Tuhin Virmani, M.D., Ph.D.Tuhin Virmani, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Director of Movement Disorders Program
Department – Neurology

Education

  • Fellowship – Columbia University School of Medicine
  • Internship and Residency – Washington University School of Medicine
  • Medical School – University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Professional Certifications

American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

Research Interests

The research interests of the Virmani lab are focused on studying gait in Parkinson’s disease, and specifically the phenomenon of freezing of gait in Parkinson’s disease.

Freezing of gait is usually a late stage hallmark of Parkinson’s disease in which patients report the sensation of their “feet sticking to the ground”. Typically this initially occurs when starting to walk or on turning, but also can occur in tight spaces or doorways, or associated with a time pressure such as getting on an elevator.  The freezing arrests forward momentum and can lead to falls, fear of falling, decreased quality of life, and even eventually to a home bound state. Anywhere between 50-80% of Parkinson’s patients have been reported to develop freezing of gait.

Our current project involves longitudinal analysis of objective gait measures in patients with Parkinson’s with the goal to develop a predictive algorithm to risk stratify patients into putative freezers or non-freezers and thereby develop treatments to prevent or slow the progression to a gait freezing phenotype.  We utilize a pressure sensor embedded mat (Protokinetics, NJ, USA) along with  accelerometers (APDM, OR, USA) to record objective gait measures.

We are also testing this hypothesis using the putative molecule Modafinil, as it has been shown by the Garcia-Rill lab to modulate gamma oscillations in the pedunculopontine nucleus; a nucleus in the brainstem that has been implicated in the pathway leading to the development of freezing of gait.  (IND: 135059; clinicaltrials.gov:  NCT03083132).

As Parkinson’s disease predominantly affects elderly individuals, we are also exploring how gait objectively changes as we age.

 

 

Articles:

    1. Tuhin Virmani, Lakshmi Pillai, Aliyah Glover, Shannon M. Doerhoff, David K. Williams, Edgar Garcia-Rill, Linda Larson-Prior. Impaired step-length setting prior to turning in Parkinson’s disease patients with freezing of gait. Mov. Disord. 2018 (accepted)
    2. Rebekah G. Langston, Tuhin Virmani. Use of a modified STROOP test to assess color discrimination deficit in Parkinson’s disease. Frontiers in Neurology 2018 (accepted)
    3. Tuhin Virmani, Harsh Gupta, Jesal Shah, Linda Larson-Prior. Objective measures of gait and balance in healthy non-falling adults as a function of age. Gait and posture 2018; 65:100-105.
    4. Shah, J., Pillai, L., Williams, KD., Doerhoff, S., Larson-Prior, L., Garcia-Rill, E., Virmani, T. Increased foot strike variability in Parkinson’s disease patients with freezing of gait. Parkinsonism Relat. Disord. 2018 (epub ahead of print).
    5. Garcia-Rill, E., Virmani, T., Hyde, J.R., D’Onofrio, S., Mahaffey, S., Arousal and the control of perception and movement. Current Trends Neurology. 2016; 10:53-64
    6. Virmani, T., Tazan, S., Mazzoni, P., Ford, B., Greene, P.E. Motor fluctuations due to interaction between dietary protein and levodopa in Parkinson’s disease. Clin.  Mov Disord. 2016; 3:8.
    7. Robakis, D., Cortes, E., Clark, L.N., Vonsattel, J.P., Virmani, T., Alcalay, R.N., Crary, J.F., Levy, O.A. The effect of MAPT haplotype on neocortical Lewy body pathology in Parkinson disease. Neural Transm (Vienna). 2016; 123(6):583-8.
    8. Virmani, T., Moskowitz, C.B., Vonsattel, J.P., Fahn, S. Clinicopathologic characteristics of freezing of gait in autopsy-confirmed Parkinson’s disease. Disord. 2015; 30(14): 1874-84.

Meeting Abstracts:

    1. Pillai, L, Virmani, T., Objective markers of turning in idiopathic Parkinson’s disease with freezing of gait. FOG Leuven 2018 (Poster)
    2. Pillai, L, Shah, K., Virmani, T., Objective markers of turning in idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting 2018 (Poster)
    3. Langston, R.G., Virmani, T., Use of a modified STROOP test to help with diagnosis in early idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting 2018 (Poster)
    4. Virmani, T., Medication optimization in Parkinson’s disease patients with ON-state freezing using objective gait assessments. MDS 21st International Congress June 2017 (Poster)
    5. Shah, J., Virmani, T., Objective gait parameters as a noninvasive biomarker for freezing of gait in Parkinson disease. MDS 21st International Congress June 2017(Poster)
    6. Shah, J., Virmani, T., Objective gait parameters as a noninvasive biomarker for freezing of gait in Parkinson disease (2017). American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting 2017 (Poster)
    7. Virmani, T., Shah, J., Gupta, H., Evolution of objective measures of gait and balance with age (2017). American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting 2017 (Poster)

Invited Presentations:

  1. Freezing of gait in Parkinson’s disease – Neurology Grand Rounds, Oregon Health Sciences University (September 2016)

 

 

Lab members standing with Dr. Virmani
Current Lab Members

Aliyah Glover, B.S.

Research Technician

 

Lakshmi Pillai, M.S.

Research Technician

 

Rebekah G. Langston, B.S.

M.D./PhD Student, UAMS

 

Shannon Doerhoff, APRN

Study Coordinator

 

Rohan Sharma, M.D.

Neurology Resident, UAMS

 

Former Lab Members

Kunal Shah

Research Technician

 

Jesal Shah

Medical Student, UAMS

 

Harsh Gupta, M.D.

Former UAMS Neurology Resident and current Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas

 

Collaborators

Linda Larson-Prior, Ph.D.

Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry & Dept. of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences

 

Edgar Garcia-Rill, Ph.D.

Professor of Anatomy and Psychiatry

 

 

Contact Information:

Dr. Virmani with lab members standing in the Gait Lab

 

Tuhin Virmani, M.D., Ph.D.
Phone: 501-686-7235
Fax: 501-526-7145
Mailing Address:
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
4301 W. Markham, Slot #500
Little Rock, AR 72205
TVirmani@uams.edu