Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, which is characterized by motor symptoms such as tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement and problems with gait. Motor symptoms are often accompanied with fatigue, depression, pain and cognitive problems.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    The Nigerian Parkinson Disease registry is the first published national Parkinson disease registry in sub-Saharan Africa. Though the clinical data and number of participants are currently limited in comparison with European, North American and Asian equivalents, this registry represents a valuable resource for the field.

    • Soraya Bardien
    •  & Jonathan Carr
  • Comments and Opinion
    | Open Access

    Digital health technology tools (DHTT) are technologies such as apps, smartphones, and wearables that remotely acquire health-related information from individuals. They have the potential advantages of objectivity and sensitivity of measurement, richness of high-frequency sensor data, and opportunity for passive collection of health-related data. Thus, DHTTs promise to provide patient phenotyping at an order of granularity several times greater than is possible with traditional clinical research tools. While the conceptual development of novel DHTTs is keeping pace with technological and analytical advancements, an as yet unaddressed gap is how to develop robust and meaningful outcome measures based on sensor data. Here, we describe two roadmaps which were developed to generate outcome measures based on DHTT data: one using a data-centric approach and the second a patient-centric approach. The data-centric approach to develop digital outcome measures summarizes those sensor features maximally sensitive to the concept of interest, exemplified with the quantification of disease progression. The patient-centric approach summarizes those sensor features that are optimally relevant to patients’ functioning in everyday life. Both roadmaps are exemplified for use in tracking disease progression in observational and clinical interventional studies, and with a DHTT designed to evaluate motor symptom severity and symptom experience in Parkinson’s disease. Use cases other than disease progression (e.g., case-finding) are considered summarily. DHTT research requires methods to summarize sensor data into meaningful outcome measures. It is hoped that the concepts outlined here will encourage a scientific discourse and eventual consensus on the creation of novel digital outcome measures for both basic clinical research and clinical drug development.

    • Kirsten I. Taylor
    • , Hannah Staunton
    • , Florian Lipsmeier
    • , David Nobbs
    •  & Michael Lindemann
  • News and Views |

    Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified multiple loci associated with Parkinson disease; however, most of these studies were carried out in North American or European populations. A large-scale GWAS in East Asian populations has now identified two novel Parkinson disease-associated loci, which could improve risk prediction in Asian individuals.

    • Ruey-Meei Wu
    •  & Matthew J. Farrer
  • News and Views |

    Grafts of stem-cell-derived precursors of dopamine neurons could be used to treat Parkinson’s disease, but this approach has limitations. Injecting a growth factor three weeks after transplantation can overcome some of these limits.

    • Lorenz Studer
    •  & Viviane Tabar
    Nature 582, 39-40