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

July 7, 2017 by Kim Thomas, University of Otago

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

A new therapeutic avenue for Parkinson's disease

January 23, 2018
Systemic clearing of senescent astrocytes prevents Parkinson's neuropathology and associated symptoms in a mouse model of sporadic disease, the type implicated in 95% of human cases. Publishing in Cell Reports, researchers ...

Investigators eye new target for treating movement disorders

January 19, 2018
Blocking a nerve-cell receptor in part of the brain that coordinates movement could improve the treatment of Parkinson's disease, dyskinesia and other movement disorders, researchers at Vanderbilt University have reported.

Parkinson's disease 'jerking' side effect detected by algorithm

January 8, 2018
A mathematical algorithm that can reliably detect dyskinesia, the side effect from Parkinson's treatment that causes involuntary jerking movements and muscle spasms, could hold the key to improving treatment and for patients ...

New brainstem changes identified in Parkinson's disease

January 4, 2018
A pioneering study has found that patients with Parkinson's disease have more errors in the mitochondrial DNA within the brainstem, leading to increased cell death in that area.

Caffeine level in blood may help diagnose people with Parkinson's disease

January 3, 2018
Testing the level of caffeine in the blood may provide a simple way to aid the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, according to a study published in the January 3, 2018, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the ...

Researchers shed light on why exercise slows progression of Parkinson's disease

December 22, 2017
While vigorous exercise on a treadmill has been shown to slow the progression of Parkinson's disease in patients, the molecular reasons behind it have remained a mystery.

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.