Identifying new biomarkers of Parkinson's from routine brain imaging

Disease area(s): Neuroscience; Parkinson’s disease
Data sources: University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHPNT); Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI);
Project stage: Analysis
Ethical approval: Granted (Reference Number: 21/PR/0918)
Principal Investigator: Stephen Mullin
Lead Researcher: Megan Courtman
Funder(s): UKRI (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council);


Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the world. There are currently a number of promising drugs being developed which aim to slow down the progression of the disease. The earlier such drugs are given, the more likely that they will be able to prevent life changing disability occurring. There is emerging evidence that changes associated with Parkinson’s disease can be picked up on MRI brain scans. This project aims to understand whether MRI brain scans collected for other purposes can be used to distinguish people with Parkinson’s from controls, either after or before the diagnosis is made.


Medical data used in this project is stored and processed in compliance with the highest data protection standards. All data that we analyse is first anonymised. Information that may be used to identify the people whose data we use in this project is held strictly on NHS computer systems and processed only by qualified NHS staff. We understand however that some people may not wish to have their data used in this way. If you would like to opt out of involvement of this or any other of our projects, please click here.