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The Norwegian Centre for Movement Disorders


Biomarkers for Predicting Dementia in Parkinson’s Disease

Up to 80% of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients will develop dementia, significantly impacting their quality of life, increasing caregiver burden, and elevating healthcare costs. The relentless progression of PD damages brain cells, causing symptoms to worsen over time. However, the speed at which dementia develops varies widely, and patients and relatives can face uncertainty about the future disease course. Unfortunately, current diagnostic tools lack the precision to identify PD patients at risk of dementia, and as of now, there is no cure.

Our Ambitious Goal 

Our project sets out to address this critical gap by developing a biomarker panel that can help physicians identify PD patients at high risk of developing dementia. This is crucial for enhancing and personalising patient care, and allowing for the targeted inclusion of at-risk patients in clinical trials aimed at testing drugs to prevent dementia. 

Collaborative Research Initiative: A Global Effort 

To achieve this goal, we have brought together international groups that have diligently tracked patients from the initial diagnosis of PD to the onset of dementia. Through these efforts, extensive clinical datasets and vast collections of biological samples have been amassed, presenting a unique opportunity for groundbreaking biomarker research. Leveraging this resource, we've already made strides in identifying crucial genetic and protein biomarkers associated with dementia in Parkinson's disease (PDD). 

Anticipated Impact: Advancing Healthcare and Clinical Trials 

The main result of this project will mark a major advance in the field by developing a panel of clinically useful biomarkers to identify individuals with PD at risk of dementia, which can lead to improvements in individual healthcare, early disease intervention, and the targeted enrolment of at-risk patients into future clinical trials, as well as reduced health care costs. 

Key funding sources 

The ParkDem project is supported by the Research Council of Norway, with additional support from the Norwegian Parkinson’s Research Foundation. 

Last updated 3/6/2024