Parkinson’s in the news: April

Global update

Author: Scarlett SherriffPublished: 28 April 2022

Parkinson's LifePrep: Parkinson's LifeCook: Parkinson's LifeServes:

Close-up human eye, lens, cornea and brown iris.

We round up some of this month’s Parkinson’s news stories from around the world – including a study on the benefits of ‘forced cycling’ and research into the link between the eye retina and Parkinson’s risk

Ageing in the eyes could be a sign of higher Parkinson’s risk

Markers of age in the retina (the part of the eyeball chiefly responsible for sensing light) could help determine future Parkinson’s risk, a new study from China suggests.

Published in the journal ‘Age and Ageing’, the findings revealed that a larger retinal age gap – that is, when a person’s retina appears older than their actual age – was associated with a higher risk of developing the condition.

Accounting for other factors, such as smoking status, the researchers found that every one-year increase in the retinal age gap was associated with a 10% higher chance of developing Parkinson’s.

‘Forced cycling’: beneficial for people with severe motor symptoms? 

Findings from researchers in the US have revealed that high-cadence dynamic cycling – in which people cycle on stationary bikes programmed to intermittently quicken pedal speed – may help to ease motor symptoms in people with Parkinson’s.

Scientists at Kent State University in Ohio analysed data from 31 patients who had undergone this intervention, and identified that those with the most severe motor symptoms – determined by a higher score on the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale – were more likely to experience improvements.

Artificial Intelligence may help to diagnose Parkinson’s

A new artificial intelligence system designed by digital health company PreciseDx could help to diagnose Parkinson’s in its early stages. How? By using nerve tissue taken from patients’ salivary glands to identify features associated with the condition.

According to a study published in the journal ‘Acta Neuropathologica Communications’ and supported by the Michael J Fox Foundation, the system has potential to diagnose Parkinson’s in patients prior to the severe onset of symptoms.

Tai chi might support motor function in people with early Parkinson’s

A recent study from China suggests that tai chi – an exercise that combines continuous gentle body movements with breathing control to improve muscle strength – may support gait and balance in people with early-stage Parkinson’s.

Published in the journal ‘Translational Neurodegeneration’, the study found that after six and 12 months of practising the sport, participants experienced improvements across a range of motor symptoms compared with a control group.

New gene study to launch in Australia

The Australia Parkinson’s Genetics Study (APGS) – a large-scale initiative that aims to identify genetic factors of Parkinson’s – is inviting 10,000 people living with the condition in Australia to take part in a new study.

Participants will be invited to complete a questionnaire and provide a saliva sample for DNA extraction. Through the study, the APGS hopes to identify genes that may signal a greater risk of developing the condition.

Supported by the Shake It Up Australia Foundation and the Michael J Fox Foundation, the APGS will contribute data to the Global Parkinson’s Genetic Program – a study involving more than 150,000 participants worldwide.

Read more:

Parkinson’s in the news: March

Parkinson’s in the news: February

Go Back

Share this story


Related articles

Vector brain damage illustration isolated on dark BG


Could traumatic brain injury accelerate the onset of Parkinson’s disease?

Undergoing a traumatic brain injury (TBI) – a sudden injury that damages

DNA molecule spiral.


Researchers investigate link between gene and Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s is typically characterised by the degeneration of dopamine-pr



Dance craze turned Parkinson’s app: the story behind Patana AI

The app helps diagnose people with Parkinson’s