Quantitative Morphology studies the neural substrate and pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease. We aim to provide anatomical and morphological insights in disease mechanisms and pathological changes that offer clues for treatment innovation and development of diagnostic tools. Using quantitative analysis of histological data we study pathological changes that are primarily associated with cognitive and affective aspects, and that may occur in early disease stages prior to degeneration of the dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. In post mortem as well as experimental work, our aim is to establish relationships between (experimentally induced) neuropathology and clinical symptomatology or experimental behavioral dysfunction.
By comparing neuromorphological changes in carefully selected patient cohorts and relating experimental pathology to cognitive/affective dysfunction in animal models of the disease, we will be able to translate correlations to causal relationships between behavioral deficits and histopathological disorders. Such pathophysiological characterization is essential for developing new therapeutic and diagnostic vistas.