Healthy people free of PD are invited to consider participating in this research study to help  understand more about mild cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease (PD).

This study aims to identify markers for early detection of mild cognitive impairment in PD. The study also focusses on investigating underlying brain mechanisms of mild cognitive impairment in PD, which will assist with a better understanding and develop new future treatments for mild cognitive impairment in PD.

Background and aims of the project

Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. It is widely known as a movement disorder but non-motor symptoms such as cognitive dysfunction can detrimentally impact the quality of patient’s life. PD patients can experience from subtle cognitive complaints to severe cognitive dysfunctions leading to dementia. Twenty-four percent (24%) of patients experience subtle cognitive disturbances at the time of their diagnosis. Mild cognitive impairment in PD is the transition stage between cognitively normal PD and PD with dementia. Mild cognitive impairment in PD is known to be associated with increased age, disease duration and severity. Dementia affects over 80% of PD patients at the later stage and patients with mild cognitive impairment MCI has a higher risk of developing PD with dementia than PD patients without mild cognitive impairment. Therefore it is crucial to find ways to recognise cognitive changes at early stages of PD.

We are aiming to identify markers for mild cognitive impairment by performing brain imaging functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). This will help diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment in PD at early stages and potentially assist to discover targeted treatment delaying or preventing the development of dementia in the future studies.