Back to top anchor

Parkinson's in New Zealand: Genes and environmental exposures

36 months
Approved budget:
Dr Toni Pitcher
Dr Daniel Myall
Professor Martin Kennedy
Dr Alastair Noyce
Dr Mark Simpson
Professor Tim Anderson
Professor Jeroen Douwes
Health issue:
Neurological (CNS)
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder affecting approximately 12,000 New Zealanders. The motor function impairments and accompanying behavioural and psychological symptoms of the disorder reduce the quality of life of both patients and their support networks. Genes and environmental exposures both contribute to the occurrence of the disorder. In this study of 500 Parkinson's cases and 500 controls, we will identify occupational and other environmental exposures associated with Parkinson's in New Zealand. We will also identify the Parkinson's-associated genetic risk factors present in the New Zealand population. This data will be used to identify areas where education and policy changes may be applied to help reduce exposure to factors shown to increase risk. We will test predictions from a new model of Parkinson's and contribute to important international efforts to further our understanding of the role of genes in the disorder.