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Plan to predict Parkinson's

Thursday March 14th, 2019

Researchers have appealed for thousands of volunteers to help with a major project aimed at mapping the early development of Parkinson's disease.

Volunteers, who must be over the age of 60, will mostly chronicle the development of their health using on-line questionnaires.

But they also will be sent smell tests.

The researchers at UCL and Queen Mary, University of London, have set a target of achieving 10,000 recruits, aiming to identify problems such as loss of smell and violent sleep disorder, associated with later development of the disease.

The PREDICT-PD study is funded by Parkinson's UK.

Researcher Professor Anette Schrag, from UCL Clinical Neuroscience, said: "We believe that if we can predict who is going to get Parkinson’s, we will be able to develop treatments for those in the early stages that could slow or prevent the condition progressing – which would be a major step forwards towards a cure and could have knock-on implications for dementia and other age-related diseases of the brain.”

Meanwhile £1 million is to be pumped into research into Lewy Body Dementia, it has been announced.

Grants have been awarded to researchers at Cambridge University, Newcastle University and Imperial College, London, by the Lewy Body Society.

Society chief executive Jacqueline Cannon said: “Lewy body dementia is the second most common form of dementia among older people, affecting around 130,000 people each year. Yet it is not well known and our clinical understanding of the disease is less developed than that of other conditions.

“Through our grants programme we are working with dedicated experts across the country who are striving to find better ways to identify and treat the disease in future. We would like to encourage any researchers who may be interested in applying for a grant to get in touch.”

Tags: Brain & Neurology | Elderly Health | UK News

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