Equipment & Techniques
I am a clinician scientist and consultant neurologist specializing in Parkinson’s disease. The overarching aims of my research are to better understand the variability of Parkinson's and to develop targeted disease-modifying therapies for different Parkinson's subtypes. I lead the Cambridge Parkinson’s Disease Research Clinic and community-based longitudinal cohort studies which allow us to study the natural history of the disease and biomarkers of progression. A key focus of my lab is investigating the role of the immune system in driving disease progression in Parkinson's. We are studying this using blood and CSF-based markers, PET neuroimaging and neuropathological studies, and we are testing immunosuppressive therapies for Parkinson's disease in clinical trials.
Neuroinflammation is linked to dementia risk in Parkinson's disease
The NET-PDD study is investigating the contribution of brain inflammation and tau accumulation to the development of dementia in Parkinson’s disease. Neuroinflammation, measured using [11C]PK11195 PET imaging, is elevated in newly-diagnosed Parkinson’s patients at high dementia risk, compared to patients at low dementia risk and controls. In contrast, tau accumulation in the brain, measured using [18F]AV1451 PET, is minimal in early Parkinson’s and does not differ across dementia risk groups. (Figure produced by Dr Lennart Spindler. Kouli, Spindler, et al. Brain, 2023, https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awad322)