Biosciences Graduate Program

Ergun Uc, MD


Specialty: Movement Disorders
Associate Professor of Neurology

Contact Information

Primary Office: 2100 RCp
Iowa City, IA 52242
Primary Office Phone: 319-356-8754



MD, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Turkey

Residency, Neurology, Hacettepe University Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
Internship, Medicine - Preliminary, Worcester City Hospital, Worcester, MA
Residency, Neurology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Fellowship, Movement Disorders, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

Licensure and Certifications

MD, Iowa Board of Medicine
MD, Turkey
Foreign Medical Graduates Examination in the Medical Sciences (FMGEMS), Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates

Education/Training Program Affiliations

Biosciences Graduate Program
Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience

Research Summary

Certain conditions and illnesses can drastically affect a person's driving capabilities. However, determining if an illness-related impairment makes someone an unsafe driver is a complicated decision. Ideally, that decision should be based on an ability to accurately predict how certain aspects of a disease contribute to risky driving. Using a five-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a team of University of Iowa researchers will study how Parkinson's disease affects driver safety. The team, led by principal investigator Ergun Uc, M.D., (left) assistant professor of neurology in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, and co-principal investigator Matthew Rizzo, M.D., UI professor of neurology, engineering and public policy, aims to generate data that will help predict driver safety for individuals with this condition. Parkinson's disease affects people in many ways that can have an impact on their ability to drive, "" Uc said. ""Most people know about the motor effects of the disease -- the tremors and difficulty walking -- but the disease affects lots of systems in the brain and the body. Mental functions -- including the ability to think and make decisions, memory and attention -- are affected, as are reaction times. Parkinson's disease also can affect psychology, causing depression and anxiety, and can alter sleep rhythms and vision."" Uc also noted that the medications designed to alleviate tremors and stiffness caused by the disease can actually worsen other functions by making the patient sleepy or decreasing attention span.

Selected Publications

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Crizzle A, Classen S, Uc E.  Parkinson disease and driving: an evidence-based review..  Neurology.  2012 November. 79(20):2067-74.

Emerson J, Johnson A, Dawson J, Uc E, Anderson S, Rizzo M.  Predictors of driving outcomes in advancing age..  Psychology and aging.  2012 September. 27(3):550-9.

Beglinger L, Prest L, Mills J, Paulsen J, Smith M, Gonzalez-Alegre P, Rowe K, Nopoulos P, Uc E.  Clinical predictors of driving status in Huntington's disease..  Movement disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society.  2012 August. 27(9):1146-52.

van der Marck M, Dicke H, Uc E, Kentin Z, Borm G, Bloem B, Overeem S, Munneke M.  Body mass index in Parkinson's disease: a meta-analysis..  Parkinsonism & related disorders.  2012 March. 18(3):263-7.

Anderson S, Aksan N, Dawson J, Uc E, Johnson A, Rizzo M.  Neuropsychological assessment of driving safety risk in older adults with and without neurologic disease..  Journal of clinical and experimental neuropsychology.  2012. 34(9):895-905.

Aksan N, Anderson S, Dawson J, Johnson A, Uc E, Rizzo M.  Cognitive functioning predicts driver safety on road tests 1 and 2 years later..  Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.  2012 January. 60(1):99-105.

Uc E, Rizzo M, Johnson A, Emerson J, Liu D, Mills E, Anderson S, Dawson J.  Real-life driving outcomes in Parkinson disease..  Neurology.  2011 May. 76(22):1894-902.

Rizzo M, Uc E, Dawson J, Anderson S, Rodnitzky R.  Driving difficulties in Parkinson's disease..  Movement disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society.  2010. 25 Suppl 1:S136-40.

Uc E, Lambert C, Harik S, Rodnitzky R, Evans W.  Albuterol improves response to levodopa and increases skeletal muscle mass in patients with fluctuating Parkinson disease..  Clinical neuropharmacology.  26(4):207-12.

Date Last Modified: 06/07/2014 - 21:56:23