My research is focused on gaining a better understanding of the underlying genetic causes of neurodegenerative disorders. Knowing the exact diagnosis will help in developing improved and more specific treatments.
Dr. Suchowersky completed her medical degree at the University of Calgary and neurology residency and fellowship at the University of British Columbia. She joined the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary in 1984 where she developed a Movement Disorder Program and Neurogenetics Clinic. She was recruited to the University of Alberta in 2010 as Professor of Medicine and Medical Genetics. As a neurologist and geneticist, her research focuses on genetic causes of and potential treatments for neurodegenerative disorders.
Leadership and Collaborations
Dr. Suchowersky is the Toupin Research Chair in Neurology at the University of Alberta and the Zone Section Chief for Medical Genetics in Child Health for Alberta Health Services. She is heavily involved both at the University and Provincial levels. She is Co-head for the Alberta Precision Health Strategy. She serves as a board member for Parkinson Alberta and is on the Scientific Committee of the Pan American Section Movement Disorders Society. While at the University of Calgary, she was Head of the Department of Medical Genetics.
Qs and As with Oksana Suchowersky, MD
Understanding Parkinson Disease
Dr. Suchowersky provides teaching and mentoring of medical students, graduate students, residents and fellows.
Dr. Suchowersky’s research investigates the genetic basis for heritable disorders such as spinocerebellar ataxia and hereditary spastic paraparesis. One area of her studies is testing compounds that may have neuroprotective potential, that is, the ability to slow disease progression.
Dr. Suchowersky is part of the Parkinson Study Group, an international research group which conducts studies to improve treatments for Parkinson Disease. Another of her research projects investigated the use of duodopa (providing levodopa directly into the intestine) to control Parkinson’s symptoms. Successful results were translated into a clinical program for people with severe Parkinson disease as an alternative to surgery. She is part of the Huntington Study Group, which is involved in identifying biomarkers and genetic therapies for Huntington disease. Current research includes finding the genes responsible for hereditary spastic paraparesis.
Dr. Suchowersky has published more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals. She is co-editor of several books, including Hyperkinetic Movement Disorders.
Her research is funded by several national and international organizations including Brain Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the National Institutes of Health.
ataxia, dystonia, genetic testing, Huntington disease, Parkinson disease
Dr. Suchowersky treats patients at the University of Alberta Hospital and Kaye Edmonton Clinic. She accepts patients with Huntington disease, Parkinson disease, ataxia and hereditary neurological disorders. She is the director of predictive genetic testing program for Huntington disease, and other adult onset genetic disorders.