Charity Parkinson's UK is investing over £1.6 million into the research study to unlock further secrets about the condition and to boost the chances of finding a cure.
More than 3,000 volunteers are needed - both recently-diagnosed people with Parkinson’s (in the last three years), those aged under 50 at diagnosis, and their brothers and sisters - to take part in its ground-breaking ‘Tracking Parkinson’s’ clinical study.
Newcastle University’s Clinical Ageing Research Unit working with Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of the key centres taking part. Research in Newcastle is being led by Professor David Burn, IAH Director and Professor of Movement Disorder Neurology.
He said: "Finding a cure for Parkinson’s is what every researcher in the field dreams about. Tracking Parkinson’s is a major new research project and we are very excited to be involved right at the beginning. This study really offers hope for the future for people with Parkinson’s and we need around 150 people in Newcastle and the North East to volunteer to help us make our vision of a cure a reality."
‘Tracking Parkinson’s’ primary aim is to identify elusive biomarkers for Parkinson’s (signpost indicators in the blood, for example) that could help develop simple tests, like blood tests, for use as diagnostic tools. Despite the best efforts of researchers worldwide no biomarkers have yet been identified for Parkinson’s. An early diagnosis is crucial if doctors are to be able to prescribe the right drugs for people with Parkinson’s to control – and one day, hopefully, even cure - their condition.
To find out more about how to take part in Tracking Parkinson’s call the helpline on 0808 800 0303, or visit Parkinson's UK for full details and links to other Parkinson’s UK funded research.
published on: 25th April 2012