The Norwegian Centre for Movement Disorders

The Norwegian ParkWest study

The Norwegian ParkWest study, initiated in 2004, is a prospective longitudinal cohort study of patients with incident Parkinson’s Disease (PD) from Western and Southern Norway. The study covers the populations of four counties—Sogn og Fjordane, Hordaland, Rogaland, and Aust-Agder—with over 1 million inhabitants. The study collaborates with more than 30 neurologists and nurses. Its primary goal is to systematically document the development and trajectory of PD symptoms over a 20-year period. 

Patient Recruitment and Procedures 

The study aimed to recruit all patients diagnosed with PD in Western Norway and Aust-Agder from 2004 to 2006, with 212 PD patients and 209 control participants agreeing to participate. Patients undergo semiannual clinical examinations, while comprehensive assessments of motor and non-motor functions, ability to work, assistance needs, and quality of life occur every second year for both PD patients and control individuals. Blood and spinal fluid samples are collected with consent every two years. The study also includes a brain donation program, with nearly a hundred patients consenting to donate their brains.  

Research Focus  

The Norwegian ParkWest study investigates the clinical and biological factors that influence the risk and progression of PD. This is accomplished through the in-depth analysis of systematically collected clinical and biological data spanning nearly two decades. This analytical approach is essential for developing personalized treatment and care strategies, to improve the quality of life and offer enhanced prognoses for individuals with PD. 

Impact and Future Goals  

ParkWest has a very low drop-out rate both among patients and control persons and the quality and completeness of the data are high. The ParkWest study has already yielded significant insights into diverse clinical and biological aspects of PD, enhancing our understanding of disease development, and underlying pathological mechanisms. The study has generated numerous doctorates and more than 100 scientific articles in leading medical journals (see parkvest.no). Several doctoral theses using ParkVest data are also in progress.  

Key funding sources 

The Norwegian ParkWest study has received funding from the Research Council of Norway, the Western Norway Regional Health Authority, the Norwegian Parkinson’s Research Foundation, Rebergs Legacy and Michael J. Fox Foundation.


See also: Identification and Validation of Cerebrospinal Fluid Markers Related to Altered Amyloid-beta Processing in the Prediction of Dementia Associated with Parkinson’s Disease (michaeljfox.org) 


Last updated 3/6/2024