New approach to Parkinson’s

New approach to Parkinson’s

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Previous participants taking part in the brain training study.

University researchers will be exploring a new approach to improve life for people with Parkinson’s.

The study aims to examine if brain training and brain stimulation can improve thinking and memory skills.

Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition that affects approximately 80,000 Australians.

The six-week study will look into people’s memory, thinking skills, quality of life and motor symptoms.

Associate Professor Andrea Loftus from the school of Psychology at Curtin University said the clinical trial combines two therapeutic approaches.

By combining brain stimulation and brain training they hope to optimise the brain’s own ability to re-wire and in doing so improve thinking and memory skills in people with Parkinson’s.

There is already a published research showing that brain training and brain stimulation alone can help to improve thinking and memory skills.

Professor Loftus said they believe that these two methods may provide the optimal condi- tions for neuronal plasticity.

“Treatments generally focus on reducing the motor (movement) symptoms associated with Parkinson’s and are overwhelmingly pharmacological,” she said.

“This study explores a non- pharmacological approach to improving thinking skills in Parkinson’s which may compliment current pharmacological management of the disease.”

Neuronal plasticity will allow the brain to compensate for a loss of brain cells leading to improvements in a range of thinking skills for those people with Parkinson’s.

For more information or participating on this study email Emily.corti@curtin.edu.a