Amy Tiberio (pictured left) is a new ParkC PhD student who will be examining the link between brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and Parkinson's symptoms. Amy is in the very early stages of her PhD, but has already won a competitive grant from CANTAB that gives ParkC access to a range of neuropsychological tests. Congratulations Amy!
We will be asking for people to take part in Amy's study next year, so watch this space.....
Do you have Parkinson’s and have difficulty with conversations?
Do you frequently converse with someone who has Parkinson’s and have difficulties with conversations?
We are seeking people with this background to join us for a series of 6 x 1.5 hour groups. In the group we will work together to plan a therapy approach to help people with Parkinson’s and the people are close to have more effective conversations. You don’t need to have any special knowledge about speech pathology to be part of our group. Your own experiences with Parkinson’s is what we are looking for.
To join our group you should either:
1) Have a diagnosis of Parkinson’s and have some trouble communicating. Your communication challenges might be fairly mild or be quite challenging.
2) Be someone who regularly has conversations with someone who has Parkinson’s and communication difficulties e.g. more than three conversations a week. For example, you might be a family member or a close friend.
We are seeking people who are interested in finding solutions to improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s and their families. Some examples of the things we will be asking people to talk about:
• What makes it hard for you to have conversations?
• What supports you to have conversations?
• What research tells us about what helps conversations in Parkinson’s and in other conditions which impact communication?
• What makes an appropriate therapy for people with Parkinson’s and their families?
When the groups have finished, we will have decided on a plan for therapy to help people have conversations. Later the researchers will further develop these ideas and test them out.
The groups will take place at Parkinson’s WA, The Niche, 11 Aberdare Rd, Nedlands, WA 6009.
They will take place fortnightly from the 26th July- 4th October, 2022. You will be paid an honorarium for your time.
If you are interested in taking part, please email Naomi at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Naomi on 9266 2466
ParkC has just recently published a study in the Journal of Applied Nursing. Emilie (pictured) conducted her Honours in speech pathology with ParkC. Emilie's study examined the communication strategies used by Parkinson's nurse specialists in their healthcare interactions with people with Parkinson's. Emilie conducted extensive interviews with Parkinson's nurse specialists, asking them about the strategies they use to support communication during healthcare interactions, the factors influencing the use of communication strategies, and how they learned to communicate effectively with people with Parkinson's.
The study found that the following factors were important to good communication between nurse and client during healthcare interactions; (i) establishing a strong therapeutic relationship with the person, (ii) involving the communication partner (typically a spouse), (iii) reducing the cognitive demands of the interaction, (iv) ensuring two-way understanding, and (v) enabling expressive communication for people with Parkinson's. Learning through others, learning through experience, and learning through education and research were considered important parts of becoming a skilled healthcare communicator when working with people with Parkinson's . If you would like to read this article, please email Andrea at Andrea.email@example.com to request a copy.
Phoebe is a speech pathology student doing her honours project with ParkC, looking at the assessment of drooling in people with Parkinson’s.
Drooling is a non-motor symptom of Parkinson’s and is typically assessed using one-off self reports, but they may not be the best way to measure drooling issues. Phoebe’s study examines different ways to assess drooling in those with Parkinson’s. Phoebe’s study will help us to develop effective measures of drooling for everyone with Parkinson’s and identify those people who might benefit from intervention. If you take part in this study, yourself and an ‘informant’ (a family member, carer, or someone who knows you well) will be asked to complete some questionnaires and a drooling diary. You can do this online, over the phone, or in the post. For more information about the study, please visit the facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Drooling-in-Parkinsons-Survey-103023371938774. Otherwise you can contact Phoebe by calling 0426 231 603 or by emailing her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
One of our ParkC PhD students, Hayley Grant, talking about her PhD on small chain fatty acids and Parkinson's
Parkinson’s WA’s biggest annual event took place in Perth recently on a beautiful spring day in Perth. A Walk in the Park is a fabulous way to support our local Parkinson’s community, and contribute to their ongoing needs. The walk raised funds to assist with the provision of the Parkinson’s Nurse Specialist Service. Many people enjoyed spending time with friends, family and others within the Parkinson’s community.
Photos from a Walk in the Park are available from Dave Morse by clicking on the link below
We are very pleased to announce that Dr Leon Booth has been awarded his PhD in a ceremony on 16th February at Curtin University, complete with celebratory fireworks. Leon's PhD was entitled "The Measurement and Nature of Impulsivity in Parkinson’s" and was supervised by Associate Professor Andrea Loftus and Professor Natalie Gasson. Leon worked very closely with Parkinson's Nurse Janet McLeod and the Parkinson's community to develop his PhD project. Leon impressed us all with his ability to tackle such a sensitive issue with empathy and compassion. Many congratulations Leon.
We are very pleased to announce that Dr Andrew Johnson has been awarded his PhD in a ceremony on 18th October at Perth Convention Centre. Andrew's PhD was entitled "A Bayesian Evaluation of Subtyping Methods in Parkinson’s Disease" and was supervised by Professor Natalie Gasson, Associate Professor Andrea Loftus, and Professor Romola Bucks. Andrew has impressed us all with his perseverance and determination in completing such a challenging program of research. Many congratulations Andrew!
The potential long-term health effects of COVID-19 are not understood, but researchers have found a potential link between COVID-19 and neurological issues.
Curtin School of Psychology Associate Professor Andrea Loftus was recently interviewed to discuss the potential link between COVID-19 and future neurological issues.
Emily has worked as the Research Assistant on ParkC since 2015, when we secured Zrinski funding from Parkinson's Western Australia for her employment. Over the past 5 years, Emily has helped build ParkC into a thriving, interactive research experience. In her role as a researcher, Emily has developed meaningful relationships with participants and colleagues of ParkC and has provided invaluable mentorship to many ParkC students. More recently, Emily was managing the randomised controlled trial (RCT) of non-invasive brain stimulation and cognitive training for Parkinson's (see our 'Research' page for more information on this project). The project was suspended in March this year due to Covid restrictions, and Emily has been working as a teaching administrative assistant with the School of Psychology since then. We are both happy and sad to announce that Emily has recently secured a position as a Clinical Trial Coordinator for a project in biomedical science at Curtin. In her new position, Emily will help to coordinate a project investigating whether a cholesterol-lowering drug (statin) can help to slow the progression of Alzhemier's Disease. Although we are very sad that Emily will no longer be the RA for ParkC, we are delighted that she is continuing her passion for neurodegenerative disorders and that she will remain an active member of ParkC. We have no doubt that Emily will continue to enrich the lives of those living with neurodegenerative conditions and we wish her all the very best for the future.
Not really a farewell, as Emily will still be involved in ParkC, this 'get together' was more of a celebratory dinner. Above from left-to-right are: Professor Romola Bucks, Janet McLeod (PWA), Dr Meghan Thomas, Dr Maria Pushpanathan, Professor Natalie Gasson, Matthew Han, Hayley Grant, Dr Blake Lawrence, Associate Professor Andrea Loftus, Emily Corti, Dr Andrew Johnson.