Our fight against Parkinson's relies on people taking part in our research. This page describes our current research projects and provides contact information if you are interested in taking part.
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:
Very recent research suggests that the gastrointestinal system may be linked with Parkinson’s. As this research is still in the early stages, it is difficult to determine whether the gut may be involved with development of the disease, or whether some people experience gut-related symptoms as a result of having Parkinson’s. This study examines the role of gut bacteria products called short chain fatty acids, and how they relate to the motor and non-motor symptoms experienced by people with Parkinson’s. Participants complete some motor and thinking tasks, and they are also asked to provide a stool sample. This will help us to determine whether different Parkinson’s symptoms are associated with particular types of gut bacteria and bacterial products, and will inform future research into dietary interventions for Parkinson’s. This project is being carried out in collaboration with the Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science.
If you take part in this study, you will complete some questionnaires before taking part in a face-to-face assessment of your motor and thinking skills (which can be done at your own home or at Curtin University). You will then be provided with a stool sample kit, which can be completed at your convenience and collected by the researcher. To take part in this study, you must be a person who has a diagnosis of Parkinson's.
Please contact Hayley at email@example.com
Most people attribute language difficulties in Parkinson’s to its motor symptoms, such as difficulty articulating words or maintaining voice volume. As a result, social aspects of communication such as pragmatics (interpreting moods, understanding sarcasm, and recognising lies) are often overlooked. Matthew’s study examines the nature of language pragmatic problems in Parkinson's and its relationship with thinking skills. This study also examines whether any changes in social communication in those with Parkinson’s affect mood and quality of life. Later parts of this project will also examine partner communication. This project is taking part in collaboration with Dr Naomi Cocks, School of OT and Speech Pathology. If you take part in this study, you would first complete some questionnaires, before taking part in a face-to-face assessment of your communication and thinking skills (which can be done at your own home or at Curtin University). To take part in this study, you must be a person who has a diagnosis of Parkinson's. If you have a partner, they will also be asked to complete some questionnaires.
Please contact Matthew at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pain is one of the most damaging symptoms of Parkinson’s, with approximately 85% of those diagnosed experiencing pain in some form. Despite this, it remains unclear what mechanisms drive pain in Parkinson’s. This study will explore the nature of your pain, with a focus on how your patterns of thoughts and feelings might contribute to your pain. We will then explore the impact of a non-invasive form of brain stimulation called transcranial direct current stimulation. We hope that by targeting a specific area of the brain that we know to be involved in pain, that we might see a reduction to the pain experienced by people with Parkinson’s. Initially, participants will be asked to complete a number of questionnaires that can be completed online, or by mail. Eligible participants will also have the opportunity to attend the laboratory at Curtin University to participate in the later stages of the study involving the brain stimulation intervention. This is a painless form of brain stimulation that involves attaching an electrode to the surface of your head. We hope that this research will allow us to further understand the nature of pain in Parkinson’s as well as contribute to the development of pain treatment. To take part in this study, you must be a person who has a diagnosis of Parkinson's.
If you would like to know more about this project
Please contact Brayden at email@example.com
Researchers from Curtin University (including Dr Naomi Cocks from ParkC), UWA, and the University of Tasmania are exploring how Pharmacy Simulator, an online computer game, can help health students and professionals practise important skills needed to care for patients in hospital. Games like this allow healthcare students and health professionals to work through real life scenarios in a safe environment to learn what they do well and ‘not so well’. Previous studies have shown that similar online computer games are very helpful in preparing learners to work effectively in a complex healthcare system.
Pharmacy Simulator has been used as an online serious gaming platform to support pharmacy students learning to practise in community pharmacies. Serious gaming uses storytelling scenarios for non-entertainment game-based training.
This project will expand the use of Pharmacy Simulator to other healthcare students and health professionals (nurses, physiotherapists, social workers and speech pathologists) to support the development of the skills needed for effective communication, high-quality patient care in complex situations and patient safety in hospitals.
We are inviting 12 people with experience of being admitted to, and discharged from, a hospital in Western Australia, or your carers, to assist us to create simulation scenarios sensitive to your perspectives and needs. We are particularly interested in talking with people and carers with lived experiences of traumatic brain injury (also called ‘head injury’), Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
If you are interested in this study you can find more details here: https://cciprogram.org/2021/02/02/involvement-opportunity-interactive-healthcare-simulator/
Research has demonstrated that people with Parkinson’s can improve their cognitive functioning (thinking skills) using both cognitive training and non-invasive brain stimulation independently. Recent pilot research by our lab (Lawrence, Gasson, Johnson, Booth, and Loftus, 2018) suggests that the most effective improvement of cognitive functioning in those with PD occurs following cognitive training coupled with non-invasive brain stimulation (compared to either intervention alone). This project is a randomised control trial (RCT) approach to examine the impact of concurrent non-invasive brain stimulation and cognitive training on cognition, quality of life, and sleep in those with Parkinson's. To take part in this study, you must be a person who has a diagnosis of Parkinson's.
Please contact Andrea at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 9266 5120 and leave your name and a contact phone number please.