This program of research operates as part of the collaborative efforts of the ForeFront Research Group. As part of a world renowned research facility, we are involved in a multitude of evolving and innovative research projects. We are looking into a number of different techniques to predict and recognize neurodegenerative diseases years before they can currently be diagnosed. This includes developing tests for blood biomarkers, examining aspects of early gait dysfunction, improving techniques for brain imaging and examining changes to cognitive, visual and olfactory systems to name but a few. Additionally, we coordinate the NSW Movement Disorder Brain Donor Program, providing detailed clinical information to accompany valuable brain tissue that is utilized for research across Australia and the globe to improve our understanding of Parkinsonian syndromes. Finally, we are actively involved in a number of clinical trials targeting both symptomatic and disease modifying therapies for Parkinson’s disease. Most notably we form an integral component of the Australian Parkinson’s Mission, which funded by the federal government is seeking to establish a series of disease modifying trials incorporating novel genetic and blood-based biomarker approaches.
Prof Simon Lewis is an NHMRC Leadership Fellow who has committed to work predicting, diagnosing and treating diseases like Parkinson's and Dementia with Lewy Bodies, along with their most troubling symptoms. This work will utilise genetics and biomarkers along with clinical trials, neuroimaging, neurophysiology and other approaches to improve our understanding of a range of problems including cognitive decline, hallucinations and freezing of gait.