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The OPDC is delighted to announce that Parkinson’s UK have agreed to fund a further four and a half years of ODPC Discovery Cohort follow-up from August 2021.

The project entitled “Understanding Parkinson’s Progression (UPP)” is funded by the Parkinson’s UK Cohort Studies Council and led by Chief Investigator (CI) Professor Michele Hu. The cohort follow-up will use mainly remote methods including video conference and telephone assessment to ease participant burden. People with Parkinsons (PwP) will be followed up to 15 years following diagnosis, allowing us to capture the true course of Parkinson’s and better predict individual disease trajectory and outcomes including falls, dyskinesias and dementia.

In addition to greatly enhancing our power to test for prognostic biomarkers, this project will use telemedicine technologies to stratify and predict Parkinson’s. Comprehensive in-clinic testing in a subgroup will allow emerging digital technologies to be validated against existing “ground truth” measures. We will address the following key aims:

1. Establish Discovery as one of the best long-term studied Parkinson’s cohort worldwide, capturing natural history from prodromal to complex phase, improving outcome predictions for PwP.


2. Develop a prognostic index detailing the longer-term trajectory of Parkinson’s that can be modelled on an individual basis following diagnosis.

Cohort CI Michele Hu commented, “I am absolutely delighted that Parkinson’s UK have agreed to this funding. Since 2010, the cohort has already made significant contributions to our understanding of how Parkinson’s begins and subsequently progresses, being independently cited as one of the world’s top-ten leading Parkinson’s biomarker cohorts. I would like to thank all our research participants and study staff for their time and energy which has helped to make the Discovery cohort a world-leading success.”

 IMAGE BELOW SHOWS ALISON ELKIN (EXENATIDE OPDC COHORT PARTICIPANT) CONDUCTINGTHE SMART PHONE ASSESSMENTS FOR THE WEARABLES STUDY DURING A CLINIC IN MAY 2021.

Alison Elkin (OPDC cohort Exenatide participant) conducting the smart phone assessments for the wearables study during a clinic in May 2021

 IMAGE BELOW SHOW JACQUELINE RUDD, CLINICAL RESEARCH NURSE, ASSESSING ALISON ELKIN’S (EXENATIDE OPDC COHORT PARTICIPANT) POSTURAL STABILITY DURING A CLINIC IN MAY 2021.

Jacqueline Rudd, Clinical Research Nurse, assessing Alison Elkin’s (Exenatide OPDC cohort participant) postural stability during a clinic in May 2021.