Michaela Dreetz Gjerstad
Helse Stavanger HF
Biology of sleep disorders in patients with Parkinson's disease
Western Norway Regional Health Authority
The ParkTrack study is a prospective longitudinal cohort study of patients with incident Parkinsons disease (PD) with the intent to predict and track biological and clinical heterogeneity in patients with PD. The investigation of sleep disorders in PD is a major issue in this study, as symptoms may occur early or even herald parkinsonism and may indicate the further prognosis. Meanwhile are sleep disorders often incapacitating, though mostly treatable. This project involves basic and clinical neuroscience in PD. It will lead to increased understanding of underlying mechanisms and the heterogeneous development of PD over time and will contribute to improved diagnostic procedures and treatment. 100 drug-naive patients with incident PD will be thoroughly examined at baseline and 3 years later for parkinsonism, cognition, attention, sleep disorders and psychiatric symptoms. Blood samples and brain imaging will be included. Sleep quality will in addition be tested 3 months after drug start. International standards for diagnostics and examination techniques will be used. The study group is internationally renown for their clinical and translational research in PD. The post-doc candidate has her expertise in sleep problems in PD. This new approach with focus on the biology of heterogeneity opens a new frontier in PD research and meets a growing need of knowledge of this important disease. The results of this study may be applied in every day clinic to the benefit of the patients.