Groundbreaking Parkinson's study is launched in Plymouth

Groundbreaking Parkinson's study is launched in Plymouth

Researchers in Plymouth have launched a new study to see if detection of Parkinson's disease could be improved.

The study will adopt new technology developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Oxford University, which will see participants complete everyday tasks with various body sensors attached to them. It is hoped that this non-invasive study across both healthy individuals and those with the condition, will be able to establish a definitive diagnostic test for the condition.

The research, which is being led by Dr Camille Carroll, will see individuals go to the research centre in Plymouth for a maximum of two hours, and scientists are now calling for volunteers across the south-west of the UK. The technology could be developed into a valuable tool for early diagnosis, and local residents are being encouraged to speak to their doctors if interested.

One of the early patients of the study, Tim Charlesworth, said to the Plymouth Herald: "This study is not about finding a cure. It's about looking at the signs and signals those with Parkinson's give – maybe even subconsciously. If we can find a way to diagnose the condition at an earlier stage, we have the potential to then find a cure to stop it altogether."

There are currently 127,000 individuals with Parkinson's in the UK, and this figure is expected to double by 2030. For more information on the study, or if you would like to get involved, call 01752 432047.

This scheme comes at a time when another study by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has suggested that glitazones used for the treatment of diabetes could potentially reduce the development of Parkinson's disease. The research found that both pioglitazone or rosiglitazone lowered the occurrence of Parkinson's by about 28 per cent.

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