, M. R. (2017). Parkinson's in the oldest old: Impact on estimates of future disease burden. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, 42, 78-84. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2017.06.018

Jones, A. J., Kuijer, R. G., Livingston, L., Myall, D., Horne, K., MacAskill, M., Pitcher, T., … Anderson, T. J., & Dalrymple-Alford, J. C. (2017). Caregiver burden is increased in Parkinson's disease with mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI). Translational Neurodegeneration, 6, 17. doi: 10.1186/s40035-017-0085-5

Wood, K.-L., Myall, D. J., Livingston, L., Melzer, T. R., Pitcher, T. L., MacAskill, M. R., … Anderson, T. J., & Dalrymple-Alford, J. C. (2016). Different PD-MCI criteria and risk of dementia in Parkinson's disease: A 4-year longitudinal study. npj Parkinson's Disease, 2, 15027. doi: 10.1038/npjparkd.2015.27

Almuqbel, M., Melzer, T. R., Myall, D. J., MacAskill, M. R., Pitcher, T. L., Livingston, L., Wood, K.-L., Keenan, R. J., Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., & Anderson, T. J. (2016). Metabolite ratios in the posterior cingulate cortex do not track cognitive decline in Parkinson’s disease in a clinical setting. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, 22, 54-61. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2015.11.008

Melzer, T. R., Myall, D. J., MacAskill, M. R., Pitcher, T. L., Livingston, L., Watts, R., Keenan, R. J., Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., & Anderson, T. J. (2015). Tracking Parkinson's disease over one year with multimodal magnetic resonance imaging in a group of older patients with moderate disease. PLoS ONE, 10(12), e0143923. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0143923

Pitcher, T. L., MacAskill, M. R., & Anderson, T. J. (2014). Trends in antiparkinsonian medication use in New Zealand: 1995-2011. Parkinson's Disease, 2014, 379431. doi: 10.1155/2014/379431

Melzer, T. R., Watts, R., MacAskill, M. R., Pitcher, T. L., Livingston, L., Keenan, R. J., Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., & Anderson, T. J. (2013). White matter microstructure deteriorates across cognitive stages in Parkinson disease. Neurology, 80(8), 1841-1849. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182929f62

Pitcher, T. L., Melzer, T. R., MacAskill, M. R., Graham, C. F., Livingston, L., Keenan, R. J., … Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., & Anderson, T. J. (2012). Reduced striatal volumes in Parkinson's disease: A magnetic resonance imaging study. Translational Neurodegeneration, 1(1), 17. doi: 10.1186/2047-9158-1-17

Melzer, T. R., Watts, R., MacAskill, M. R., Pitcher, T. L., Livingston, L., Keenan, R. J., Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., & Anderson, T. J. (2012). Grey matter atrophy in cognitively impaired Parkinson's disease. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 83, 188-194. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2011-300828

MacAskill, M. R., Graham, C. F., Pitcher, T. L., Myall, D. J., Livingston, L., van Stockum, S., Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., & Anderson, T. J. (2012). The influence of motor and cognitive impairment upon visually-guided saccades in Parkinson's disease. Neuropsychologia, 50(14), 3338-3347. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2012.09.025

Schulz, J. M., Pitcher, T. L., Savanthrapadian, S., Wickens, J. R., Oswald, M. J., & Reynolds, J. N. J. (2011). Enhanced high-frequency membrane potential fluctuations control spike output in striatal fast-spiking interneurones in vivo. Journal of Physiology, 589(17), 4365-4381. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2011.212944

Melzer, T. R., Watts, R., MacAskill, M. R., Pearson, J. F., Rüeger, S., Pitcher, T. L., Livingston, L., Graham, C., Keenan, R., … Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., & Anderson, T. J. (2011). Arterial spin labelling reveals an abnormal cerebral perfusion pattern in Parkinson's disease. Brain, 134(3), 845-855. doi: 10.1093/brain/awq377

Pitcher, T. L., Wickens, J. R., & Reynolds, J. N. J. (2007). Differences in striatal spiny neuron action potentials between the spontaneously hypertensive and Wistar-Kyoto rat strains. Neuroscience, 146, 135-142.

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