Our research focuses on finding practical solutions for people living with Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies.
Parkinson’s is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in Australia, affecting approximately about 70,000 people. It is a chronic and progressive disorder of the nervous system and affects people in a variety of ways. It commonly causes problems with movement as well as with thinking and behaviour, such as mood and sleep disturbance.
Our research is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s and, ultimately, to finding a cure for the disease.
We work closely with people affected by Parkinson’s on a day-to-day basis. By working together, we aim to find ways to predict the disease and to stem its progression. Our clinical research focuses on targeting some specific symptoms of the disease, such as ‘freezing of gait’ and hallucinations.
Through our Parkinson’s Disease Research Clinic we coordinate clinical research studies that investigate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Our research is part of the ForeFront Ageing and Neurodegeneration Program. We take a holistic approach, working closely with researchers who focus on brain conditions related to Parkinson’s disease. Together, we screen people who are considered to be ‘at risk’ of developing neurological disease and examine genetic risk factors to try to understand why some people develop Parkinson’s disease, others develop other neurodegenerative diseases like such as frontotemporal dementia, while other ‘at risk’ patients never transition to disease at all.
Furthermore, we're also collaborating as part of NeuroSleep, the Centre for Translational Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology, which seeks to better understand the relationship between sleep and a healthy brain. Collectively, we look at whether targeted sleep-wake interventions can influence the progression of neurodegenerative diseases and whether sleep-wake disturbances could be used as a predictor of disease in at-risk populations.