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David S. Goldstein, M.D., Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Clinical Neurocardiology Section


Building 10, Room 5N220
MSC 1620
10 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-1620


Research Topics

Dr. Goldstein's research interests are in catecholamine systems, clinical autonomic disorders, and scientific integrative medicine. The Clinical Neurocardiology Section, which he founded and directs, carries out mainly patient-oriented research about disorders of brain regulation of the cardiovascular system. The research emphasizes diseases of the autonomic nervous system in which the sympathetic nervous system or catecholamines play prominent roles, such as autonomic failure syndromes and neurogenetic conditions featuring abnormal catecholamine synthesis or metabolism. The Section operates a renowned Clinical Neurochemistry Laboratory for assays of levels of catecholamines and their metabolites. Current research of the Section focuses on biomarkers and mechanisms of central and peripheral catecholaminergic denervation in Parkinson disease and related disorders. A major new study by the Clinical Neurocardiology Section is on biomarkers of risk of Parkinson disease (PD). We call this the PDRisk study (NIH Protocol 09-N-0010). There are two main purposes of this study. The first purpose is to determine whether people who have characteristics that may be risk factors for PD have objective evidence — "biomarkers" — that the disease process is actually going on. The evidence we are looking for is loss of nerves and nerve cells that use particular chemicals, called catecholamines. PD patients typically have a loss of nerves and nerve cells that use the catecholamines dopamine and norepinephrine as chemical messengers. The second purpose is to determine whether people who have abnormal "biomarkers" actually develop PD during several years of follow-up. For more information about our PDRisk study please visit our Protocol-specific website,


Dr. Goldstein graduated from Yale College and received an M.D.-Ph.D. in Behavioral Sciences from Johns Hopkins. After medical internship and residency at the University of Washington, he came to the NIH as a Clinical Associate in the NHLBI, obtaining tenure as a Senior Investigator in 1984. He joined the NINDS in 1990 to head the Clinical Neurochemistry Section and founded and directs the Clinical Neurocardiology Section, an independent Section. He has received Yale's Angier Prize for Research in Psychology, the Laufberger Medal of the Czech Academy of Sciences, 2 NIH Merit Awards, the Founders Award of the Bakken Heart-Brain Institute, and the NIH Distinguished Clinical Teacher Award. He is author of more than 450 research articles and several books, including "Adrenaline and the Inner World: An Introduction to Scientific Integrative Medicine," the "NDRF Handbook for Patients with Dysautonomias," "Stress, Catecholamines, and Cardiovascular Disease," and "The Autonomic Nervous System in Health and Disease".

Selected Publications

  1. Goldstein DS, Holmes C, Sullivan P, Mash DC, Sidransky E, Stefani A, Kopin IJ, Sharabi Y. Deficient vesicular storage: A common theme in catecholaminergic neurodegeneration. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2015;21(9):1013-22.
  2. Goldstein DS, Holmes C, Sullivan P, Jinsmaa Y, Kopin IJ, Sharabi Y. Elevated cerebrospinal fluid ratios of cysteinyl-dopamine/3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid in parkinsonian synucleinopathies. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2016.
  3. Goldstein DS, Sullivan P, Holmes C, Miller GW, Sharabi Y, Kopin IJ. A vesicular sequestration to oxidative deamination shift in myocardial sympathetic nerves in Parkinson's disease. J Neurochem. 2014;131(2):219-28.
This page was last updated on January 23rd, 2012