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Brain biomarkers for future cognitive health in Parkinson's disease

48 months
Approved budget:
Professor John Dalrymple-Alford
Professor Tim Anderson
Dr Tracy Melzer
Dr Reza Shoorangiz
Health issue:
Neurological (CNS)
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is more than a motor disorder. Most patients develop cognitive impairments; this decline often progresses to dementia. There are no reliable predictors for future cognitive health in individual PD patients. Leveraging long-term and ongoing work at our institute, our study will bring together three highly novel brain biomarkers to predict cognitive health three years later. We will use (1) a new generation of signal processing that enables electro-encephalography measures during resting state (non-task) to describe the directional connectivity of fast electrical rhythmic activity across different cortical regions in the brain. (2) Structural MRI will establish the integrity of the cortex at the networked-defined regions of interest. (3) Diffusion imaging will interrogate the integrity of cholinergic brain pathways that normally provide a pivotal modulation of healthy cortical function. If successful, this work will provide an accurate prognosis of cognition in the immediate future for individual patients.