Digital intervention for Parkinson’s Disease dementia

23 Mar 2023

Parkinson's disease dementiaUniversity of Queensland researchers will create a digital platform to improve dementia diagnosis in people living with Parkinson’s Disease (PD).

The PDCogniCare platform will enable doctors to conduct and track routine cognitive assessments using best practice guidelines over the course of a person’s PD journey.

Lead researcher, Associate Professor Nadeeka Dissanayaka from the UQ Centre for Clinical Research (UQCCR) said the platform will help improve cognitive evaluation and speed up identification of individuals who may be at high-risk of developing dementia with PD.

“This is important because many people living with PD also develop dementia, which is often poorly recognised,” Dr Dissanayaka said.

“Their health is also adversely affected by limited options to reduce dementia risk and access to effective therapy.”

Dr Dissanayaka said cognitive evaluations were normally only conducted in complex PD cases where the situation had become unmanageable, due to a shortage of psychologists.

“PDCogniCare will help overcome this issue by upskilling the health workforce and increasing the number of psychological service providers who are experts in PD dementia.

“This is crucial as neurological diseases, including PD, represent one of Australia’s largest health care burdens and dementia is our second leading cause of death.”

This project is funded by a $2M grant from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) and will run from 2023-2027.

It is a collaboration between UQ researchers and individuals living with PD and dementia, carers, community groups including Lions Clubs, Dementia Australia, Parkinson’s Qld Inc, the Australian Dementia Network (ADNeT), OPN 365 Pty Ltd industry partner and Queensland Health.