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The OxQUIP (Oxford QUantification In Parkinsonism) study is recruiting patients with Parkinson's Disease and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. Currently available treatments for these diseases are symptomatic only, and do not have any preventive or disease-slowing effect. As new drugs are developed, there is a need to be able to evaluate them quickly, so that precious time and resources can be devoted to those showing most promise.
This study follows participants intensively over an initially 3 year period, with the aim of identifying measures that can detect disease progression over much shorter time periods than is possible at present.
During the study participants are asked to perform simple tasks while the investigators measure movements of the eyes, hands and body. The investigators also do some tasks on a tablet computer that measure cognitive performance.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disease that affects one in every hundred people over the age of 55. It is estimated that there are seven to ten million people with PD worldwide. It is disabling, incurable and gradually progressive. Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) is a related condition that presents initially with very similar features to PD. Eventually other features appear that are not part of idiopathic PD, such as paralysis of voluntary upgaze. Currently available treatments for both PD and PSP are symptomatic only, and while they may be effective for a number of years, they do not have any preventive or disease-slowing effect.
One of the problems with these conditions is that presently, there is a lack of completely reliable means of measuring their severity. The investigators use "clinical rating scales" which are points-based systems in which a doctor or nurse has to score how badly the person with PD or PSP is affected by various aspects of their condition. This is a subjective process, in other words it depends on the impression of the person making the assessment, and two doctors may sometimes disagree about the score. The scale is also sometimes difficult to interpret, for example the difference between scores of 20 and 30 may not be the same size as the difference between scores of 30 and 40. In contrast, most medical conditions nowadays can be very accurately and reliably measured using special equipment, for example the level of a patient's blood pressure, or the difficulty of breathing in asthma.
The need for accurate measures is particularly great when conducting trials of new drugs. Accurate evaluation of whether they work or not depends on precise measures of disease symptoms for each patient both before and after treatment. Drug trials may take years, and an accurate early measure of effect would allow interim results to guide decisions at which point resources can be focussed on those drugs that look most promising.
The aim of this study is to develop and validate sensitive tests to measure the symptoms of PD and PSP.
John Radcliffe Hospital
University of Oxford
Published on BioPortfolio: 2019-10-30T14:03:45-0400
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