1. Participant has the capacity to give informed consent 2. Participant is aged 18 years or older 3. Participant can tolerate behavioural and psychological testing (able to cooperate with cognitive tests). 4. Participant can tolerate neuroimaging (e.g. not claustrophobic and able to lie still) Please note that cognition may be affected in the patient groups recruited to this study. However, as the assessment process requires some more complex tasks, we will only include individuals who have capacity to consent to being involved in the trial. Where individuals lose the capacity to consent between points of assessment in the study, they will be withdrawn from the study (see A35).
General exclusion criteria 1. Participant has another medical or psychiatric illness that would interfere in completing assessments or impair the safety of the subject. MRI exclusion criteria 1. Pacemaker 2. Surgical Aneurysm clips 3. Implanted metal prosthesis 4. Implanted pumps There are no exclusionary medications for this study.
Parkinson’s disease is a common neurodegenerative disease. As well as the recognised effects on movements, patients suffer from visual disturbance, even at the earliest stages. Later in the disease, visual symptoms such as hallucinations are extremely distressing to patients and their carers. There are no effective treatments and little is known about how and where visual processing breaks down in Parkinson’s disease, or why some patients with Parkinson’s disease are more prone to visual symptoms than others. This study is a cross sectional and longitudinal study of patients at different stages of Parkinson’s disease, ranging from presymptomatic, through early stages to advanced Parkinson’s disease. We will examine different forms of Parkinson’s disease, including patients carrying genetic mutations associated with Parkinson’s disease and those with cognitive impairment. Study participants will undergo psychology testing, a blood test and perform computer-based visual and auditory tasks. Some of these tasks will be performed whilst undergoing brain imaging. This will allow us to measure performance in visual processing tasks whilst examining brain responses. By combining behavioural measures of visual processing with underlying measures of brain responses in genetically and clinically defined patient groups, we can determine those aspects of visual processing that are damaged in different forms of Parkinson’s Disease. Patients will be assessed at baseline and then invited back for reassessment after one year. The first stages of this project will involve pilot testing computerised visual and auditory tasks in patients and healthy controls. The key objectives are to identify the brain regions associated with visual dysfunction in different forms of Parkinson’s Disease and to determine if these can be detected at the earliest stages of the disease process.
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