Degenerative disorders of the brain, including Parkinson’s, are becoming more common in our ageing population and represent an urgent unmet medical need. Established in 2010, the Oxford Parkinson's Disease Centre (OPDC) has rapidly developed an international-leading research program. The Centre comprises one of the largest and best-characterized clinical Parkinson’s cohorts in the world, a program in Parkinson's MRI and laboratory biomarkers, outstanding expertise in molecular neuropathology, leading programs in Parkinson’s genetics and genomics, the largest research program for induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) models of Parkinson’s in Europe, and a world-leading research hub for deep-phenotyping and characterization of transgenic rodent models of Parkinson’s.
Our work is now building on our increasing knowledge of disease mechanisms in Parkinson’s to develop research aimed at changing how people with Parkinson’s are treated, focussing directly on what matters most to individuals living with Parkinson’s worldwide and identifying new therapeutic targets.
- The OPDC Discovery Cohort provides a wealth of data to better understand how Parkinson's progresses in different ways in different people, which has the potential to provide valuable information to patients early during diagnosis.
- We are developing a new range of clinical analysis, combining our established work in functional brain imaging and blood tests with new projects using voice recognition and working with digital app technology, to be better able to predict the onset of Parkinson's.
- We continue to use recent advances in induced pluripotent stem cell technology to grow and study neurons and glia from skin cells taken by simple biopsy from people with Parkinson’s to identify potential targets for treatments which we can then validate in our genetic animal models of Parkinson’s.
- Together, the range of cell and animal models available in the OPDC, combined with unrivalled Oxford expertise in anatomy and physiology, allows us to test disease modifying treatments that will ultimately translate into new therapies to prevent Parkinson’s in our at-risk groups and slow progression in established Parkinson’s.
Our research is structured around three overlapping themes:
Improved cellular and genetic models of Parkinson's pathologies and pathways.