Patient with Parkinson's. At home care giver

The Applied Parkinson’s Research Group, led by Dr Camille Carroll, oversees the clinical trials and studies aimed at improving the lives of those with Parkinson’s through neuroprotective interventions, digital innovation for care and research and genetic aspects of Parkinson’s.

Intrinsic to their work is the person-centred care approach. Dr Carroll and her team collaborate with an engaged and eternally optimistic community of Parkinson’s patients. 

Engaging with them from the beginning, they provide research and health interventions that challenge the ‘status quo’ bio-medical approach to treating the illness and place as much control and influence over decisions on health and care in the hands of patients, care partners, and the community. These co-designed pathways provide choices to patients and treatments that are sustainable in the long-run.

Dr Camille Carroll has overseen the development of a Parkinson’s diseases (PD) DNA bank and a regional PD clinical research register, as well as leading the development of the Parkinson’s disease service in Plymouth – the winner of two Parkinson’s Excellence Network Awards.

Applied Parkinson’s Research areas

Clinical trials
Neuroprotective trials and trial design
Home-based Parkinson's care - Getty Images
Digital innovation for care and research
Parkinson's disease
Genetic aspects of Parkinson’s

Neuroprotective trials and trial design

PD-STAT – clinical trial using statins as a new treatment for Parkinson’s

Chief Investigator: Dr Camille Carroll
Funded by the University of Plymouth, JP Moulton Trust and The Cure Parkinson’s Trust

Dr Carroll and her team investigated the use of Simvastatin – a statin typically used as a cholesterol lowering drug – as a neuroprotective treatment to alleviate symptoms and slow the progression of Parkinson’s.

The trial was run out of the Peninsula Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Plymouth with the support of the NIHR Clinical Research Network for the South West Peninsula. The double-blind placebo-controlled study involved 235 participants from 23 participating hospitals across the UK, including University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust.

Find out more about PD-STAT

Improving clinical trial design – multi-arm, multi-stage (MAMS)

Researcher: Dr Marie-Louise Zeissler
Funded by The Cure Parkinson’s Trust and the Edmond J. Safra Foundation

Dr Zeissler is exploring adaptive approaches such as the multi-arm multi-stage (MAMS) for clinical trial design. 

These efforts include a Delphi study to gain insights into the importance of clinical trial design features in disease-modifying trials for Parkinson’s.

Find out more about MAMS

PD Stat logo

Digital innovation for care and research

Non-motor symptom app – NMS Assist

Researchers: Dr Edward Meinert, Dr Camille Carroll
Funded by: Parkinson's UK, Plymouth Hospitals Charitable Foundation and the Hoover Foundation

Researchers are working to develop a non-motor symptom app for smartphones, tablets and PCs. In collaboration with Professor Ray Chaudhuri, Professorof Neurology/Movement Disorders at King's College Hospital and King's College London who created NMS Quest, NMS Assist will be a mobile version that aims to provide remote monitoring of non-motor symptoms. It triggers support from care partners and information on self-management. The app will also be used by care partners so that their voice can be heard, which can provide insight on non-motor issues that might not be recognised or reported by the patient themselves.

Join Parkinson’s Research (JPR)

Researchers: Dr Stephen Mullin
Funded by unrestricted grants from Pfizer and Roche
A web-based portal is being developed to allow matching of people with Parkinson’s to research opportunities. 
A national resource, it will facilitate inclusivity in research opportunity, and efficient patient identification and recruitment for clinical trials in Parkinson’s disease and related conditions across the UK.

Home Based Parkinson’s Care

Researchers: Dr Camille Carroll with Research Assistant, Emma King
Funded by a Health Foundation Innovation for Improvement grant and Parkinson's UK
Working with University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, Dr Carroll and her team are implementing a new Parkinson’s service that will allow an alternative way of managing Parkinson’s. In collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University, Parkinson’s patients, their families and healthcare teams, new resources have been designed to support self-management. This includes a new care pathway that moves away from routine review, and instead educated patients when to request a triggered contact.
The pathway includes the use of the Parkinson's Kinetigraph (PKG™) wrist-worn device that monitors movement symptoms of Parkinson’s enabling patients and their care team to identify and implement any required changes to therapy.
Find out more about Home Based Parkinson's Care

Neurofeedback: Brain Research Imaging Centre

Researchers: Professor Jon Marsden, Dr Krithika Anil, Professor Stephen Hall, Professor Sara Demain, Professor Jenny Freeman, Dr Giorgio Ganis
A potential new treatment for motor-symptoms of Parkinson’s is being developed by a collaboration between the School of Health Professions and the Brain Research and Imaging Centre (BRIC) that uses a technology called neurofeedback.
Neurofeedback is a learning technique that uses a computer to allow individuals to see and change their own brain activity. By targeting motor-specific brain activity, neurofeedback has the potential to reduce Parkinsonian motor-symptoms without the use of invasive or pharmaceutical methods. This project is currently investigating the feasibility of this technology, with the aim to develop an efficient neurofeedback protocol and rigorously examine it in a series of clinical trials.
Explore the Brain Research and Imaging Centre Motor Control Lab

Genetic aspects of Parkinson’s

Investigating glucocerebrosidase (GBA)

Researchers: Dr Stephen Mullin, Jemma Inches
Funded by The Cure Parkinson’s Trust

Dr Mullin leads on a phase II clinical trial of ambroxol, a putative neuroprotective and small molecular chaperone of the glucocerebrosidase enzyme (GCase). 

He also leads an internet-based cohort study – Rapsodi – aiming to provide a platform for identifying GBA carriers to allow their targeted enrolment in neuroprotective trials. 

The ultimate of this study is to provide a cost-effective platform for targeting of future neuroprotective compounds.

Advanced Professional Practice in Neurological Rehabilitation