World's biggest-ever Parkinson's disease study launched
To commemorate the first day of Parkinson’s Awareness Week 2012, a charity has announced the launch of the world’s biggest ever study into the disease.
It is hoped the in-depth study, which will track the progress of patients with Parkinson’s disease, will reveal currently unknown secrets of the disease.
The research team will then be looking to improve and develop both the diagnosis methods and treatments of the degenerative condition.
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Parkinson’s UK is now looking for 3,000 people to take part in the study, mainly those that have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease within the last three years.
They are also seeking patients that were diagnosed with the condition when they were under the age of 50 and the siblings of both sets of participants.
The patients taking part in Tracking Parkinson’s will have symptoms of the disease – things like forgetfulness, anxiety and movement problems – monitored for a five year period.
Dr Donald Grosset, who is leading the study, is aiming to identify biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease, so that one day a blood test may be all it takes to pinpoint the illness.
Commenting on the launch of the study, he said: “The cure for Parkinson’s is a global challenge and all the samples gathered from our thousands of volunteers will be available for analysis by researchers the world over.
“This, in itself, will speed up our ultimate goal – to develop a cure for Parkinson’s.
“I am very excited to be leading this cutting edge research collaborating with top researchers from Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.”
As the research project progresses there are plans for it to be linked to 35 to 40 healthcare centres across the UK.
Meanwhile Dr Kieran Breen, Parkinson’s UK’s Director of Research and Innovation, added: “Studies like ‘Tracking Parkinson’s’ could make a huge difference and help us to ultimately find a cure.
“Identifying biomarkers is key and would revolutionise the diagnosis and management of Parkinson’s.
“Finding a cure for Parkinson’s is like building a gigantic jigsaw, but we still have a number of the pieces missing,” he said.
“This vital new study will help us fill in some of the gaps in our knowledge.
“We hope Tracking Parkinson’s will also help us to identify people who have a greater ‘risk‘ of developing Parkinson’s and we can monitor them more accurately.”
Those looking for more information on taking part in Tracking Parkinson’s can contact Parkinson’s UK on 0808 800 0303 or visit www.parkinsons.org.uk/tracking.
Alternatively patients can contact Glasgow University, by emailing [email protected] or phoning 0141 232 7846.
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Dubai's new smart neuro spinal hospital: need to know
We take a look at Dubai's new smart hospital.
What: The Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre is a new hospital featuring state-of-the-art technology for spinal, neurosurgical, neurological, orthopaedic, radiosurgery and cancer treatments. The 700 million AED hospital, (equivalent to £138 million), has 114 beds, smart patient rooms, and green spaces for patient rehabilitation, and is four times the capacity of its former premises in Jumeirah. It is also the UAE’s first hospital to have surgical robots.
Where: The hospital is located in the Dubai Science Park. Founded in 2005, Dubai Science Park is home to more than 350 companies from multinational corporations in life sciences, biotechnology and research; over 4,000 people work here each day.
Who: The UAE's Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre was first established in Jumeirah in 2002 by Dr. Abdul Karim Msaddi, as the first as the first "super-specialty" neuroscience hospital.
Why: With advanced diagnosis and robotics, the hospital will provide care across neuroscience, spine, orthopaedics and oncology for people residing in the UAE, as well as international patients.
Prof. Abdul Karim Msaddi, Chairman and Medical Director of the hospital, said: “We are proud to bring world-class healthcare services to Dubai and believe our next-generation hospital will be a game-changer for the emirate’s and the region’s medical industry.
"It will not only significantly increase the availability of specialist neuroscience and radiosurgery treatments and provide better patient care but help attract and develop local and international talent. Investing in the new centre represents our continued faith in the resilience of the region’s economy, as well as a testament to our ongoing drive towards healthcare innovation in the UAE.”