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Indroduction

The Cambridge Centre for Parkinson-Plus

The University of Cambridge Centre for Parkinson-Plus will transform translational research into Parkinson-Plus disorders.
Situated on the largest biomedical campus in Europe, our team has a longstanding commitment to understanding the mechanisms of Parkinson-Plus disorders and developing new treatments that help patients in both the short and long term.

Cambridge is uniquely placed to meet this challenge, because of our uniquely integrated programmes of ‘discovery neuroscience’ in the laboratory and patient-facing research, including biomarker development and trials. Our Principal Investigators – Professors Roger A. Barker, Professor Patrick F. Chinnery, Professor Giovanna R. Mallucci, Professor John T. O’Brien, Professor James B. Rowe, Professor David C. Rubinsztein, and Dr Caroline H. Williams-Gray – are all clinicians and clinician scientists leading internationally distinguished scientific programs.

The Centre for Parkinson-Plus will bring these individuals together for this first time, focussing their expertise and resources on the problems faced by Parkinson-Plus patients. We will also draw on the resources and expertise of the UK Dementia Research Institute (DRI), the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and other local sources, which together provide £119 million of infrastructure support for the research programmes we propose.

 

What are Parkinson-Plus Syndromes?

The Centre will focus on the ‘textbook three’ Parkinson-Plus syndromes:

  • Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP)
  • Corticobasal Syndrome (CBS)
  • Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) 
  • Related disorders, which share common mechanisms and present new opportunities to develop treatments that may benefit patients with Parkinson-Plus.

For further information on these syndromes please have a look here.

 

The Mission

The opportunity to deliver treatments that may restore function and prevent the progression of conditions such as Parkinson–Plus disorders is a major motivating force for all the scientists and clinician scientists in this initiative.

Achieving this goal requires investment across laboratory science, clinical research, experimental medicine and clinical trials.

The overall aim of the Centre for Parkinson-Plus is to create a viable pipeline, where world-class mechanistic research programmes will feed a programme of cutting-edge clinical research.

With this in mind, we have designed a dual approach: innovation will be facilitated through the integration of our Scientific Discovery Programmes (Strand A), led by Professor Giovanna R. Mallucci, with our Clinical Translational Programmes, led by Professor James B. Rowe (Strand B). Both arms of the Centre will be hosted by the Department of Clinical Neurosciences (Head of Department, Professor Patrick F. Chinnery) within the University of Cambridge’s School of Clinical Medicine, in order to provide a rigorous governance and reporting structure that will ensure our key deliverables are achieved.

We will deliver new treatments for patients, which will reduce symptoms, prolong survival with good quality of life, and even prevent disease onset.

The first wave of clinical trials proposed here are those that are scientifically “ready-to-go”. However, we anticipate that the synergistic structure of the Centre will lead to further trials based on our Scientific Discovery Programmes, including collaborations with industry partners, and through our existing international collaborations.