Amyloid and cognitive predictors of dementia in Parkinson’s

Status: Complete
Year: 2015
Funded: $82,630
Grant Type: Major Project Grant
Dr Tracy Melzer

Cognitive decline and dementia are now recognised as an essential part of Parkinson’s disease, which ultimately becomes the most burdensome aspect of this disease. We know that those exhibiting mild cognitive impairments are at increased risk for developing dementia, but we have established that some individuals not showing cognitive impairments also exhibit increased risk.

Here, we will perform advance positron emission tomography (PET) and MRI scans, and clinical evaluation in Parkinson’s patients with both high and low risk for developing dementia. We will determine whether PET imaging adds further information about an individual’s risk of future dementia. This will advance our understanding of this important issue and establish a useful and reliable tool for researchers and clinicians.

It is critical that we can do this so that preventative treatments to protect against dementia can be targeted at the most appropriate patients when that treatment becomes available and also to select the right “at risk” Parkinson’s patients for trials of new treatments. 

Researcher // Associate Professor Tracy Melzer – University of Otago

Associate Professor Melzer is involved in a wide range of neurological research, including child development, mild traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, neurodegenerative diseases, and more. As a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Medicine, his primary focus is on the development and application of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) techniques to advance our understanding of cognitive decline in Parkinson’s disease.

More About Associate Professor Tracy Melzer

Stay in touch with CMRF

// Get all the latest news and insights to your inbox