ParkC’s cognition research: different subtypes of Parkinson's
The variety of cognitive, mood or mental health, and motor symptoms associated with Parkinson’s, highlights the heterogeneous nature of this condition. Researchers at the UK Centre for Brain Repair investigated the motor and cognitive profiles in Parkinson’s and proposed that Parkinson’s may consist of a group of related disorders which have overlapping symptoms but which can be segregated into distinct subtypes. Determining these subtypes and identifying the subsequent symptom progression will have major implications in diagnosis and subsequent treatment of people with Parkinson’s.
ParkC has established a cohort in Western Australia of newly diagnosed Parkinson’s patients which we will follow longitudinally. The cohort will perform a number of test and measurements including motor, cognitive, mental health, body composition, and quality of life. In addition, blood samples will be collected for future DNA analysis.
This initial cohort will be expanded to include as many people as possible within Western Australia who have Parkinson’s. This research is an outstanding opportunity to see if the proposed subtypes of Parkinson’s found in a UK population are applicable to an Australian population.
This research will enable us to answer these key questions:
- Are there different subtypes of Parkinson’s?
- What symptoms occur (i.e. motor, cognitive and mood) and how do they vary over time?
- Are there genetic predispositions that make some individuals more likely to develop Parkinson’s?
- What other non-classical features exist in Parkinson’s?
The database established by ParkC will lay the foundation not only for better understanding the heterogeneity of Parkinson’s but also for the translation of novel therapies for patients.
Dr Meghan Thomas
Ms Sephora D'Mello
Dr Margaret Giles
The University of Western Australia, Dr Romola Bucks
The University of Western Australia, Dr Andrea Loftus
Curtin University of Technology, Dr Natalie Gasson
Fremantle Hospital, Professor Sergio Starkstein
Cambridge University, Dr Roger Barker