Study predicts future burden of Parkinson's disease in New Zealand

July 7, 2017 by Kim Thomas

Numbers of people with Parkinson's disease will double over the next 25 years, according to a new study from the University of Otago, Christchurch's specialist brain research group.

Today there are at least 9500 people in New Zealand living with Parkinson's . The study predicts the will double to 17,500 by 2035, and increase to 24,000 by 2068.

The research was done by the Christchurch-based New Zealand Brain Research Institute (NZBRI), which includes clinicians and brain imaging specialists.

Author Dr Toni Pitcher says she and the team wanted to provide robust data on future need by determining numbers of people with Parkinson's disease will change in the face of an ageing population. They analysed pharmaceutical records relating to the condition to calculate numbers.

Dr Pitcher says as well as being able to predict future need, the study team observed an interesting pattern of disease in older age groups. It was commonly thought the risk of getting Parkinson's increased as age increased. But the study team found risk increased exponentially until age 75, peaked at age 85, then dropped off sharply after that. Dr Pitcher says this means, according to population data, the rate of increase in the number of people with Parkinson's will slow down as the proportion of the population reaching the oldest old age range (80+ years) increases.

Professor Tim Anderson, a Christchurch neurologist and part of the NZBRI study research team, says the study is crucial in planning for the future and ensuring appropriate resources are assigned to treat and support those with chronic and progressive neurological disorders of ageing, such as Parkinson's disease.

Explore further: Hepatitis B and C may be linked to increased risk of Parkinson's disease

Related Stories

Hepatitis B and C may be linked to increased risk of Parkinson's disease

March 29, 2017
The viruses hepatitis B and C may both be associated with an increased risk of Parkinson's disease, according to a study published in the March 29, 2017, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy ...

Getting closer to treatment for Parkinson's

January 23, 2017
More than 10 million people worldwide have Parkinson's disease. The cause of Parkinson's disease is unknown and thus no effective treatments exist. A study from the University of Bergen (UiB) suggests that the secret of the ...

Could Parkinson's disease start in the gut?

April 26, 2017
Parkinson's disease may start in the gut and spread to the brain via the vagus nerve, according to a study published in the April 26, 2017, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. ...

Scientific discovery may change treatment of Parkinson's disease

March 22, 2017
When monitoring Parkinson's disease, SPECT imaging of the brain is used for acquiring information on the dopamine activity. A new study conducted in Turku, Finland, shows that the dopamine activity observed in SPECT imaging ...

Early intervention may be possible for Parkinson's disease

December 9, 2016
One of the largest post-mortem brain studies in the world has confirmed that a protein (LRRK2) associated with the development of Parkinson's disease is increased in the pre-symptom stages, leading researchers to believe ...

Finding a treatment for Parkinson's disease dementia

September 2, 2015
University of Adelaide neuroscientists are leading a world-first study into a form of dementia experienced by many Parkinson's disease suffers, which is expected to ultimately lead to a new therapy for the condition.

Recommended for you

Researchers find new path to promising Parkinson's treatment

September 19, 2017
Three researchers at The University of Alabama are part of work that is leading to a new direction for drug discovery in the quest to treat Parkinson's disease.

Tug of war between Parkinson's protein and growth factor

September 18, 2017
Alpha-synuclein, a sticky and sometimes toxic protein involved in Parkinson's disease (PD), blocks signals from an important brain growth factor, Emory researchers have discovered.

Medical history can point to earlier Parkinson's disease diagnosis

September 15, 2017
Before symptoms become pronounced, there is no reliable way to identify who is on track to develop Parkinson's disease, a debilitating movement disorder characterized by tremors, slowness of movement, stiffness, and difficulty ...

Brain rewiring in Parkinson's disease may contribute to abnormal movement

September 14, 2017
The brain's own mechanisms for dealing with the loss of dopamine neurons in Parkinson's disease may be a source of the disorder's abnormal movement, according to a Northwestern Medicine study published in Neuron.

Treating with antioxidants early in Parkinson's disease process may halt degeneration and improve neuronal function

September 7, 2017
Northwestern Medicine scientists have identified a toxic cascade that leads to neuronal degeneration in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and figured out how to interrupt it, reports a study to be published September ...

New diagnostic tool spots first signs of Parkinson's disease

September 6, 2017
Researchers have developed the first tool that can diagnose Parkinson's disease when there are no physical symptoms, offering hope for more effective treatment of the condition.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.