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    Ken Nakamura, MD, PhD

    TitleAssistant Professor
    SchoolUCSF School of Medicine
    DepartmentNeurology
    Address1650 Owens Street
    San Francisco CA 94143
    Phone415-734-2550

       Overview 
       Overview
      Dr. Ken Nakamura is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He is also an Assistant Investigator at the Gladstone Institute for Neurological Disease, where he runs a research laboratory investigating how disruptions of mitochondria (the “power centers” of cells, which convert nutrients into energy) contribute to the development of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

      Dr. Nakamura earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biological sciences from Cornell University, and an MD and PhD in neurobiology from the University of Chicago. His thesis work focused on the role of oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease. He then completed an internship in internal medicine and neurology residency at UCSF, and a subsequent clinical fellowship in movement disorders at UCSF and the San Francisco VA. He also completed a research fellowship at UCSF investigating how the Parkinson’s disease protein alpha-synuclein disrupts mitochondrial morphology and function, and contributes to the development of Parkinson’s disease.

      As an attending in the UCSF Movement Disorders group, Dr. Nakamura treats patients with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, and also performs botulinum toxin injections for selected movement disorders.

      Dr. Nakamura received a Larry L. Hillblom Foundation Fellowship grant in 2005 to study the role of alpha-synuclein conformation and multimerization in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease. He also received a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award for Medical Scientists in 2008, and a Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (KO8) from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) in 2009.


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       Publications
      Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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      1. Kaitsuka T, Li ST, Nakamura K, Takao K, Miyakawa T, Matsushita M. Forebrain-specific constitutively active CaMKKa transgenic mice show deficits in hippocampus-dependent long-term memory. Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2011 Sep; 96(2):238-47.
        View in: PubMed
      2. Nakamura K, Nemani VM, Azarbal F, Skibinski G, Levy JM, Egami K, Munishkina L, Zhang J, Gardner B, Wakabayashi J, Sesaki H, Cheng Y, Finkbeiner S, Nussbaum RL, Masliah E, Edwards RH. Direct membrane association drives mitochondrial fission by the Parkinson disease-associated protein alpha-synuclein. J Biol Chem. 2011 Jun 10; 286(23):20710-26.
        View in: PubMed
      3. Nemani VM, Lu W, Berge V, Nakamura K, Onoa B, Lee MK, Chaudhry FA, Nicoll RA, Edwards RH. Increased expression of alpha-synuclein reduces neurotransmitter release by inhibiting synaptic vesicle reclustering after endocytosis. Neuron. 2010 Jan 14; 65(1):66-79.
        View in: PubMed
      4. Fortin DL, Nemani VM, Nakamura K, Edwards RH. The behavior of alpha-synuclein in neurons. Mov Disord. 2010; 25 Suppl 1:S21-6.
        View in: PubMed
      5. Nakamura K, Nemani VM, Wallender EK, Kaehlcke K, Ott M, Edwards RH. Optical reporters for the conformation of alpha-synuclein reveal a specific interaction with mitochondria. J Neurosci. 2008 Nov 19; 28(47):12305-17.
        View in: PubMed
      6. Nakamura K, Edwards RH. Physiology versus pathology in Parkinson's disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jul 17; 104(29):11867-8.
        View in: PubMed
      7. Nakamura K, Christine CW, Starr PA, Marks WJ. Effects of unilateral subthalamic and pallidal deep brain stimulation on fine motor functions in Parkinson's disease. Mov Disord. 2007 Apr 15; 22(5):619-26.
        View in: PubMed
      8. Nakamura K, Aminoff MJ. Huntington's disease: clinical characteristics, pathogenesis and therapies. Drugs Today (Barc). 2007 Feb; 43(2):97-116.
        View in: PubMed
      9. Nakamura K Kang UJ. Textbook of neural repair and rehabilitation (eds Selzer ME, Cohen L, Gage FH, Clarke S and Duncan PW). Trophic factor delivery by gene therapy. 2006; 532-547.
      10. Fortin DL, Troyer MD, Nakamura K, Kubo S, Anthony MD, Edwards RH. Lipid rafts mediate the synaptic localization of alpha-synuclein. J Neurosci. 2004 Jul 28; 24(30):6715-23.
        View in: PubMed
      11. Nakamura K, Mukherjee P, Swanson RA. Vitamin B12 deficiency. Arch Neurol. 2004 Jun; 61(6):960.
        View in: PubMed
      12. Nakamura K, Roberson ED, Reilly LG, Tsao JW. Polyneuropathy following gastric bypass surgery. Am J Med. 2003 Dec 1; 115(8):679-80.
        View in: PubMed
      13. Kang UJ, Nakamura K. Potential of gene therapy for pediatric neurotransmitter diseases: lessons from Parkinson's disease. Ann Neurol. 2003; 54 Suppl 6:S103-9.
        View in: PubMed
      14. Nakamura K, Bindokas VP, Kowlessur D, Elas M, Milstien S, Marks JD, Halpern HJ, Kang UJ. Tetrahydrobiopterin scavenges superoxide in dopaminergic neurons. J Biol Chem. 2001 Sep 14; 276(37):34402-7.
        View in: PubMed
      15. Nakamura K, Ahmed M, Barr E, Leiden JM, Kang UJ. The localization and functional contribution of striatal aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase to L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine decarboxylation in rodent parkinsonian models. Cell Transplant. 2000 Sep-Oct; 9(5):567-76.
        View in: PubMed
      16. Nakamura K, Won L, Heller A, Kang UJ. Preferential resistance of dopaminergic neurons to glutathione depletion in a reconstituted nigrostriatal system. Brain Res. 2000 Aug 11; 873(2):203-11.
        View in: PubMed
      17. Nakamura K, Bindokas VP, Marks JD, Wright DA, Frim DM, Miller RJ, Kang UJ. The selective toxicity of 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium to dopaminergic neurons: the role of mitochondrial complex I and reactive oxygen species revisited. Mol Pharmacol. 2000 Aug; 58(2):271-8.
        View in: PubMed
      18. Nakamura K, Wright DA, Wiatr T, Kowlessur D, Milstien S, Lei XG, Kang UJ. Preferential resistance of dopaminergic neurons to the toxicity of glutathione depletion is independent of cellular glutathione peroxidase and is mediated by tetrahydrobiopterin. J Neurochem. 2000 Jun; 74(6):2305-14.
        View in: PubMed
      19. Nakamura K, Wang W, Kang UJ. The role of glutathione in dopaminergic neuronal survival. J Neurochem. 1997 Nov; 69(5):1850-8.
        View in: PubMed
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