Current Research

Current Parkinson's Disease Research

Current Parkinson's Disease Research

Mapping Parkinson's Disease Needs and Services

What is the project about?

This timely HRB-funded research project is ongoing. The programme of research involves: 1) estimating the prevalence of Parkinson's in Ireland; 2) mapping and evaluating the range of available health services for people with Parkinson's across the country; and 3) exploring the unmet needs of people with Parkinson's and their perspectives on health service access and provision.

Who is leading the project?

This project is led by principal investigator Prof. Suzanne Timmons of the Centre for Gerontology & Rehabilitation, UCC. Prof. Timmons says “this research is helping us to understand how we can improve services, to support people with Parkinson’s in Ireland to live healthier and better quality lives”. Paula Gilmore, CEO of the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland (PAI), is the ‘public and patient involvement’ Co-Lead on this project.

Importantly, the project team also includes a person with Parkinson’s disease, Mr Tony Wilkinson, who is a vocal advocate for people with Parkinson’s, at both a national and local level. Tony has acted as a co-researcher on this project, to make sure the research asks and answers the important questions.

Why is this research important?

We know that there has not been enough investment made in healthcare services to improve care for people with PD in Ireland. For example, services are under-provided in certain areas. Where PD clinics/services do exist, under-resourcing can be a significant problem, leading to lengthy wait lists. This situation can have negative effects on people with Parkinson’s, in terms of their wellbeing and quality of life. It can also lead to more hospital admissions, which might have been avoided if services in the community were better able to provide the right care and support, at the right time. 

The data collected during this project will provide vital information for important decision-makers in the HSE and Department of Health, to inform future PD service planning and development.

 

Contact us

If you would like further information on any aspect of this study, please contact the project manager, Dr Emma O’ Shea:

Email: emma.oshea@ucc.ie  Mobile: 0860354526

 

Introducing Wearable Technology into Parkinson’s Disease Care (SENDOC)

What is the project about?

This project is assessing the potential role of wearable technology in the treatment of people with Parkinson’s Disease, especially those living in remote areas. We have two main goals. First, we want to understand what design features are important to people with Parkinson’s Disease. Second, we will evaluate the accuracy of existing devices to measure hand motor functions in people with PD. With this information, we hope to develop a novel wearable device that can accurately measure hand motor function and relay that information back to Parkinson’s Disease specialists.

Why is this research important?

Wearable technology has the potential to provide rich data to PD specialists who can use that information to modify treatment plans and monitor rehabilitation. Healthcare providers can use the information to fine tune medications and monitor the progression of the disease.

Who is involved?

The EU Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme is funding this project. Researchers at the Centre for Gerontology and Rehabilitation at UCC and Tyndall Institute in Cork are executing the research. People with Parkinson’s Disease are volunteering their time to the research by testing the devices and providing feedback.

 

Project Update (15/06/2021)

We have published a review of what is already known about what people with Parkinson’s want in a wearable device, and a second on how these devices perform in terms of accuracy.

 

Contact us

If you would like further information on any aspect of the SENDOC study, please contact Lorna Kenny

Email: lorna.kenny@ucc.ie

 

Developing a Novel Parkinson’s Disease Wearable Device

What is the project about?

The Centre for Gerontology and Rehabilitation has partnered with Tyndall Institute and AbbVie Inc. to develop a novel wearable device for people with Parkinson’s disease. This device will measure Parkinson’s disease symptoms, notify users of any changes, and provide rich data for clinicians. This research builds on the findings of the SENDOC study (see above).

What is the device?

Our goal is to develop a device that can measure tremor, bradykinesia, sleep, exercise, gait speed, and blood pressure. Engineers at Tyndall Institute are designing the device after feedback from people with Parkinson’s and researchers at the Centre for Gerontology and Rehabilitation.

Who is involved?

AbbVie Inc. and Enterprise Ireland are co-funding this project. Researchers at the Centre for Gerontology and Rehabilitation at UCC and Tyndall Institute in Cork are executing the research. Prof Suzanne Timmons, a Consultant Geriatrician and Professor at University College Cork, is leading the clinical research portion of the study. Her team at the Centre for Gerontology and Rehabilitation are responsible for participant recruitment, data collection, and feedback on clinical aspects of the device design.

Recruitment

This research could not be conducted without the input of people with Parkinson’s Disease. The device must be thoroughly tested on people with Parkinson’s disease before it is ready for implementation. Each new volunteer provides the opportunity to fine tune the system that little bit more.

If you would like further information about our research, or if you are interested in participating, please contact Lorna Kenny at the Centre for Gerontology and Rehabilitation.

Email: lorna.kenny@ucc.ie

Parkinson's Disease Research Cluster (PDRC)

College of Medicine & Health, University College Cork, Ireland.

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