New Tool May Help Researchers Predict Cognitive Decline with Parkinson’s Disease

(June 09, 2017)

A new tool from researchers at Harvard Medical School may allow investigators to predict cognitive decline in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), which could help design clinical trials and test new therapies. The tool uses an algorithm combining varied personal details — age at onset, baseline score on the Mini Mental State Examination, years of education, motor exam score, sex, depression, and GBA mutation status.

The scientific team, led by Clemens Scherzer, MD, published this work in the scientific journal The Lancet Neurology. They compared data from six studies to develop the tool, which they validated with data from three studies, including The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s landmark biomarkers study, the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI). Overall, they looked at data from 3,200 people with PD.