Dr Alastair Noyce
Parkinson's disease & PD-related disorders
Biomarkers | Brain imaging | Clinical studies
An innovation grant from Parkinson’s UK has supported the PREDICT-PD pilot study since April 2011. To date, the pilot study has recruited 1000 subjects who do not have a diagnosis of Parkinson’s. Each individual has completed an online questionnaire about risk factors for Parkinson’s. Answers have been stored in a secure online database and will be analysed using an algorithm developed from literature review to estimate individual risk of developing Parkinson’s. All 1000 have had the opportunity to complete a computer keyboard tapping test, assessing movement speed, and a smell test. Loss of smell sense and REM-sleep behaviour disorder (RBD) will be used as surrogates for future Parkinson’s and will be used to modify the existing algorithm to further refine it for the purpose of more widespread screening. Individuals at highest risk need to be examined clinically to make sure that they do not already have Parkinson’s. A proportion of medium and low risk participants will be examined to maintain blinding. These clinical data (questionnaire, smell test, RBD, finger tapping, clinical examination) form the baseline for a follow up study into early Parkinson’s detection. Subjects will be screened annually using the questionnaire and tapping test online and will be further screened with clinical examination and smell testing at three years follow up. In addition, transcranial ultrasound has been shown to be a marker of Parkinson’s risk and this technique will be explored in the study participants, as well as validating it in established Parkinson’s and healthy controls.