Heterogeneity in Parkinson’s disease dataset

Document Type



Edith Cowan University Research Online

School or Research Centre

Parkinson's Centre / Edith Cowan University Health and Wellness Institute


Edith Cowan University Foundation

McCuster Foundation

The Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club and others


This collection comprises SPSS files, computer-based cognitive and neuropsychological tasks and an analysis of the results of surveys and questionnaires. Data has been collected from a cohort of Western Australians with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The participants involved in the project are a mixture of newly diagnosed and those that are more than two years post diagnosis. The research is a longitudinal study aimed at identifying a proposed two phenotypically distinct PD subtypes (PD-ST) of Parkinson’s Disease and comparing findings relating to these functional types to the findings reported in similar research in the U.K. The data is measuring the distinct PD subtypes, the functional impact of these PD phenotypes on well-being and quality of life and the patterns of change of the different phenotypes over a 2 year period.

Additional Information

Funding for the project has been supplied by the Edith Cowan University Foundation, the McCuster Foundation and philanthropic organisations: the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club and others

The data has been gathered by Dr Meghan Thomas (Principal researcher) and the ParkC researchers: Professor Romola Bucks of School of Psychology, the University of Western Australia, Dr Andrea Loftus of the University of Western Australia, Dr Natalie Gasson of Curtin University of Technology, and Dr Roger Barker of the University of Cambridge.

Research Activity Title

ParkC Heterogeneity Study

Research Activity Description

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is the second most common neurological condition in Australia, which typically affects those over the age of 65. PD is a chronic, progressive, incurable condition historically considered to be a disorder of movement. It is characterised by the motor features of tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia (slow movement), and postural instability. However, a substantial proportion of patients with PD experience a range of non-motor deficits such as clinically significant cognitive deficits. Depression, anxiety, and apathy are also known to be common. In recent years, such non-motor symptoms have been increasingly reported and shown to be major determinants of quality of life. Despite the apparent clarity as to the importance of non-motor symptoms in PD, diagnosis is still based on presentation of motor deficits. The overall aim of the research is to identify distinct PD phenotypes within an Australian community-based cohort, and to compare these phenotypes with those identified in the UK. The secondary aim is to determine the functional impact of these PD phenotypes on well-being and quality of life measures, including PD-specific quality of life (PDQ-39), depression, and sleep (features identified as important by people with PD), then to establish whether there are genetic determinants of the different PD phenotypes. The third aim is to evaluate the functional impact and patterns of change of the different phenotypes over an initial 2 year period



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