Vanderbilt Department of Neurology

Important updates for patients with Parkinson's disease, friends, and families.

1.  Rytary (a new formulation of carbidopa/levodopa) is now available in pharmacies. This medication is generally taken three times a day, but is designed to have a longer duration of action than regular carbidopa/levodopa.

2.  Duopa (a gel-based formulation of carbidopa/levodopa) is also available. This medication is administered through a surgically-implanted intestinal tube and an external pump. Administering this medication requires a titration under observation. It is intended to provide more stable levodopa levels.

The Vanderbilt Parkinson's Disease Center

The mission of the VPDC  is to provide excellence in research, patient care, and education in Parkinson’s Disease and related disorders.


The VPDC has active programs in clinical trials for PD, investigations of genetic contributors to movement disorders, and also development of pluripotent stem cells for the future treatment of PD and other neurological disorders. Current clinical trials are focusing on feasibility in interventions that slow the progression of PD and also treatment of motor fluctuations in PD.

For more information about participating in clinical trials in PD, please contact Ms. Dorothy Shearon, RN, at (615)-936-0219.


The VPDC has the largest clinical program in the state of Tennessee and offers medical and surgical management options for patients with PD and related disorders.

To schedule an appointment with consulting physicians in the VPDC, please ask your primary physician or neurologist to send a referral to Mr. Michael Coffee, 1161 21st Ave South, A-0118 MCN, Nashville, TN 37232. Please be aware that insurance authorization will be necessary.


The educational program has several components.

Physicians in training may rotate with VPDC physicians. Fellowship applications should visit the Fellowship site.

The VPDC also offers patient outreach services including networking with patients support groups through a grant from the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF). This program is headed by Ms. Kelly Arney. Along with monthly support group meetings, Ms. Arney coordinates an annual "Blazing for a Cure" PD symposium in October. Families and patients are invited to attend this educational program.

The next symposium will be held in October of 2016.

Click here for more information about Parkinson's Disease Outreach.

Click here for the Outreach schedule.

VPDC Members

Director: Thomas L. Davis, M.D., Professor of Neurology


Documents (PDF files)

Tyramines in PD

Patient and Caregiver Conference on Parkinson’s disease:  

To Contact the VPDC

Phone (615) 936-0060
Fax (615) 936-1229

Additional Links of Interest:

1) NINDS - Parkinson's disease
2) WeMove.org
3) National Parkinson Foundation

This page was last updated November 16, 2015 and is maintained by