The Hippocampus in Parkinson’s DiseaseSupport this project
Parkinson’s disease currently affects 10,000 New Zealanders and this number is predicted to double over the next 25 years.
In addition to motor impairments, many people with Parkinson’s develop cognitive problems and, eventually, dementia.
We need to identify suitable objective tools that measure the underlying brain changes associated with cognitive decline.
Such tools are important clinically and for assessing new preventative treatments.
In this study, we will use comprehensive cognitive testing and brain imaging data to investigate the hippocampus, a key brain structure involved in memory. Leveraging our rich 10-year longitudinal study of cognition in Parkinson’s disease.
We will specifically investigate:
- How the hippocampus changes over time in Parkinson’s disease
- Whether brain imaging metrics from the hippocampus (including volume, blood flow, and white matter integrity) allow us to predict change in cognition (i.e., future cognition) in a clinically meaningful way.
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