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Can ultrasound detect early stage Parkinson’s disease?


Assoc. Prof. Kay Double leads the Neurodegeneration Research Group at the Brain & Mind Centre at the University of Sydney, with a key interest in Parkinson’s disease. Currently, diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is based on observation of movement problems in the patient and there are no objective diagnostic tests available, such as a brain scan or blood test, to assist clinicians make a diagnosis. As a result, diagnosis can be delayed and incorrect diagnoses are not uncommon.

A major area of interest of Assoc. Prof. Kay Double’s research group is the use of ultrasound to visualize the brain to detect Parkinson’s disease. Ultrasound imaging has advantages over other available forms of brain imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), in that it is fast, safe, inexpensive and widely available. Assoc Prof Double’s team believe it might be able to detect Parkinson’s disease in the very early stages of the disease, even before movement problems develop. Early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease will ensure patients receive the best treatment as early as possible, with the hope that future treatments will be able to slow the progression of the disease.

Assoc Prof’s team are currently looking for individuals aged between 50 and 70 years old to assist them with this research.  They are recruiting Parkinson’s disease patients within this age range, but also individuals without Parkinson’s disease in the same age range as a comparison group.  The study involves brain scans using ultrasound and MRI and assessments of movement, thinking and memory.

If you are a healthy older person aged between 50 and 70 years of age, or have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and are aged from 50 to 70 years old, and would like to assist with this research, please contact Assoc Prof Double (Email: or Karl Aoun (Email:; Mob: 04 522 666 72) for further details.