Understanding the Behavioural Complications of Parkinson’s
More than 100,000 Canadians have Parkinson’s disease and the incidence and impact of this neurodegenerative disorder will only increase as our population ages.
Most of us associate Parkinson’s with tremors, rigidity and slowness, and current treatments focus on relieving these motor-system impairments. But the disease also creates significant complications that are not well managed by current medications. These include poor planning, inability to respond to changing environments, and behavioural disturbances, such as trouble controlling impulses.
Dr. Antonio Strafella, Canada Research Chair in Movement Disorders and Neuroimaging, is using brain imaging to better understand these complications. He will examine the brains of Parkinson’s patients to identify the abnormalities that lead to behavioural and cognitive problems arising from the disease.
Strafella’s work will not only result in greater understanding of the disease but lead to methods to diagnose and treat its non-motor symptoms.