Parkinson's as a window into dementia: brain imaging over 8 years Event as iCalendar


28 November 2017

4 - 5pm

Venue: Ground floor seminar room (G10)

Location: 70 Symonds St, Auckland Central

An ABI seminar by Dr Tracy Melzer, Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch and New Zealand Brain Research Institute, Christchurch


In addition to the debilitating motor impairments associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD), most patients eventually develop dementia, a major burden to the patient, carer and health system. Dementia manifests anywhere from 2-20 years after diagnosis and presently clinicians are not able to predict onset in individual patients. At the NZ Brain Research Institute in Christchurch, we have established a longitudinal study to investigate the process of cognitive decline in Parkinson’s disease. Over the past 8 years, we have followed approximately 250 individuals with PD and 50 healthy controls every two years with neuropsychological tests, clinical assessments, MRI, and most recently PET imaging. In this talk, I will give an overview of our imaging findings, specifically what they tell us about the state of the brain in Parkinson’s disease and how objective measures of brain structure and function can be used to track disease progression and the development of dementia over time.