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Derby Parkinson's Disease Services

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Past and present members of our team, together with local people with Parkinson's, have contributed to the following Parkinson's related research projects:

1. Nigrsomal Iron Imaging in Parkinson's Disease (N3iPD).

This multicentre study is funded by the prestigious Micheal J Fox Foundation. Recruiting centres include London; Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham; and Royal Derby Hospital. The study is investigating magnetic resonance scanning using powerful 3-Tesla MR scanners to diagnose Parkinson's disease. MR scan diagnostic acuracy will be compared to nuclear medicine SPECT scans. This study has now completed recruitment. Final results have yet to be published but the study protocol is available here. Reference: S Schwartz, Y Xing, S Naidu, J Birchall, R Skelly, A Perkins, J Evans, G Sare, A Martin-Bastida, N Bajaj, P Gowland, P Piccini, D, Auer. Protocol of a single group prospective observational study on the diagnostic value of 3T susceptibility weighted MRI of nigrosome-1 in patients with parkinsonian symptoms: the N3iPD study (nigrosomal iron imaging in Parkinson's disease). BMJ Open 2017;7:e016904. doi:10.1136/ bmjopen-2017-016904

2. Does a specialist unit improve outcomes for hospitalised patients with Parkinson's Disease?

This study was funded by Parkinson's UK. It has now completed recruitment and has been published. The study found better medication outcomes, better patient experience of care and shorter length of stay on the specialist unit. The study does not prove that this is the best way to deliver care as it was not a randomised study.
R Skelly, L Brown, A Fakis, L Kimber, C Downes, F Lindop, C Johnson, C Bartliffe, N Bajaj. Does a specialist unit improve outcomes for hospitalized patients with Parkinson's disease? Parkinsonism & Related disorders 2014; 20 (11): 1242-1247


This is a multicentre study that aims to explore variations in Parkinson's. It will look at 4 different areae: motor symptoms such as tremor and stiffness, memory problems, response to therapy, and non-motor symptoms such as sleep ploblems. For further information please visit the PRoBaND site.

4. Does prompt delivery of medication to in-patients with Parkinson's Disease reduce length of hospital stay?

This study was funded by Parkinson's UK. It analysed 2 years' of electronic prescribing and drug administration data at Royal Derby Hospital. The study did not find any association between length of hospital stay and timeliness of medication. It did find an association between length of stay and co-morbidities (presence of lots of other illnesses per patient.) Results were published:
Skelly R, Brown L, Fogarty A. Delayed administration of dopaminergic drugs is not associated with prolonged length of stay of hospitalised patients with Parkinson's disease. Parkinsonism Relat Disord 2017; 35:25-29.

If you are interested in any further details of these research studies, please contact Secretary to Dr Skelly’s team or Charlotte Downes, research nurse, at Royal Derby Hospital.


Dr Vamsi Gontu
Dr Vamsi Gontu, Research Fellow