Parkinson's disease is the world's fastest growing neurological disorder and already affects over 1.2 million people in Europe. Up to 80% of Parkinson's disease patients will develop dementia, which severely affects patients' quality of life, caregiver burden and health care costs. Because Parkinson's disease damages and destroys brain cells, symptoms worsen over time. The speed that dementia develops can vary widely, and patients and relatives can face uncertainty about the future disease course. At present, there are no diagnostic tests that can accurately identify which Parkinson's disease patients are at risk of dementia, nor is there a cure.
The goal of this project is to develop a biomarker panel that can help physicians identify Parkinson's disease patients at high risk of developing dementia in the future. This is crucial for improved and more individualised patient care and targeted enrolment of at-risk patients into clinical trials to test drugs to prevent dementia.
We have brought together international groups that have followed patients from the time of Parkinson's disease diagnosis until the development of dementia, and have generated detailed clinical data sets and enormous collections of biological samples. This creates a unique opportunity to do vital biomarker research. Using this resource, we have started to identify important genetic and protein biomarkers that are associated with dementia in PDD.
The main result of this project will mark a major advance in the field by developing a panel of clinically useful biomarkers to identify individuals with Parkinson's disease at risk of dementia, which can lead to improvements in individual healthcare, early disease intervention, and the targeted enrolment of at-risk patients into future clinical trials, as well as reduced health care costs.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a chronic, progressive movement disorder, and is the world's fastest growing neurological disorder, with the number of people living with PD projected to increase to 12.9 million by 2040. Up to 80% of PD patients will develop dementia (PDD), which severely affects patients' quality of life, caregiver burden and health care costs. At present, there are no diagnostic tests and no treatment strategies to prevent PDD, and the increasing global disease burden threatens a public health crisis.
The goal of this innovative project is to develop a biomarker panel that can help physicians to identify PD patients who are at high risk of developing dementia. This knowledge is crucial for early disease intervention, improved and more individualised patient care, and targeted enrolment of at-risk patients into clinical trials to test drugs to prevent PDD. To achieve our goal, we will bring together nine international, state-of-the-art longitudinal cohort studies. These studies have followed PD patients from diagnosis for up to 16 years, and have generated rich clinical data sets and enormous collections of biological samples, which creates a unique opportunity to do vital clinical, biological and imaging biomarker research. Major knowledge gains will be made from the cross-cohort analysis of existing data, and cutting-edge expertise from the team will be used to identify new biomarkers of disease progression. The project team is highly multidisciplinary and includes extensive regional and world-leading international experts from "bed-to-bedside", making the project highly achievable within the timeframe.
The main result of this project will mark a major advance in the field by establishing a panel of clinically useful prognostic biomarkers to identify individuals at risk of PDD, which will lead to improvements in individual healthcare and clinical trial design, as well as reduced health care costs.