IGNItioN Lab - Investigating Gait with NeuroImaging & Neuromodulation

Investigating Gait wiith NeuroImaging and Neuromodulation IGNItioN decordative logo where the o in the word Ignition is the profile and cross-section illustration of a human head. Also: there's a graphic depicting a stick figure walking.

The IGNITION lab focuses on the development of circuit-based neuromodulation interventions for Freezing of Gait (FOG) in Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Research Projects

What is Freezing of Gait?

Freezing of gait (FoG) is a common and debilitating condition in Parkinson's Disease (PD) patients. FoG is described as an episodic inability to walk, which often triggers falls, hospitalization and is an important predictor of poor quality of life. We have two main lines of research that address FOG:

  1. Improving Deep Brain Stimulation as a Treatment for FOG: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is effective in approximately half of patients with FOG, however, its effects wane over time. The long-term goal of this research is to optimize FOG response to STN-DBS by identifying contributing modifiable factors. This will be accomplished by evaluating the neural correlates of FOG response in patients undergoing STN-DBS.

  2. Developing Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation as a Treatment for FOG: As locomotor regions degenerate in PD, gait automaticity is impaired. Patients compensate by increasing volitional control of gait however, this adaptation has been found to worsen FoG severity. The long-term goal of this project is to develop a therapeutic approach using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for FoG that simultaneously reduces cortical control and increases automaticity of gait.


Gonzalo Revuelta, D.O.

Gonzalo J. Revuelta, DO

Director of IGNITION Lab

Dr. Revuelta is Associate Professor of Neurology, and SmartState Endowed Chair in Neurodegenerative Disorders at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Revuelta also directs the Murray Center for Research In Parkinson’s Disease and Related Disorders and is the Medical Director of the Deep Brain Stimulation Program. His NIH funded research program focuses on the development of invasive and non-invasive neuromodulation interventions for Parkinson’s disease and related disorders.

Gonzalo Revuelta, D.O.

Daniel H. Lench, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Lench is a postdoctoral fellow and clinical neuroscientist in the IGNITION lab with an expertise in using neuroimaging to inform the development of invasive (DBS) and non-invasive (TMS, tDCS) neuromodulation. Neuroimaging approaches he uses in the IGNITION lab primarily include functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI). Dr. Lench was awarded a K99 Career Development Award by the NIH/NINDS to study the neural basis of cognitive changes associated with Deep Brain Stimulation.

Nathan Deturk

Nathan DeTurk, M.D., MBA

Sandra Wilson

Sandra Wilson

Research Coordinator

Magdeline Volcy

Magdeline Volcy

Research Coordinator

  • Lisa Heidelberg
    Research Coordinator

  • Jade Doolittle
    Medical Student



  • Lisa McTeague, PhD
  • Hesheng Liu, PhD
  • Jens Jensen, PhD
  • Steven Kautz, PhD
  • Travis Turner, PhD
  • Federico Rodriguez-Porcel, MD
  • Anya Benitez, PhD